Lake Wanaka, Queenstown Lakes District, Otago – New Zealand

The lonely willow tree that graces the southern tip of New Zealand’s Lake Wanaka isn’t just iconic. It’s become one of the world’s most famous and often-photographed trees. Sadly, the Wanaka Tree lost a few limbs to vandals in early 2020, but it remains a one-of-a-kind symbol of beauty and solitary serenity. Its unique grace is especially haunting at dusk.

Star Dust was indeed captured at dusk on a calm, still winter’s evening. Some sunsets paint the sky in bold splashes of crimson, vermillion, magenta, and goldenrod. This one was simple and beautiful with its palette of purples. Sugared violet, royal plum, rich violet, and dusty lavender covered the sky in a delicate wash, blending seamlessly into one another. A perfect reflection of the sky above lay across the surface of the lake like powdered sugar. In the middle of it all stood the Wanaka Tree, a few birds sitting quietly in its branches as they enjoyed the peace.


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