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I was lucky enough to head out on a trip with Eco Wanaka Adventures to a local island, Mou Waho, one of the largest islands on Lake Wanaka. The island is a nature lover’s paradise and is home to some of the rarest of New Zealand’s native birds, the Buff Weka which I learned are actually extinct on the mainland.
The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for getting out on the water, the lake was flat as a pancake and the sun was shining – so far, so good. Our guide, Chris, was extremely knowledgeable about the geology and history of the local area and had some fascinating stories to share as we made our way out to the island. The feeling on the boat was nice and relaxed and my toddler even got to have a go at the steering wheel which made his day!
When we arrived on the island I was surprised to see not one, but two, Buff Wekas wandering nonchalantly around next to the boat jetty. I knew the island was a haven for them but I never expected them to be quite so obvious to spot!
We had a leisurely stroll up to the top of the island, stopping on the way to meet some other local residents; the wetas and the geckos. Thanks to the ingenuity of some local students, these critters get to live life in the luxury of their bespoke ‘hotels’, enjoying peace and quiet away from the weka’s beaks.
After half an hour or so we sat down to enjoy a mid-morning cuppa and biscuits overlooking the island’s famous lake, on an island, on a lake, all the while having to keep an eye on our snacks to avoid them being snaffled by the nosy wekas. Chris then led us into the bush to plant a native tree, helping to restore the island to it’s natural state, it was great to feel like we were giving something back to the island and I look forward to going back in a few years to see how much it has grown.
Then came the real icing on the cake of this great morning – I didn’t think the view could get any better, but when we headed 5 minutes further up the island track after morning tea, we were treated to something pretty special. Words won’t do it justice so I am just going to say ‘wow’ and let you look at the photos!
If you like the sound of this adventure and fancy experiencing it for yourself let us know and we’ll get you booked, the lovely Eco Wanaka Adventures team will even pick you up directly from Lime Tree Lodge.