Mou Waho Island

We’d heard about Mou Waho Island, as it has a lake within the island which has islands within that lake. Or to put it more clearly there is an island in a lake (Arethusa Pool)  in an island (Mou Waho) in a lake () in an island (South Island) in the ocean!

It is around 20 kms from Wanaka, which is far too far to kayak. You can do guided tours but they costs $150 to $200 a head. We just arranged a boat trip out and back for $400 in total which worked out excellent value.


Heading out on .


Mou Waho Island ahead. Took just 35 minutes, and brilliant views along the way.


Landing at the beach area.


Tea Party Girl, Romeo and Juliet at the landing. The temperature was sweltering at close to 35 degrees.


There is an area where you can camp. Would be a very cool place to camp for a weekend.


We then headed up to the summit. It isn’t a very long track at just over a km, but it is pretty steep as you climb around 200 metres or so via a zig zag path. When you combine it with the 35 degree heat, we were sweltering. But as you can see the views are worth it.


Then almost at the top, is the pool. It wasn’t much warmer than Lake Wanaka, but after that climb, nothing could have kept me out. Yes that is me in the water. Actually after a few minutes it warmed up quite nicely, and there is something cool about swimming in a natural pool or mini-lake at the top of an island with such scenic views.


This is the pool, from the side. Just stunning.


You then can climb a further five minutes or so to a ledge overlooking the pool. From there you get this magnificent view of the pool, and the lake beyond it. In the photo they look like they are almost at the same level, but in reality the pool is at the top of the island.

The views from the top were just unbelievable. In one direction you see snow covered mountains, in another lake views for kms on end.


Another view from up high. A perfect day with the water so still, no clouds, and so hot. Almost too hot!


They also have quite a few wekas on the island, which is in fact a nature reserve. The wekas like to try and get into your bags.