Mou Waho Island

January 7th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

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.

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Heading out on .

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

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Landing at the beach area.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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9 Responses to “Mou Waho Island”

  1. Dotcom (1,386 comments) says:

    So correct me if I’m wrong. Did you go swim in a lake in an island in a lake in an island?

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  2. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    very cool!

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  3. Dotcom (1,386 comments) says:

    And you say that when you got in it, the whole thing warmed up within a few minutes? Well we knew you were big, but ..

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  4. Feral Kiwi (7 comments) says:

    I was there a couple of days before you visited. It’s a very nice stroll up to the Arethusa Pool. The warmth you felt may have been due to my son and other youngsters doing what youngsters allways seem do when they swim!

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  5. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    where’s that bloody Japanese whaling fleet when you need them ?

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  6. trout (939 comments) says:

    I was told when I was a kid that the level of the pool rose and fell with Lake Hawea. But that was before Hydro works stuffed up the lakes ( and when it was called Pigeon Island). I am not against hydro development but the ruination of the foreshore (caused by fluctuating Lake levels) of Lake Hawea where we used to camp is distressing.

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  7. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    A very nice place – I’ll have to go there!

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  8. pq (728 comments) says:

    jeez farrar this not good enough. I am Otago and already you go more places

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  9. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    I didn’t know about that place. Very cool.

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