With Eco Wanaka Adventures

" A lake on an island, on a lake on an island, in the ocean " We joined Eco Wanaka adventures for a lake cruise and nature walk to the remote and magical Mou Waho Island Nature Reserve in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.

The boat ride was an adventure in itself, with much story-telling and sight-seeing along the way.

Once docked at the island, we hiked up to the Arethusa Pool, stopping many times along the way to admire the scenery.

Chris, our extremely funny, friendly and knowledgeable guide taught us many interesting things about the island and its inhabitants.

Including about the cute and rare flightless Buff Weka, the Southern Alps Gecko, as well as the famous Weta (amongst many other species of bird and plant life on the island).

Once at the top, we paused for 'high tea', and to our amusement a cheeky Weka took a few stolen sips.

We learned much about this fragile ecosystem, including efforts to protect the rare creatures from predators.

This island sanctuary represents the greatest chance for the rare species to survive

It is tradition for Eco Wanaka Adventures to plant a tree for every visit they make to the island. This ensures there is plenty of native food for the occupants and allows them to thrive unhindered by the risk of predators.

'Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints'

This tree-planting being the only exception to this rule.

The whole experience was like venturing to a lost world, with a most charming and enigmatic guide to deliver us anecdotal tales along the way. An experience we would love to repeat, and will never forget. X

Story and pictures by @oftwolands - - @LakeWanakaNZ #lovewanaka - #stellerwander #stellerstories #stelleradventure #travel #newzealand #places #hiking #animals #ecotourism #adventure #action #outdoors #island #mountains #wanaka