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“Mou Waho - absolutely brilliant”

Eco Wanaka Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Eco Wanaka Lake, Island and Mountain Adventures offers - Lake Cruise & island Walk - Rare flightless birds, a magical lake on top of an island and a unique opportunity to plant a native tree as part of this eco-experience. Rob Roy Glacier Guided Trek - The World Heritage area's Jewel, Rob Roy has it all! Swingbridge, Rainforest, waterfalls, icefalls, and comical Keas all in one day! Walk in "THE HOBBIT's" footsteps - The Misty Mountains Heli Hike starts at 2100m, on the very set that was used in all 3 trilogies - With 3 "Lord of the Rings" film sites also seen from this paramount site. Magical panoramas can be seen from this commanding site from the movie featured, glacier cloaked Mt Aspiring at 3033m to the Laketown of Wanaka far below! 1400m above worry level- The Alpine Lakes Heli Hike is a pure wilderness experience- 3 pristine emerald clear lakes with a commanding view of the Matukituki Valley - As easy or as challenging as you like, this incredible World Heritage area is part of the glaciated Mt Aspiring National Park. Just stunning photographic views!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 27, 2014

If you only have a short time in Wanaka, then this must be on top of the list. If you are in Wanaka for a while and don't do the trip to Mou Waho island, then big mistake. This was the highlight of a trip to Wanaka, made so not just by the chance to visit Mou Waho and see the rare Buff Weka and boss bird "Wally", but also by experiencing the knowledge and care of guide Chris Riley, He knows his stuff; expert naturalist, historian, weather watcher and boatman. We've both worked in Antarctica and was also a great chance to share stories. The weather was marginal, but that's part of the whole New Zealand experience and the threatening clouds only enhanced the photos. I would rate the trip a 6 out 5. Chris, many thanks for a top day - from K&G.

Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecowanaka, Owner at Eco Wanaka Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

Our pleasure, we love to hear your stories as well, as we have lots of time to chat on this easy paced tour of magic Mou Waho Island! - Lots of fun to be had out there!

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"chris riley"
in 38 reviews
"mou waho island"
in 68 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 24 reviews
"lake cruise"
in 18 reviews
"nature walk"
in 20 reviews
"buff weka"
in 12 reviews
"tea and biscuits"
in 12 reviews
"tree planting"
in 6 reviews
"new zealand"
in 44 reviews
"nature reserve"
in 7 reviews
"special island"
in 4 reviews
"european settlers"
in 3 reviews
"free environment"
in 3 reviews
"heli hike"
in 8 reviews
"conservation work"
in 4 reviews
"flightless birds"
in 3 reviews
"his passion"
in 9 reviews
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153 - 157 of 291 reviews

Reviewed April 17, 2014

We did the cruise and hike of Mou Waho Island with Chris Riley. He was an unbelievable guide. Not only was the hike and information spectacular, but Chris, with his vast knowledge and contagious enthusiasm made it the perfect outing. It was one of many highlights of our New Zealand vacation, and Chris was absolutely the perfect representative for the eco culture of New Zealand. The walk was steep, but done at a great pace, allowing for time to catch your breath while learning more about the wildlife and the protection of species. The views and the knowledge of the "layers" you are seeing .....island on a lake on a island, on a lake, on an island country on the ocean.....you'll never see anything like this and Chris and Eco Wanaka Adventures is the perfect combination.

Thank Sooz S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecowanaka, Owner at Eco Wanaka Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

Our pleasure to show off this little slice pure New Zealand Heaven to to you,
truly a unique place, with an island on a lake on an island on a lake on an island in the ocean....
Thanks!

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Reviewed March 21, 2014

We did the cruise and island walk with Chris Riley. It was a great opportunity to see more remote parts of Lake Wanaka and Chris was brimming with information - about glaciers, the eating habits of moa birds, the history of the island and its wekas. The wekas (birds) were introduced onto the island in a, happily, successful bid to save them from being ravaged by introduced species on the mainland.
The walk was beautifully paced and crafted to best show off the island's wonderful natural attractions, as well as the ever present and curious wekas.

Thank Helen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecowanaka, Owner at Eco Wanaka Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

The Buff Weka became extinct on Mainland NZ in 1920.
Luckily 12 birds wellover 100 years ago were taken to a remote set of islands 680 km offshore that were introduced predator free, or this complete species would be extinct.
Mou Waho Island is the only place in NZ that you can see these flightless birds in large numbers on Mainland NZ. -They cannot survive on the Mainland unless they are completely isolated in an enclosure due to the "Ecologically naive" vulerable traits of this particular species.
Proud to be able to showcase this unique comical innocent bird to you!

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our personally guided drive along the valley and sheep, deer, cattle stations with stunning mountain views. Graham, our, guide, provided commentary about the families, plants, trees, and geology of the area as we hiked through Mt Aspiring National Park. A plentiful and tasty lunch was spread upon a tarp as we leisurely enjoyed the glacier view and cracking of an ice chunk. The clear blue waters of the river are gorgeous.

Thank Ron W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecowanaka, Owner at Eco Wanaka Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

This truly is the best one day walk in NZ- Full stop.

Farm animals, swing bridge, rain forest, waterfalls, alpine plants, glacier and icefalls calving off while you have your leisurely lunch....
A magic Valley, we show you it's hidden secrets as well...
Thank you for a good description of the visual smorgasbord, that is our Rob Roy Glacier Guided Walk!

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Reviewed March 15, 2014

We did the cruise and hike at Mou Waho Island. Andy was our guide and was very friendly and knowledgable. I think it's amazing the lengths that have been taken to give a safe habitat to endangered species. The views were amazing and the Weka were very friendly. At the top of the island, is the lake. But more importantly, there are 360 panoramic views with not a sign of civilization in sight. The hike is only slightly strenuous and is done at a leisurely pace.

We had onboard, 3 members of DOC who had to be dropped off at Mou Tapu Island to see if it's a suitable habitat to relocate a native lizard. When picking them up, we got the added bonus of a scenic trip around that island.

My only disappointment was that we never got to meet Chris Riley, who I have read so much about.

Thank deSchenke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ecowanaka, Owner at Eco Wanaka Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2015

We work closely with the Department of Conservation, on restoration of NZ, back to it's original form, we have planted over 6000 native trees on Mou Waho Island , through a unique agreement with DOC, with the seeds of these trees sourced from the island and close by, raised and returned back to resore the original full ecosystem to Mou Waho - A gratifying project with the trees already feeding the birds! thank you for the glowing review, we do our best for the environment!

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