Mou Waho

Mou Waho

Maps

Information

2.6 km return | 1 hour 15 minutes return

Mou Waho is most celebrated for Arethusa Pool, where there is a small rock protruding above the stagnant lake level. This makes it an island on a lake on an island on a lake on an island in the ocean.

Access

You will need a watercraft to access the island and good knowledge of Lake Wanaka’s weather conditions.
Paddle Wanaka run trips out there.
https://www.paddlewanaka.co.nz/

Track

From the picnic area and toilet, the track winds up through the tea tree forest to Arethusa Pool.

It’s a short climb to the summit.

Be careful of the drop offs!

Geology

Mou Waho is 120 in size and is a resistance cap of rock, which was not bulldozed by the advancing Wanaka glacier. Arethusa Pool is a glacially scoured hollow.

Flora

All of the original matai and totara forest was destroyed by successive fires. It is now regenerating tea tree.

Fauna

The island was declared pest free in 1995. It is a sanctuary for the mountain stone weta and the Southern Alps gecko.

200 buff weka make their home here, following introduction from the Chathams in 2004. This subspecies was extinct on the mainland since 1920, exiled to the Chathams and then reintroduced. Wally and Sally are the favourites and their colleagues love scrounging for tidbits. This is tantamount to junk food for them, so let them forage.

European History

In 1863 Alfred Pinn established a wharf and cottage on the island.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

South IslandWanaka RegionWanaka Township

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

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DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner