We set out on Lake Wanaka today with Wanaka Cruises to Mou Waho Island, one of 4 islands in the lake.
Mou Waho island has been cleared of introduced pests & predators (rats, stoats and possums) creating a reserve with diverse birdlife. The flightless Buff Weka has been ‘extinct’ on the mainland since 1920 but thrives on Mou Waho.
Students from a local high school have made ‘weta motels’ out of tree logs to harbor and protect the weta, a huge endemic insect whose history dates back to before the dinosaurs!
In the middle of Mou Waho Island is a small lake called the Arethusa Pool.
Just across the channel is the low point of a peninsula. It wouldn’t take much more water for the right side to become an island.
Back in town, lunch was a seriously juicy, messy burger with red pepper relish and caramelized onion – we definitely needed to wash our hands when we were done!
Then we checked out the local Lavender Farm where we tasted some wonderful honey and sampled their lavender ice cream!
Tomorrow is our last day in Wanaka – the plan is another hike if the weather holds.