A Buff weka on Mou Waho Island. © Lake Wānaka Tourism

Visit a lake on an island in a lake in Wānaka


On Wānaka’s Mou Waho Island, you can have the surreal experience of swimming in a lake on an island on a lake.  

Mou Waho, which means ‘outer island’ is the largest of four islands on Lake Wānaka, including Te Peka Karara, Mou Tapu and Ruby Island. 

In the middle of Mou Waho you’ll find the glacially-scoured Arethusa Pool (aka Moutimu in Māori, or Paradise Lake) which sits 150 metres above the main lake level.

Today, the island is a pest-free haven for native wildlife including the mountain stone wētā, the Southern Alps gecko and more than 200 rare and curious Buff weka that have been extinct on mainland New Zealand since 1920. 

Take a scenic boat cruise across Lake Wānaka to reach the island and explore the unique and mind-twisting landscape. 

More stories like this

Find out more


Loop around Queenstown's Moke Lake

On the outskirts of Queenstown you’ll find Moke Lake – a serene and scenic spot surrounded by mountains.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more


Find serenity at Bob's Cove

Unlike the ubiquitous mountain vistas on many of the walks around Queenstown, Bob’s Cove is a short, family-friendly stroll that explores the lower terrain around Lake Wakatipu.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more


Get lakeside in Wānaka

There’s something about spending time next to a lake that’s good for your soul. In Wānaka, the lake is so picturesque you may never want to leave. Read the story . . .