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“One of our most favorite days...”

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 1 May 2013

We were lucky enough to have a guided tour of Mou Waho Island with Chris Riley during our honeymoon. We roadtripped both the North and South Islands, and we had a number of incredible experiences. This tour was one of the best, though. Chris was incredibly knowledgeable about Mou Waho, which made our experience not only informative but also so much fun. We experienced some of the most stunning views of our trip here, interacted with Wally the Weka, and planted a tree to give back to the island. Our only regret is that we did not stay in Wanaka longer and book another day with Chris. If you are in Wanaka, Eco Adventures is an absolute must. We look forward to seeing Chris when we return in 10 years!

Thank rtw2101
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 5 December 2013

You are going to be amazed how tall your tree will be in 10 years! Bring your kids and plant another!
The growing seasons have been ideal here, with good ground water and 25- 35 deg C days and lush new growth.
Great to see you two enjoying your special time together on this very photogenic island- the perfect place for those pristine honeymoon shots with a spectacular backdrop!

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Reviews (268)
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156 - 160 of 268 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2013

We were lucky enough to do a late afternoon tour proprietor Chris Riley in February. There we only four people on the tour, making for a highly personalised experience. Chris's knowledge and passion for the island, its wildlife and history was infectious. From handling a moa leg bone on the way over to getting to meet one of the first wekas introduced to the island as part of a conservation program to seeing the beautiful lake on top of the island, the tour was one highlight after another. The tour's strong conservation focus was evident from the word go, culminating in planting an indigenous cabbage tree as part of a revegetation effort. Chris has the ability to inform and entertain at the same time, making the total experience memorable and worthwhile. This tour should definitely be on the "must do" list of anyone visiting NZ who has even the slightest interest in NZ's amazing natural environment. David and Annie, Adelaide, South Australia

Thank David E
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 5 December 2013

Thanks for the review, we are happy to report that that of original Buff Weka liberated back on this Island 10 years ago, (This species is extinct on Mainland NZ), there seems to be only one of the original 30 birds liberated left, with his band on his leg, Wally Weka and his lifetime partner for 10 years, Sally, have had their 18th Chick this year! There are Now about 250 Wekas thriving on this island.
6 week old Piri Weka is about to be weaned/booted out of their territory, to find a mate and his own territory, as today Wally was getting a bit too amorous with Sally right in front of us...Get a Haircut and get a real job son! says Wally!

Maybe we will crack 20 chicks this Autumn from this productive Pair. Not bad for a territorial Bird with a lifespan of 16 years...

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Reviewed 16 April 2013

So many operators use the words 'Eco Tours' but this is one experience that really is that. Chris has been doing this for a long time and it shows, what he doesn't know about this area is probably not worth knowing and his enthusiasm is infectious.
He is really giving back to the community and environment in a way you just don't see other 'Eco Tour' operators doing.
Mou Waho Island is an amazing spot and the views from the top of the island pretty special.
Thanks for the great day Chris.

Thank wellsynz
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ecowanaka, Owner at Eco Wanaka Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

We just do what we should do to all our special places in NZ-
Be the Kaitiaki (Guardian) of the Nature on the Island, we are just another species on this land, we must tread carefully, and give back where we have taken-
Morally we feel better and our guests do too, when we plant a tree on every visit to this unique nature reserve island, leaving it in better condition than when we arrived.-Nice.

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Reviewed 9 April 2013

We had an amazing day on the island of Mou Waho in the middle of lake Wannaka. The weather was beautiful and our host Chris was both knowledgeable and interesting for both us and our children aged 8, 6 & 3. He told us much about the local history vegetation and wildlife and was very passionate about the preservation of the native species. We saw a number of Wekas, the flightless birds that live on the island & had snacks and tea with one next to the lake on the top of the island. The children planted an indigenous tree on the island as part of it's future preservation & we really felt it was important for them to understand the need to conserve and protect the natural habitat. The walk up to the top of the island is fairly steep and takes about 30 mins but our 3 year old managed it (trying to keep up with her older brothers!) the hike was worth it as the views from the top were beautiful with not a dwelling or car in sight. The only thing you need to take are sunhats, sunscreen, bugspray and of course camera! The trip lasted about 3hours. The whole time Chris kept us enthralled by legends of now extinct birds & mammals & facts about the Wekas & local fish. We would reommend this trip to families as a great afternoon excursion away from the town itself with spectacular views.

Thank Guys141003
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 5 December 2013

Thanks for this glowing review, this is a little child's Treasure Island- we really get a kick out of teaching a little natural history with a lot of fun thrown in on these trips for kids of all ages.

The children planting a tree, then showing them one we planted seven years ago, to see how big it has grown, and how it is already feeding the birds on the island is "Hands on" educational conservation at work,.
We love doing it and we love to show this special jewel of Lake Wanaka off!

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Reviewed 24 March 2013

Our objective was to be tourists on Lake Wanaka for part of a day. From the information centre near the lake we selected an afternoon Lake Cruise & Island Nature Walk with Eco Wanaka Adventures.

It turned out to be an excellent trip to Mou Waho Island, previously known as Pigeon Island.

The skipper and guide, Chris Riley, gave a comprehensive description of the peaceful island, its precious wildlife and its vegetation. Our understanding of the strategic location and ecological environment of the island increased. We walked up to the island lake and helped plant a tree on the way down. We enjoyed being tourists in a unique part of the Wanaka area.

Thank Arkense
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 5 December 2013

Thanks for your post, interesting the early name of Pigeon Island - One of the largest pigeons in the world live and at the moment are nesting on this lush predator free Island.
The size of a small Turkey, with the brain the size of a pea, these noisy fliers gorge themselves on the fermented native Wineberries, to the point they are 5 times over the legal limit, then bumble/fly to a roost in the afternoons to sleep off a big hangover in a cool tree, that is, if they can manage to stay on the branch!

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