Looking to have a proper adventure and get out camping like a local? The Mac Daddy is our premium tour, giving you a fully catered 2 day, 1 night camping trip on Lake Wanaka.
Did we mention you’ll be sleeping on an island? Clear blue water, gourmet meals, rustic but comfortable camping, southern night stars on the beach, cheeky wekas, expert guides, sunrise over the Southern Alps, we could go on and on and on. It’s a true Kiwi experience, so what are you waiting for?
Our experienced guides will quickly have both novices and experienced feeling at ease on the water. Their depth of knowledge of local history will keep you entertained and the tasty food prepared on route will make this trip the highlight of your visit!
These overnight tours operate between 1st October – April 30. All trips are weather dependent.
• All camping & kayaking equipment supplied.
• Approximately 4 hours of kayaking per day (13km / day)
• Enjoy a relaxing island walk
• No experience necessary, intermediate fitness required
• Fully catered: lunch, dinner, breakfast, tea, water, coffee and snacks
• Power boat assisted
• 2 days of exploring the lake by kayak and water-taxi
• Fully equipped camping on Mou Waho island
• Gourmet picnic or barbeque style meals (lunches, dinner, breakfast, snacks and refreshments)
• Optional sunrise walk to the top of Mou Waho island (highly recommended!)
• Water-taxi rides as needed
• Operates in all weather conditions
• No kayaking experience needed, just reasonable fitness and a sense of adventure!
• Can be tailored to many different group needs and interests, just contact us to enquire!
Departs: 8:00 AM
Allow: Full day on Day 1, finishes approximately 3:30 PM on Day 2
Bring: Sunscreen, clothing you don’t mind getting a little wet (no jeans, preferably no cotton), a water bottle, a camera, warm clothing for overnight, toiletries & medications, other small personal items you may need. If you have your own preferred sleeping bag & pillow you are welcome to bring those, otherwise they will be provided for you. Don’t forget swimwear if you are keen to take a dip!
Includes: Kayaking & water taxi transport as needed. Gourmet picnic & barbeque style meals (lunches, breakfast, dinner, snacks and refreshments). All camping equipment. Pickup from the Wanaka I-site or your Wanaka accommodation.
The Mac Daddy starts with you meeting one of your guides, either at the Wanaka I-site or right at your accommodation door! From there, it’s a quick drive down to the lake, where you will arrive at the starting point for your epic adventure.
After packing the boats with your personal gear, you’ll get your safety gear on, get a kayaking skills lesson, and get on the water! You have a 16 km paddle ahead of you, but there is plenty of time, so you can take lots of photos and enjoy the experience of exploring at lake level. On the way, your guide will share with you stories about the history, environment, and legends surrounding Wanaka. There will be stops for morning tea and a picnic lunch, so you definitely will not go hungry on this trip!
Arriving at Mou Waho island in the mid-afternoon will give you lots of time to get your personal tent organized. Luckily they’ll already be set up when you arrive, so this won’t take long! Then you might want to take a swim off the beach, go for a little nature walk, or just chat with your fellow paddlers over a cup of afternoon coffee on the beach. Watch where you leave your things though, the cheeky wekas on the island just love to snatch shiny objects for a closer look!
Your guide has a few culinary tricks up their sleeve, so your evening meal will be a treat! Don’t forget to leave room for dessert!
As the sun goes down you may want to put on a jacket, but being out in the cool night air is worth it as the stars of the southern sky start to appear, so dense in the sky it’s hard to believe that it’s real. When you’ve had your fill, you can climb into your cozy tent for a well -deserved night’s sleep.
If you are keen in the morning, your guide will have some coffee and fruit ready for you to have a quick bite before you head up to the viewpoint at the top of Mou Waho to watch the sunrise over the Southern Alps. While totally optional, this is an absolute highlight of the trip, and worth the early morning walk. There’s no rush to get back down for breakfast, so you can enjoy the stunning spectacle for as long as you like.
When you are ready to head back down, your guide will have a filling cooked breakfast waiting for you. When you’ve had your fill, you’ll start packing up your personal gear and loading it back into the kayaks. Now your leisurely day 2 paddle begins, and you can start to explore some of the most remote corners of Lake Wanaka. Waterfalls, beaches, and swims are all possibilities for you to enjoy.
By early afternoon, you may still be a long way from the town of Wanaka, but that doesn’t matter, since you’ll have a water-taxi coming to pick you up. Your group and the boats will be loaded up, and then you’ll enjoy a scenic cruise all the way back to the marina. Once back in town, you’ll say your final farewells and get dropped off back where you began.
Child (under 13 years): $899
What do I wear?
You will want to wear clothing that you don’t mind getting a little wet. You won’t get soaked, but a little bit of splashing is normal. Dress in clothing that is active and appropriate for the weather. You will also want to bring shoes that you can walk in to the top of the island.
What should I bring?
You will have two bags to pack:
1) A day bag for kayaking. This should include clothing you don’t mind getting a little wet, suncream, water and maybe your camera. We provide all safety gear, plus a splash jacket and spray skirt to keep you as dry as possible
2) An overnight bag which will meet you at the island. This should include warm clothing for overnight, toiletries & medications, other small personal items you may need. If you have your own torch , preferred sleeping bag & pillow you are welcome to bring those, otherwise they will be provided for you. Don’t forget swimwear if you are keen to take a dip!
Do I need to be experienced?
You do not need to have any kayaking experience, but a reasonable level of fitness is good since you have a full day of kayaking ahead of you!
How long does it take?
This is a 2 day trip. We start at 8am on Day 1 and aim to have you home by 4pm on following day. You will have about 4 hours of solid kayaking each day, with various breaks for lunch, refreshments and sightseeing along the way.
Do I need to be able to swim?
You do not need to be able to swim, but please let your guide know so that they can make sure you are comfortable on the water.
Can we have a private tour?
Yes! Please contact us by phone or email for prices and if you would like to book a private tour.
Will I fall in?
The kayaks we use for our Mac Daddy tours are very stable, so it is unlikely that you will fall in. Your guide will be there to help you learn to use your boat and show you how to manoeuvre it safely, as well as to assist if you have any difficulties.
Will I get wet?
We will try and keep you as dry as possible, but getting a little wet from the splashing of your paddle is normal.
What type of kayak do you use?
We use a double sea kayak with a simple rudder system called a Mission Eco Niizh. They are very stable and hold a lot of gear.
What weather do you kayak in?
We go rain or shine! If there’s a lot of wind around making the lake choppy, we know some great sheltered spots where we can still go kayaking!
How far do we kayak?
Generally, on Day 1 the Mac Daddy goes about 16 km from the town of Wanaka to Mou Waho Island. If we are unable to make it all the way to the island in time, the water-taxi will be there to assist with getting the rest of the way. On Day 2, the paddle is much more leisurely; we'll show you the more remote parts of Lake Wanaka and will be picked up by powerboat to take us back to town by early afternoon.
Many many thanks to everybody at Paddle Wanaka and especially to our guide Austin for our two day trip to Mou Waho. We had a brilliant time, stops for coffe, cake and swims along the way, getting to the island which we were lucky to have to ourselves (and the Weka), and swims in the lake on Mou Waho followed by a lovely dinner. The next day the winds turned but Austin and Craig sorted a perfect alternative route. Austin was the perfect guide, lots of local knowledge with a very easy going manner and a great cook and host. With added duck rescue at the end :-) JANUARY 2020