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Southern Explorer

Have you got a little extra time, and want a full day activity to explore more of Wanaka on the water?

The full day Southern Explorer is the ideal activity for those keen to experience Wanaka from the water! We’ll take you further into the lake to immerse yourself in the stunning surrounds. Picture the clear blue water reflecting the impressive Southern Alps.

Beginning near the town of Wanaka, your guide will quickly have you paddling through some of the area’s most iconic and beautiful landscapes. Your destination? Mou Waho Island, the “island with a lake, on the lake on the island.”

Laugh at the cheeky wekas while you enjoy a gourmet picnic on the beach. Walk to see the unparalleled view from the top of the island, then just to cap off an epic day, hop on the water taxi. Relax as you take in the scenery on your way back to Wanaka.

If however you are short on time, check out our Tiki Tour. This is our half day guided tour on Lake Wanaka. Ideal activity for families, those new to kayaking, or if you’re on a tight schedule.

**Weight restriction 110kgs per person – please contact us with any enquiries**

· Full day of exploring the lake by kayak and water-taxi
· Gourmet picnic lunch on Mou Waho island
· Includes drinks and our famous brownie!
· Water-taxi ride from the island back to Wanaka
· Operates in most weather conditions - exact routes may vary subject to conditions
· No kayaking experience needed, just reasonable fitness and a sense of adventure!
Departs: 8:00 AM
Allow: 7 hours
Bring: Sunscreen, clothing you don’t mind getting a little wet, a water bottle, a camera, warm clothing if needed. Don’t forget swimwear if you are keen to take a dip!
Includes: Kayaking & light refreshments. Gourmet picnic lunch. Water-taxi ride from Mou Waho Island to Wanaka. Pickup from the Wanaka I-site or your Wanaka accommodation.
The Southern Explorer 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.

Right away, 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. Of course, there will be a stop for morning tea with light beverages and our famous brownies!

Approaching Mou Waho island, the sound of the birds hiding in the native bush carries clearly across the water. After landing, you can give your arms a rest and stretch your legs walking up to the very top of the island. On the way up you will pass the “lake on the island (Mou Waho), on the lake (Wanaka) on the island (New Zealand)”. Mirror flat, you will get amazing photos, and if you are keen, you can go for a dip!

After your walk (or before if you are super hungry!), your guide will whip up a gourmet picnic lunch for you to enjoy on the beach. Food always tastes best when you are outside on an adventure!

By mid-afternoon the water taxi will be blasting towards the island to pick you up. The whole crew, including the boats, will get loaded aboard, and you can relax and reflect as you cruise back to town. Arriving back to the marina, you get a ride back to your pick-up point, where you still have enough time to enjoy a full late afternoon/evening in beautiful Wanaka.
Adult: $349
Child (under 13 years): $299
Cancellation: Customers may cancel or rebook without penalty up to 24 hours prior to trip departure. Cancellations or no-shows after this time will be charged full price.

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 Mou Waho island.

What should I bring?

All you’ll need is active clothing, sunscreen and other sun protection, a water bottle, and maybe your camera. We provide all safety gear, plus a splash jacket and spray skirt to keep you as dry as possible.

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?

You should allow for 8 hours, which includes a few minutes of driving time, about 4 hours of solid kayaking, lunch and picnic time, about an hour of trail walking, and about a 45 minute powerboat ride. If you have a couple of days to spare you may like our Mac Daddy trip.

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 Southern Explorer 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 manouever 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, the Southern Explorer 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.
Great outfit. The weather forecast was not favourable for our original booking. We were contacted straight away and offered other slot - great service. The day - pick up on time, very friendly welcome. Tyler had a very personable style, and he provided an interesting narrative of the area without it feeling like info overload. Proper coffee and brownies provided an awesome stop. All in all, not to be missed - would definitely do it again. Thanks guys. DECEMBER 2019

We decided to do some kayaking and went for the day explorer trip. Bex was super helpful with sorting the booking out. We were picked up at our accommodation and not long after were on the water. Despite not having much prior experience of kayaking, our guide Kat was great at showing us what to do, not rushing us, giving helpful tips and info on the local area as we peacefully paddled along. We went in a double kayak which was good as it meant one person could occasionally take a rest. There was plenty of space on board to store our bags, and generally we did not get very wet at all. The mid-way stop point was a bonus with tea and a delicious brownie to keep us going for to the island. It was a long paddle, but the weather and conditions were superb meaning it was not too strenuous, although seeing the island in site was a good motivator to keep paddling. The walk to the view point on the island was well worth it for some (more) great views. Kat took pictures of us throughout so we have some great memories in picture of the day. And then lunch was plentiful and nice too. Then a motor boat ride back to Wanaka and lift back to our accommodation. I would definitely recommend this trip, even if you don't have much experience.
Allow 7 Hours
Southern Explorer