Planting trees & building weta motels

Working with visitors and a range of other partners and volunteers, Eco Wanaka Adventures has planted around 8000 trees on Mou Waho Island and is building 'weta motels' to to allow the endemic weta to survive.


Planting trees

An owner operated activity and tour business with four full-time staff, Eco Wanaka Adventures has planted approximately 8000 trees on Mou Waho Island, helping restore trees on previously bare land, and provide a food source for birds which are now thriving on this predator free haven.

The island was previously farmed and many of its mature trees cut down in the 1800s to build boats. Wilding pines that had begun to take over were also cut down, leaving much of the island bare. 

Eco Wanaka Adventure's planting has been done over a number of years through a combination of planting a tree on every half-day Lake Cruise & Island Nature Walk Tour, and volunteer planting days held since 2007 with the Department of Conservation, Forest & Bird Wanaka, Wanaka Rotary and other community groups and individuals. 

The tree survival rate is monitored on each trip, with an estimated 80% surviving.

This project aligns with Business Commitment 11 - Businesses contribute to ecological restoration initiatives.

Eco Wanak Adventures volunteer tree planting day3

 A volunteer tree planting day.


Building weta motels

Eco Wanaka Adventures is also undertaking the weta motel project. This is a collaborative venture involving the local Mt Aspiring College and DOC to build weta motels that allow the endemic Weta-Hemideina Māori  (Mountain Stone Weta) to survive the reintroduced predator, the Buff Weka. 

The local students with the assistance of their woodwork teacher, Eco Wanaka Adventures and DOC advisors, designed and built more than 40 weta motels. 

The weta motels are opened for monitoring at regular intervals and a good uptake of residents continue to be found!

This project aligns with Business Commitment 14 - Businesses actively engage with their visitors and communities on the importance of restoring, protecting and enhancing New Zealand's natural environment.