TRAVEL
07/30/2015 04:34 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2015

Mou Waho Scenic Reserve Is The Stunning Island You've Never Heard Of

An island in a lake in an island in a lake in an island in the ocean.

Mou Waho Scenic Reserve, a peaceful green island in the middle of New Zealand's Lake Wanaka, has a feature that might twist your brain.

Near its summit is another little lake, called Arethusa Pool, which has an islet. As this visitor explains with helpful hand gestures, that islet is a very small island, in a lake, in an island, in a lake, in an island, in the ocean. Jump into it and you might enter the fourth dimension. Or Mordor. We're not brave enough to try.

We'll stick to the trails, where you can find plants, insects and birds that have all but disappeared from mainland New Zealand, such as Buff Weka, rare flightless birds the New Zealand Department of Conservancy describes as "famously feisty and curious."

All it takes to get there is a 30-minute boat ride through beautiful Lake Wanaka, which is roughly a five and a half hours' drive from Christchurch. New Zealand's fourth largest lake, Wanaka was carved out by glaciers 20,000 years ago.

Mou Waho offers breathtaking views of Mount Aspiring National Park, Mount Alta and Glendhu Bay.

In other words, it's everything we love about New Zealand -- just pocket-sized.

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