Ben Ohau Peak Walk

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From the car park near Gretas Stream, follow the old 4WD track as it climbs past an old rabbiter’s hut and mountain beech forest. Once you have passed the forest, there is no shade from here on out.

The track continues to climb steeply as it zigzags up the mountainside. At almost 1000 meters of elevation gain, this walk is not for the faint of heart. But it most definitely makes the views from the top all the more rewarding.

When you have made it to 1370 meters, you will reach a saddle where a fence link crosses the track. This is technically the end of the walk, the peak as they say. However, if you want to reach the summit, there is another 152 meters to climb for a maximum elevation of 1522 meters. This final stretch leaves the road behind and takes you through scree and tussock slopes. 

The summit of Ben Ohau is the perfect place to take in the views of the entire Mackenzie basin, as it offers uninterrupted views in every direction.

In winter and in westerly wind conditions walkers should be prepared for very cold temperatures—after all, ‘O hau’ means wind.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Twizel, South Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 4 hour walk
        • Distance: 5 km
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Bikes allowed: Unknown
        • Route: Return
        • Elevation: 78 m
        • Wet Feet: Unknown
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: Unknown
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
        • Last Updated: May, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    This track offers views of the 4 surrounding lakes: Ohau, Pukaki, Benmore and the man-made Lake Ruataniwha. The summit has 360 degree views of the Mackenzie Basin.

  • Track Quality

    The track is flat and is a mixture of gravelled road and grassland.

  • Hazards

    Snow and slippery terrain in winter.

  • Transport

    No—Though Twizel is accessible on bus connections, Lake Ohau and surroundings is not.

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    The start of this walk is 23 km from Twizel along Glen Lyon Road, on the eastern side of Lake Ohau. There is a car park next to Gretas Stream where there is a DOC signpost for the start of the walk.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    The closest shops and restaurants are in Twizel.

  • Area & Track History

    The town of Twizel was meant to temporarily house the construction workers of the nearby Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme. It was meant to be reverted back to farmland afterwards. Now Twizel is the largest town in the Mackenzie District. A lot of the town is made up of holiday homes so the population of the town nearly triples in summer months. Twizel is the perfect base to access the rest of the Mackenzie Region such as Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

Map of Ben Ohau Peak Walk

Here is the map for Ben Ohau Peak Walk showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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