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.