"LAKE OHAU" Lake Ohau by kiwi

Lake Ohau Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 33 photos

Ohau - Place of Hau; Place of wind.
Lake Ohau is a fun adventure full place to visit. Located in the area known as the MacKenzie Basin, this is a must see. En route from Christchurch to Queenstown on Highway 8, Lake Ohau is near Twizel. Created by glacial retreat, the lake is 60km2.
Some activities you can take part in here are trout fishing, skiing, gliding, mountain biking, sailing and climbing, trekking and hiking. The best way to see this area is by air. You can arrange flights from Tekapo. For gliding you must go to Omarama airfield to the South of Ohau.


Here is the view from the verandah of Lake Ohau Lodge. This place is popular with skiers and the family owners of the Lodge also own and operate the boutique skifield nearby. NZ's smallest but by no means insignificant skifield.
This is indeed a unique and special place.
"OHAU: Where time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana."
This quote was so memorable and maybe not at all understandable, that they printed it on the sweatshirts sold at the Lodge.


Temple Forest is situated at the north end of Lake Ohau. It is a predominently Beech forest and the trees are very old for this part of the world. You need to drive past the head of the lake and the picnic area is signposted. There is a carpark and a shelter hut at the entrance to the track. Be sure to write your intentions in the book before you head into the forest. Remember here the weather can change in a very short time and without notice. The weather can be extreme here at any time of year and be prepared for all conditions.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The scenery is stunning, the skiing divine and the Lake is gorgeous.
  • Cons:The weather conditions can change very quickly and this is an isolated location.
  • In a nutshell:From the mountains to the sky, you can reach them all.
  • Last visit to Lake Ohau: Jan 1999
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (6)

Comments (12)

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2007 at 9:17 PM

    Looks like a good place to detour to as we travel back to Christchurch from Wanaka next year - we're always loking out for somewhere new as well as revi8siting old favourites. Cheers - leyle

  • DONBURGESS's Profile Photo
    Nov 2, 2004 at 2:21 AM

    Hi there Kiwi Would have been nice to hook up when i was over there maybe next time i'm there Don

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2004 at 2:30 AM

    What a lovely bunch of exotic places you've got down there!

  • seamandrew's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2003 at 1:46 PM

    This will have to be added to our places to visit list for our trip to New Zealand in 2005. It is the type of place I can see myself spending a lifetime in!

  • storyin's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2003 at 7:09 PM

    I remember those beautiful lakes in NZ .... thank you ...

  • jide08's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2003 at 3:16 AM

    The same light blue colour for the lake and greyish brown for the mountain that reminds me of my trip to the south island a few years ago.

  • lenoreva's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2003 at 6:14 AM

    very nice off-the-beaten path place - I will keep it mind.

  • Kristina1701's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2003 at 4:27 AM

    interesting page

  • tessy's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2003 at 2:14 PM

    Fantastic pics and tips! Like the road rules! Having priority without a driving license!

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2003 at 5:37 AM

    Oh yes. Lovely page. (Forgot that I could rate for accuracy, I can so rarely do that, and I had to go back and do it.)


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