Ben Ohau

The walk to the top of Ben Ohau takes a good half to full day, depending on how leisurely you want to take it. At the top there are 360 degree views of the MacKenzie Basin and lakes Ohau, Pukaki, Benmore and Ruataniwha.

List Status Official
Elevation 1,522 m (4,993 ft)
Location/List South Island, New Zealand
Region Canterbury
Location Coordinates 44° 15′ 37″ S, 169° 54′ 28″ E
Nearest Town/s Twizel
Range Ben Ohau Range
Geology Sedimentary
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 4-5 hours (return)
Distance 11.0 km (6.8 mi)
Start/End Points The track is located off Glen Lyon Road which travels around the eastern edge of Lake Ohau.
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif 4WD Road
Season Help.gif Summer, autumn. Could be attempted at other times of year if not snow-covered.
Sights Views , 360 degree views of the MacKenzie Basin
Hazards Snow, Ice

Getting There

By Car

To get there by car, take Glen Lyon Road from near Twizel. It’s probably a good idea to refer to a map as you’ll need to negotiate a canal or two before you you get to the end of the road where the carpark is! Eventually you will find a carpark and a DOC sign on the eastern side of Lake Ohau, that indicates the start of the walk.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

A DOC sign indicates the start of the walk up Ben Ohau. Follow the farm road up through remnant beech forest and up the western flank of Ben Ohau Peak. Eventually you reach a saddle where a fence line crosses the track. From the saddle, the route leaves the road, and you’ll need to scramble a further 152 metres to the summit of Ben Ohau Peak at 1522 metres.

At the top there are 360 degree views of the MacKenzie Basin and lakes Ohau, Pukaki, Benmore and Ruataniwha. On a nice day you can have lunch on the top.

Take plenty of water as much of the walk is in the sun. In winter and in westerly wind conditions, it can be cold.

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We choose to stay in a bach or holiday house when on our trips - which you can book through Bookabach.
Or for more accommodation options, we recommend finding a hotel or motel on
For car hire, you can book from Snap Rentals- with pickup locations at Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Christchurch Airport, Queenstown Airport, and Queenstown Town Centre
Once back from your hike, treat yourself to a beer from Behemoth Brewing