20 minutes off State Highway 8 between Twizel and Omarama is the sign post to the Ohau Wilderness Area. Being off the main highway Lake Ohau is a lesser known region. It is a glacial lake fed by the Hopkins and Dobson rivers which have their headwaters in the Southern Alps. It is the smallest of the three large Mackenzie lakes but is a gateway to a series of stunning valleys offering a variety of walks and tramps for all abilities.
Lake Ohau Lodge is a great place to base yourself if you would rather be catered for and have a comfortable bed each night. There is a dinner, bed and breakfast package and 4 standards of accommodation suiting all budgets. They can provide you with a packed lunch and a map. You can start walking from the Lodge or drive to some of the more seemingly remote valleys 20 minutes drive away.
The Ohau Alpine Village has a number of different properties available for rent and is within walking distance of Lake Middleton which is a small, sheltered and shallow lake suitable for fishing and boating.
There are many valley or river bed walks that are generally quite flat and managed by any fitness level. Once past the end of the lake and into these river valleys you are surrounded by native beech forest and stunning snow capped peaks. The streams are so pristine and sparkling and you feel privileged to be out amongst this grandeur and peace all to yourself.
Further on from these gentle walks are DOC huts for the more serious tramper. They are well appointed and maintained.