Lake Ohau Lodge is on the newly developed Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail www.alps2ocean.com.
The section around the bottom of the lake from Twizel to the Lodge meanders around the edge of the lake taking in wee bays always under the powerful shadow of Ben Ohau. Once on the road it is a steady ride to the Lodge for a coffee, lunch or a night's stay.
The next day the hill climb over to Omarama is quite stunning. The views are expansive and if you look back you see all the way up the Hopkins Valley to Aoraki Mt Cook and looking east you can see much of the Mackenzie Basin and Lake Benmore. There is a steady climb taking in a beautiful piece of native beech forest and once at the top of the 300m climb the downhill section along a 4WD farm track with long grass on a still summer day is sensational!.
There are numerous walks and mountain bike trails around the Lake Ohau area. You can just go down to the lake and wander either way, left is best along the road that goes through the beech forest. In summer you can get a key from reception and drive up to Ohau Snow Fields and walk on the mountain from where the view is spectacular.
If you are happy to get in your car and drive further up the valley there are some great walks. The shortest one is the Temple view walk and is 1hr return in beautiful beech forest with some lovely streams. At the Temple Forest there is also a 5hr return walk up the north branch of the Temple stream which is the loveliest. You must make the end though because it is superb.
Further up the valley if you have a mountain bike or high wheelbase 4WD, you can drive to Monument Hut and walk or 1½ hrs to the Huxley Gorge swing-bridge and back. Crystal clear streams, beautiful open valley and again, lovely native beech forest.
If you are feeling more adventurous and want to stay out for a night you could walk over the river to Red Hut. From the Lodge you can walk up the Ohau Snow Fields road and take the track to Freehold Creek which is another lovely beech forest.
The walk across the foothills gives you plenty of time to appreciate the surrounding landscape.
Mt Cook is 1 ¼ hrs away by car. A number of spectacular walks are in this area. In particular, the Hooker Valley which is approximately 3hrs. The new Edmund Hillary Centre has a fabulous 15min movie which is recommended viewing.
These are wonderfully worn clay formations reminiscent of the cowboy canyons in a small version and are opposite Omarama. Get directions from reception.
If you need any help with places to go, things to do or “must sees” on your trip around the South Island ask for Louise’s growing list of suggestions and itinerary.