Twizel to Lake Ohau

Section 3 – Twizel to Lake Ohau


Up we go today, this is the only section of the A2O trail where the end point is higher that the start. You have a total elevation gain of 150m over the 37Kms. (This is also the only section of National Cycleway in New Zealand that has a Helibike alternative for those looking for a bit of adventure or a more challenging option than cycling alongside the canal.) Cycle along Glen Lyon Road and join up with the Pukaki Canal, one of the canals that help link the massive hydro electricity project together that supplies a third of NZ’s power needs. The modern hydro structures are only possible thanks to the enormous glaciers that originally shaped this landscape during the last ice age. Their evidence is everywhere as you pass over Moraine Walls and see the glacier landscape features that form the natural dams and lakes in this region.

Follow the canal to the Lake Ohau Weir, a concrete structure that allows a part of the original Ohau River to continue to flow.

BE WARNED, the Ohau Weir occasionally becomes impassable after high rainfall or snow melt and there is no other way of crossing the river other than at the weir. Below is the live video feed of the weir from the official webcam. You MUST check that the weir is passable before you leave town, if you get to the weir and it’s in flood, you will have to cycle all the way back to Twizel…

Webcam of the Ohau Weir (updates approx every hour)

Once over the Ohau Weir, you join the dedicated cycletrail that winds around the picturesque shoreline of Lake Ohau. Eventually, you reach the public, sealed Ohau Road to cycle the last few kilometers to Ohau Village or a few more kms to reach Ohau Lodge and the legendary hospitality of hosts Mike, Linda and their son Jock.

Didimo is present in all waterways in this area so please avoid walking or riding through any of the waterways. If you do get your bike or shoes wet from a permanent waterway or lake shore, please make sure you check, clean and dry anything that came into contact with the water. Visit the DOC Information Centre for more about Didimo.

Currently, there is 1 toilet on this section at the weir, so we advise you to carry a Poo Pot (and SheeWee for the ladies). Again this is a dry place, so be sure to take plenty of water. We would not recommend using untreated lake or river water as drinking water.

What To See & Do

Don’t expect shops, restaurants or cafes. Lake Ohau is a remote and very beautiful place with views across the lake waters to the southern alps. On a clear day, you can even see the summit of Aoraki/ Mount Cook from Ohau Lodge. Here it is all about taking in the quiet and reflecting on the ride so far, just relax and unwind!

  • Walk the Freehold Creek Track for up to 2 hours oneway, stunning scenery!
  • Have a drink at the Ohau Lodge and take in the atmosphere.
  • For those who need a good caffeine fix, Ohau Lodge also does great coffee :)

Where to Stay

Ohau Lodge is the only large commercial accommodation provider in this section of the trail. There are holiday homes to rent in Ohau Village but they need to be pre booked and are all self catering. There are no shops, no dairy and no general store once you leave Twizel.


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