Twizel to Lake Ohau



Distance: 38km
Technical Difficulty: Grade 2
Fitness Required: Easy
Trail Overview: A mix of ¾ sealed road and ¼ cycle trail, mostly flat but be aware of potential headwinds on the canal road, especially later in the day, and that Ohau Weir may be impassible after very heavy rain or snow melt, there is a detour route but you will need to plan for it.

A2O Section 3 Twizel to Ohau


This is the only section of the A2O trail where the end point is higher than the start! You have a total elevation gain of 150m over the 37Kms. Cycle along Glen Lyon Road and join up with the Pukaki Canal, one of the canals that help link the massive hydroelectricity project together that supplies around a third of NZ’s total 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 in the first half of this trail 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 road to the Lake Ohau Weir, a concrete structure that allows a part of the original Ohau River to continue to flow.


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.

*** Do not attempt to cross the weir if water is flowing over it. ***

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 follow the detour. The alternate flood route is to follow the highway from Twizel riding south 4km to Lake Ruataniwha. Just opposite the salmon farm by the highway, turn onto the 4WD track alongside the lake. Follow this for 15km to the weir. If the weir is closed it will be noted on the trail status page. The flood route is rough and steep in places and mountain bikes are recommended.

Webcam of the Ohau Weir (updates approx. every hour)

Once over the Ohau Weir, you join the dedicated cycle trail 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 region generally has very low humidity, so be sure to take plenty of water. We would not recommend using untreated lake or river water as drinking water.

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