Overall Rating

Ohau

Ohau3.5/56
Ohau3.5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Ohau - Reviews

Ohau - Reviews

A Gem

POWDERHOUNDS.COM09/09/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

A Gem

POWDERHOUNDS.COM09/09/2015
On our second visit to Ohau ski field and the lodge, we were equally impressed. Staying at the Lake Ohau Lodge is a very special experience, soaking up those views and enjoying the conviviality of the place.

Once again the ski field was utterly uncrowded and a complete contrast to another NZ ski field that we’d just visited which had ridiculously long lift queues. This time we went for a hike up to the top and over into Hemi’s which was just amazing: great terrain and no tracks. This area is definitely only for those with backcountry know-how.

Our thoughts on the pros and cons of Ohau are outlined on the overview page. Also see our ski resort ratings to see how we rate Ohau versus other ski resorts but keep in mind that the ratings don’t take into account how fantastic the Lake Ohau Lodge is.

Can't help but go back every year

Brendan27/03/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Can't help but go back every year

Brendan27/03/2015
My friends and I go back to Ohau every year and stay at the Lodge and always have a great time and each time I find myself staying an extra day.

Last season they had very average snow cover off piste but had put in a super fun small-medium terrain park through the main trail which was a big step up to what I had seen in previous visits.

The food at the Lodge each night is consistently amazing and you get to share some drinks in the bar with some interesting characters from around NZ and the world.

It's cheap and I have yet to ever wait to get on the chair, I can't wait to get back down there.

The most kiwi skiing there is

Mike01/10/2013
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50

The most kiwi skiing there is

Mike01/10/2013
The dirt access road is terrible, even by NZ standards. The views are amazing, even by NZ standards. The vibe isn't laid back, it's passed out.
The layout is pretty basic -- one lift, hike up another 100 yards, then go left or right, but there are quite literally an infinite amount of lines since there are no obstacles, just "features" if that makes sense. I guess you could get bored after 2 days, but if you're trekking around nz, it's definitely worth a stop, particular if you can time it with fresh pow.

I 2nd the earlier reviewer in that this is a great place for aspiring powderhounds (like me) to play around with hiking and getting off-off-piste, though it might not be quite big enough for the most gnarled skiers. This being NZ, the conditions varied widely with exposure, etc. I went 36 hours after a 50cm dump, when the snow had time to get skied, melt a bit, and then crust over a bit, before softening up in the sun. Even so, there were plenty of good turns to be had. I think the different angles and steep walls would mean that you could often find something decent well after a snowfall.

Ohau I love to ride.

Brendan14/10/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35

Ohau I love to ride.

Brendan14/10/2012
We took the drive up to Ohau from Wanaka at the recommendation of pretty much everyone I know who has ever spent a couple of seasons in the South Island. All I heard was "be prepared to take a little walk, it'll be worth it", and true to their word it only took a little walk to reach the top from the single chair that runs up the natural amphitheater. From the top it's any easy walk left or right to cash in and the view is pretty amazing looking out across Lake Ohau over the Ski Area.

We hit it on a sunny Thursday late August and there hadn't been fresh snow for about five days but the snow up the top was still in fantastic condition and being a weekday there was barely anyone to share the snow with. All the staff were really friendly and it seems to rub off on their customers as everyone was not only courteous in the Cafe but on the Slopes also.
 
Ohau caters to a wide range of customers. They have a magic carpet and platter lift on their beginners areas and a couple of mellow green trails snaking down the basin off the chairlift along with some nice steep blue groomers. The slack country you can get to is not the most extreme in the South Island so not a bad spot for intermediate riders wanting to step up and venture off piste weather permitting, and it's good enough to keep the experts entertained for a day or two. There was no real terrain park when we were there but I am told they do normally have a few features but it didn't bother us a bit as we were to busy exploring around the top ridge looking for untracked snow.

We had a 4wd Landcruiser so none of the South Island access roads bothered us much but I would say Ohau's road is similar to Treble Cone's (gravel, no barriers and steep) but with a small stream to cross at the beginning.

At the end of the day if you don't stay at Lake Ohau Lodge at the foot of the mountain which is apparently very good, there is a small town after Lake Ohau on the way back South to Wanaka/Queenstown called Omarama that has food, a couple of accommodation options and a natural Onsen to relax your muscles in.

I will definitely be going back next season.

Ohau - Sweet As Bro!

Chris B19/01/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50

Ohau - Sweet As Bro!

Chris B19/01/2011
Ohau is definitely a gem! The natural amp theater is a delight particularly when the snow is 'on'. Take a hike up Suttons for a nice powder run, although as our group said "mission before treats", or cruise the groomers!

This is a great place and of course the Ohau lodge below is a beautiful place to stay, warm comfortable rooms, and the food is as good as you will get at any 5 star restaurant. That is not a lie either. The lodge looks very much understated from the outside; however the views of the Mt Cook range particularly at breakfast after a fresh dump, made the stay and skiing at Ohau most memorable indeed. Well worth the detour on the way to Queenstown!

A Hidden Gem | Goes Off on a POW day!

POWDERHOUNDS.COM01/10/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50

A Hidden Gem | Goes Off on a POW day!

POWDERHOUNDS.COM01/10/2010
We hit Ohau on a powder day and there were about 40 people there – that’s it! We couldn’t get over the lack of cars in the car park (and that it took one minute to walk to the ticket office) or that the ski field wasn’t covered in lots of powderhounds trying to elbow each other to get a sniff of fresh powder. It’s possible that it gets a little busier during school holidays, but otherwise to describe Ohau as uncrowded would be an understatement!

Other pros: inexpensive; great lake views; a friendly atmosphere; and the chairlift is luxurious compared to nutcrackers or t-bars found at comparable ski fields.

Like many other NZ ski areas the cons include: no on-mountain accommodation necessitating a drive up the mountain each day; an unpaved access road minus any safety barriers; major inconsistency with regards to the snow quality; and the lack of trees so there’s potential for impaired visibility and exposure to the weather. Small terrain size is also common across the South Island of NZ, but Ohau is particularly petite.