Ultimate Heliski Tour New Zealand

Where is Ohau New Zealand?

The Ohau Ski Field in New Zealand is located in the Ohau Range in the Mackenzie High Country, not far from the Mt Cook region on the South Island. Ohau is 320 km (3.5 hours) southwest of Christchurch and 220km northwest of Queenstown.

The turn off the highway between Christchurch and Queenstown (SH8) to Ohau is 13km south of the small town of Twizel. Named after Lake Ohau, the Ohau ski field is near the southwest shore of the lake so views of the turquoise waters add to the appeal of the ski area. 

Distances to Lake Ohau Lodge from:
  • Lake Ohau Alpine Village – 5km
  • Turn-off the main highway – 22km (15 mins)
  • Twizel – 35km (22 mins)
  • Mt Cook turn-off – 43km
  • Lake Tekapo – 91km
  • Mt Cook Village – 99km
The Ohau ski area is 9.6km (15 mins) up the mountain from the Lake Ohau Lodge.

Driving to Ohau NZ

The drive from the highway onto Lake Ohau Rd to the lodge is very easy on a sealed highway that runs alongside the picturesque lake.

The road up from the Lake Ohau Lodge to the ski area is somewhat typical of most NZ ski fields. It’s unpaved, narrow, without safety rails, and views of the lake make the drop-offs look particularly hairy. Of course, don’t get too distracted by the amazing views whilst driving!

Thankfully the road is very well maintained so it’s generally not too muddy, but a 4WD would be beneficial. If chains are required (as indicated on snow reports or by signage at the base of the road) they can be hired from the Lake Ohau Lodge. For an additional fee, these can be fitted by the Ohau staff.

Bus to Ohau Ski Field

For those without the nerve to self-drive up to the Ohau ski field, there’s a bus that leaves from the Lake Ohau Lodge at 9:15am and returns at the end of the day. Rates are rather reasonable.

Tours to Ohau
Another great way to get to Ohau is to go on a multi-resort tour - see the booking options.

Getting Around Ohau Ski Area
The car park is conveniently right next to the ticket office, and getting around Ohau ski field is very easy as the buildings are compact and adjacent to each other.

Other Skiing Nearby

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