Tekapo to Lake Ōhau

  • Walking
  • Cycling

From Pioneer Dr, continue west on SH8. You'll find shops and food/drink/accommodation along here.

Tekapo to Twizel (via Tekapo Canal)

  • Note: The Tekapo Canal route may on occasion close at short notice due to high winds and/or Genesis Energy requirements. Please check the Trail Status page prior to your departure.
  • There is no camping allowed along the Tekapo Canal route - so from Lake Tekapo Village, your aim should be to at least make the Pines Camping Area, which is 47km from Lake Tekapo Village. It is a long stretch, but is essentially flat - if you do not think you can make this in a day, please consider hiring a bicycle, possibly to go from Lake Tekapo Village to Twizel (59km total).

From SH8, turn south onto Andrew Don Dr and follow that 2.5km to the Tekapo A Power Station, crossing the outlet flow.

From there continue on the Tekapo Canal Road for 28km (crossing SH8 after 12km, please take care) to the intersection of Tekapo Canal Road and Hayman Road, adjacent to Lake Pūkaki.

Head south on Hayman Road, following the A2O Cycle Trail route as it weaves on and off the strip adjacent to the lake. Further south, some 6.5km after Hayman Road leads onto SH8, toilets and drinking water are available at the (now closed) Lake Pūkaki Visitor Information Centre about 1km further along.

  • Note: Water must be treated if picked up en route, carry plenty of drinking water if you cannot treat water.

It is a further 11.5km to Twizel - continue along the A2O Cycle Trail, crossing SH8 near the former information centre site, then the track heads south into the Department of Conservation’s Pūkaki Flats Reserve for a further 9km then exits to the highway at Bendrose Reserve. Turn left onto the highway for one last kilometre into Twizel. You’ll see finger signs indicating the safest crosspoint just outside the town. 

Lake Ōhau Track

This track traces the lower sections of the Mackenzie Basin power scheme to Lake Ōhau and then follows the lakeshore. The track also skirts Lake Ruataniwha.

Lake Ruataniwha is man-made and its dam was built between 1978 and 1981. In addition to storing water for power generation, the lake provides recreational opportunity. It’s a world class rowing venue. It’s also where Peter Knight broke a world speed record for Grand Prix hydroplanes in 1996. In doing so he reached a speed of 286.5km/hr.

The track starts on SH8 outside Twizel opposite Ruataniwha Road where Te Araroa’s next section to the north is sign-posted. From here follow the gravelled walk/cycleway south for 2km past Meridian Energy’s Twizel office, then continue on down the side of the road to cross the spill way and then the bridge over the Ōhau B canal.

Once across the canal bridge (i.e. before the salmon farm and Ōhau Riverside Drive) join a formed track that runs along the terrace above Lake Ruataniwha for about 3km. From the end of this track the trail joins Ōhau Riverside Drive and descends around a cove with a large patch of rushes at its head.

Beyond the cove travel is predominantly on the road to the lake head and beyond along the Ōhau River to the Weir at Lake Ōhau. From the Weir, the Trail connects again with the Alps 2 Ocean Cycleway, skirting around the side of Lake Ōhau for 9km before joining back onto Lake Ōhau Road

Turn right onto the road and follow the road shoulder to Lake Middleton (DOC campground here), then follow the eastern shore to the lakehead. Return to road shoulder here and walk past the Alpine Village to a small stand of beech. From this point there is a good track between the road and Lake Ōhau around to Glen Mary Ski Club.

Lake Ōhau Lodge is another 3km further north along Lake Ōhau Road and Ōmārama, a small tourist village, is 37km to the south, back down Lake Ōhau Road then right into SH8/Twizel-Ōmārama Road.


Potential hazards:

  • Vehicles on road or track be aware of cars on road and cyclists on shared tracks
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Few water sources - please treat water before drinking

How to get here

Northern Start: Junction of Pioneer Drive and SH8, Lake Tekapo Village

Southern End: Glen Mary Ski Club, Lake Ōhau Road

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

Te Araroa Canterbury trail notes, including information about accommodation, transport and resupplying

Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Jan 6, 2021, 9:19 AM