Ohau Ski Field is a personal favourite of ours as it is away from the crowds of Queenstown and Wanaka but provides similar skiing and the views across Lake Ohau from the field are breathtaking. This small field offers a wide variety of skiing/boarding terrain and being family-owned and run makes for a very friendly ski mountain.
Ohau Ski Field
Ohau ski field is one wide bowl with a mix of flatter and steeper faces, chutes, and drop-offs. It has a magic carpet and platter in two separate beginner areas and a double chairlift that provides access to the entire bowl.
The main trails meandering down below the chairlift are nice wide intermediate cat track runs. Heading out wide to skiier’s left takes you over to many exciting chutes and drops. This is a great spot to be on a powder day as you’ll be able to find continuous pockets of powder.
Out to skiier’s right is sun run and as the name suggests this is the sunny side of the bowl. Out this side is wide open off-piste intermediate runs. You have the choice of traversing across out to a large face where you can spread your wings and throw down some wide-open turns. Or, stay closer and follow your nose through the smaller tracks and chutes. All trails here join back to the main groomed trails.
If you’re after a bit of adventure, from the top of the chairlift hike directly up the face above you to the top of the ridge. This opens up access to these faces above the chairlift (and also makes for a spectacular view!).
Ohau has a very cute log-style cabin for their cafe. It has a homely feel and the most amazing homemade baking (the white chocolate and berry muffins is a must-try!). You are also welcome to bring a packed lunch to enjoy by the cost fireplace.
Things to know when visiting Ohau Ski Field
- Lift ticket prices – Full day – Adult $119, Student $81, Child $49
- There is a small rental department for any equipment needs
- Ski and snowboard lessons are available in groups or in private lessons
- There is a shuttle bus from Ohau Lodge (the bottom of the mountain road) that departs once daily at 9:15 am and returns at the end of the day once the field is closed at 4 pm. Adults $30, Students $24, Child $18
Lake Ohau lodge
At the end of the day, stop at Lake Ohau lodge at the bottom of the mountain road for a hot drink. This lodge, located on the edge of Lake Ohau, has a laid-back vibe and is a great way to finish an awesome day skiing.
Alternatively, why not make the most of Ohau and book a night at the lodge. There are a range of accommodation options from room-only and shared bathroom facilities to executive studios with lake views.
Ohau Lodge offers dinner, bed, and breakfast packages. The restaurant has a wonderful atmosphere with a big open fireplace and views across Lake Ohau. The lodge has large dining tables where guests are encouraged to dine together and share tales of your day’s adventures.
Guests can take part in many lodge-based activities such as ping pong, pool, darts, board games, disc golf, tennis, or relaxing in the spa after a day’s skiing or biking.
Everyone who stays here raves about the wonderful experience, being an authentic classic friendly Kiwi accommodation provider.
How to get there
Drive times to Ohau Ski field:
- Christchurch to Ohau: 4.5 hrs
- Queenstown to Ohau: 2.5 hrs
- Tekapo to Ohau: 1 hr
- Twizel to Ohau: 30 mins
The best option for traveling to Lake Ohau by bus is with Intercity. The bus will drop you off at the turn-off to the lodge. You’ll need to arrange a pick-up with the lodge from here.
The majority of travelers get to Lake Ohau by car. If you need to rent a car there are a few good options.
- Jucy Rentals – budget car options + small campervans
- Snap Rentals – available in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown
- Ace Rentals – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Picton, Dunedin, Greymouth
A lot of travelers like to explore the ski fields by campervan. This means you don’t need to organise accommodation ahead of time and can make the trip at your own pace, changing plans as needed based on weather conditions. The only thing to be aware of with campervans is a lot of companies do not insure you to take the campervans up ski field roads. The only provider we are aware of who does offer insurance on ski fields roads is Wilderness Campervans.
Alternatively, most ski fields (the larger resorts) have a shuttle at the bottom where you can park your campervan and then get the shuttle up the hill.
These are a few other good campervan hire comparison tools to find the best deal:
Ski & Snowboard Tours
If you’re keen to try and see many South Island ski fields in one go, I would highly recommend checking out the tours offered by Haka Tours. They run tours to Ohau ski field and look after all of your transport and accommodation needs. You just need to pick a suitable date and turn up at the pickup point!
Are you planning a trip throughout the Mackenzie Country?
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