Home / Trips / Canterbury

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Area

Greta Stream catchment. Photo: George Moran
Area
Ruataniwha Conservation Area
Distance
16.2km
Time
4-7hr
Grade
Easy/Moderate
Access
Track starts at car park at Gretas Stream on Glen Lyon Rd, 20min from Twizel
Map
BZ15
GPX File
Greta Track (gpx, yo 59 KB)
Your device does not support GPX files. Please try a different device.

The route to the summit begins at a car park on the southern bank of Gretas Stream. A few minutes from the lake is a derelict hut, dating from the 1890s. Today the hut is like something from a museum, while 100 years ago it would have been a welcome outpost offering respite in an unpopulated and sometimes harsh land.

From the old hut, the route turns south-east and follows a 4WD track that zigzags to near the top of Ben Ohau. Although not used by vehicles anymore, the track makes an excellent wide benched path.

After 45min, the track crests the ridge and offers excellent views of the lake and surrounding mountains. One particularly obvious feature is the access road to the Lake Ohau ski field high in the Ohau Range across the lake.

From here, the track cuts one long unbroken line to the north ridge, crossing this just below the summit. Leave it here to walk the 10min to the apex, where you’re rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the Mackenzie Country.

Rejoin the 4WD track, which descends sharply down a basin and follows a feeder stream of the Gretas through remnant stands of beech, manuka and totara.

After nearly 4km there’s a short climb to leave the feeder stream and gain a shoulder at about 700m on the true right of the stream. And from there it’s all downhill back to the lake’s edge.

Support Wilderness

Since 1991, Wilderness has had one simple goal: to help Kiwis ‘See more, do more, live more’ of New Zealand.

If you value our mission, please consider subscribing. As a loyal supporter, you’ll receive these benefits:

  • New Zealand’s best outdoor journalism We’ve won multiple awards for our journalism and magazine production.
  • NZ’s best trips. Browse more than 610 trips with downloadable maps and route notes.
  • Trustworthy gear reviews. Each month we review gear we’ve been bashing and thrashing for months so you can determine if its worth your money.
  • Member benefits. Our WildCard provides discounts at more than 20 partners throughout New Zealand.
  • Your support goes a long way. Your subscription will help us fund NZ’s best outdoor journalists and writers and ensure Wilderness will be there to inspire the next generation of outdoor Kiwis.

A subscription costs as little as $7.00/month for instant access to all articles, trips, gear reviews and gear guides.

View all our subscription options and join the club.

Already a subscriber? Login Now.