Greta Track & Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park, Canterbury NZ

Great views of Lake Ohau and surrounding mountains on the Greta Track, with a short side trip to the summit of Ben Ohau (1522m).

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park

Despite following a vehicle track almost the whole way, the Greta Track still makes for a satisfying walk. It gets up the mountain quickly, with a short off-track diversion to visit the summit of Ben Ohau (1522m). The views of scenic Lake Ohau and surrounding peaks are excellent. Completing the circuit takes you at first through attractive tussock country, (although wilding pines are making inroads). The track eventually drops down to Gretas Stream, and follows this most of the way to the lake.

Track notes at the end.

Greta Track & Ben Ohau: The Scenery

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Looking south-west over Lake Ohau.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Looking south-west over Lake Ohau.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Lake Ohau and surrounding peaks.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The northern end of Lake Ohau from the summit of Ben Ohau (1522m).
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The northern end of Lake Ohau. Very blue in the sun.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Looking south over Lake Ohau.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The Hopkins River feeding into Lake Ohau. I liked the dark clouds congregating in this area.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The Hopkins River feeding into Lake Ohau.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Looking east over rolling hills of tussock.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
At the saddle after the short side trip to the summit of Ben Ohau.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Beginning our descent.

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Views of Twizel, Ohau Canal, Ohau River and Lake Ruataniwha.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The route back was along Gretas Stream, winding it’s way towards the lake in the centre of this photo.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Attractive tussock country. The dark spots are wilding pines which looked to be spreading fast.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The track joins Gretas Stream for the return leg.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
An interesting cocoon.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Gretas Stream
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
There were a couple of landslips over the track. I wonder how farmers manage to maintain their farm tracks given events like this.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
The Gretas Stream.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Looking back up at our route up Ben Ohau from near the road on our way back.
Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park
Descending back to the lake. It’s a short walk along the road to complete the loop.


Track Notes

Greta Track and Ben Ohau, Lake Ohau
The Greta Track follows an old vehicle track the whole way, albeit with a couple of land slips and stream crossings. The side trip to the summit is off track but obvious. There’s a short walk along the road to get back to your car.

The Greta Track follows an old vehicle track the whole way, albeit with a couple of land slips and stream crossings. The side trip to the summit is off track but obvious. There’s a short walk along the road to get back to your car.

More information on the DOC website.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

4 thoughts on “Greta Track & Ben Ohau, Ruataniwha Conservation Park, Canterbury NZ”

  1. Hi there, if I only have time to do a small section of the track for some views of the lake, is it better to start at the north end going clockwise, or the other way around? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lilian. That’s a good question. You’d get goodish views early on in both directions. If you had a couple of hours you should probably go south up towards Ben Ohau – at around 1130m and the last switchback there are clear views north-west and south over the lake. If you take the drive over towards Lake Ohau Village then the are quite good views up the lake from the road side. No need for walking at all with this option!

      1. Thanks Edward, we tried going south up Ben Ohau but a herd of cows blocked our path and kept coming closer to us as we followed the 4WD track! So in the end we headed to the other start point and walked in for about an hour and still got great views. Thanks for your tips!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.