Section 4: Lake Ohau Lodge to Omarama [44km]

Overview

44km Fitness: Intermediate Skill: Intermediate Traffic: Low Grade: 3

 

Section 4 Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail Map

Starting from the Lake Ohau Lodge driveway, the Trail traverses the lower slopes of the Ohau Range, with stunning views back across the basin to the Ben Ohau Range. 6km of easy cycling will take you to Freehold Creek, 600m above sea level. From here the track narrows and it’s a steady climb to the highest point on the entire Trail at 900m [11km].

Please be aware that there are several ‘false summits’ where the Trail appears to reach the high point, but instead keeps winding upwards.

Once at the high point it is a rolling descent to the historic woolshed at the top of Quailburn Road [19km]. Toilets and parking are available here. 

CAUTION: The downhill from Tarnbrae summit is MODERATELY TECHNICAL with some rough and loose areas. Cyclists, please take care, ride with caution and within your ability or dismount for the first decending kilometer from the summit if you are unsure of your ability.

On the way down Quailburn Road you can turn onto Henburn Rd [36km] and take a side trip to see the Clay Cliffs (14km return).

Where Quailburn Road meets the highway, take the off-road trail which leads through the Ahuriri Camp Ground [42km]. Exit the camp ground and cross over the Ahuriri river using the road bridge. A short off-road Trail then takes you to Omarama.

Please Take Care: The surface is rockier and rougher in places on this Grade 3 section than elsewhere on the Trail.  Dismount if you are uncertain, particularly on decents.

 

 

Highlights Include

  • Native Beech Forests
  • New Zealand Mistletoe
  • Freehold Creek Track
  • Ruataniwha Conservation Park
  • The Trail high point and magnificent views over the Mackenzie Basin, Ben Ohau and Lake Ohau and Lake Ruataniwha
  • Quailburn Historic Woolshed
  • Clay Cliffs (a worthwhile 14km side trip)
  • Waitaki Whitestone Aspiring Geopark

Trail Status

Section 4:- Useful Information

  • Due to this section’s limited cell coverage and remoteness, please consider taking a PLB with your group as an additional safety measure should anything go wrong - in cases of emergency, activating a PLB will call in a rescue helicopter to quickly evacuate you or one of your party to the nearest hospital.
  • This section involves a sustained 4km climb. It is recommended that it be undertaken in the cooler part of the day during summer.
  • Carry 2L of water and high energy food as you may require a boost. Don't forget your sunglasses and sunblock
  • Please allow plenty of time for this section, and take frequent breaks if you are feeling tired. 
  • Stormy wet weather – this is where the Trail reaches its highest point (900m). It can be very exposed to mountain weather. Warm and waterproof clothing is essential. If in doubt seek advice from the Lake Ohau Lodge staff.
  • A short section of the Trail crosses an avalanche path on the climb to the summit. Minimise your time in this zone in winter
  • Steep descent – the first section from the 900m summit involves some tight steep bends. Less experienced riders may want to walk this short 1km section.
  • Fords – beyond the first part of the descent there are a series of small fords on the Trail.
  • Quailburn Rd – The first 14 km is on a gravel road and can be corrugated with loose gravel. Take care and watch your speed, slow down before you reach the corners many accidents occur on this road.
  • Ahuriri Road bridge SH8 – there is an induction loop warning system at this bridge which switches on the cyclist warning sign for vehicles. This system can fail, so be aware and take care as you cross this bridge.
  • Take lots of layers including warm and waterproof clothing - this is the highest and possibly most remote section of the Trail - the weather can change quickly with blistering sunshine, high winds, rain, sleet and snow all possible at almost any point in the year, so be prepared.   
  • Sections of Tarnbrae Track are subject to freezing in winter and spring.  Do not ride when the ground is thawing, the mud becomes sticky and can damage your derailiers.
  • Both the Cycle Trail and and weather conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. Please check the Trail Status and the weather reports at least daily before departure.

Accommodation

Please contact the provider directly to make your booking enqury. Their contact details can be found below...

Dine & Drink

Boots & Jandals Hotel

The Boots & Jandals Hotel is located right on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. We've got it all right here! Restaurant, bar, and hotel accommodation. Stop in and let our friendly staff take care of...

High Country Salmon

Established in 2000 by the Logan family, High Country Salmon are one of three farms raising salmon on the hydro canals surrounding Twizel.

Their focus is on bringing great salmon...

Merino Country Cafe & Gifts

Merino Country Cafe & Gifts is conveniently located in the Omarama town centre beside the public toilets. Our cafe is open from 8-30am to 5pm in summer and winter.

Merino Country...

Wrinkly Rams

MEMORABLE SOUVENIRS

Souvenirs remind us of our experience long after we've returned home. It could be a key ring or perhaps something that you wear-an item that's kept as a reminder...

To Do

High Country Salmon

Established in 2000 by the Logan family, High Country Salmon are one of three farms raising salmon on the hydro canals surrounding Twizel. Their focus is on bringing great salmon to locals and...

Hot Tubs Omarama

After a day cycling through the awesome Mackenzie Country, or beside the beautiful hydro lakes – Waitaki, Aviemore and Benmore – you have reached the junction town of Omarama. Now is the...

Merino Country Cafe & Gifts

Merino Country Cafe & Gifts is conveniently located in the Omarama town centre beside the public toilets. Our cafe is open from 8-30am to 5pm in summer and winter. Merino Country Cafe & Gifts...

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Overview

Requiring an intermediate level of fitness and skill, Section 4 follows a 45km section through native Beech Forests, the Ruataniwha Conservation Park and gorgeous Clay Cliffs on a optional side trip.

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Trail Status

Some parts of the track are under construction or are undergoing improvements to keep riders safe and the tracks enjoyable. Keep up to date with the trail status of each trail section here.

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Accommodation

Need to book accommodation during your adventure? We have a range of accommodation options available on each section of the trail that can be booked today.

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Dine & Drink

If you're looking for the best recommendations of places to eat and drink while cycling the trail you've come to the right place. Read more on our best dining recommendations on Section 4 of the trail

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To Do

Each section has a range of activities and attractions for you to experience and see while cycling the trail. Find the best things to do on Section 4 of the trail.

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Photos

See some of the best photos taken by other trail riders through Section 4 of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail.

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See our Instagram photos #Alps2Ocean
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