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Ohau Face/East Ahuriri Loop, Canterbury

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Ohau Face/East Ahuriri LoopIntermediate

Submitted by Giles Fairbrother

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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops


14:00 (Slow)
10:00 (Moderate)
6:00 (Fast)



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Head on to the Te Araroa trail round the face of Lake Ohau. At close to 11k along this face (leave early if hot day) you turn up a lightly marked 4wd track just before a stream crossing. It is very faint so it might be sensible to mark this spot on your gps or map before leaving. This 4wd becomes more obvious once you are up past the matagouri. It takes you right up onto the main range and peters out where they would drop off musterers around 1200m. Here you maintain your height round the face and follow the old fenceline to some extent. There is a small high point on your left - 1113m - and you go to the right where you peer down to the East Ahuriri hut. Scream down at whatever pace you can handle, dropping 300m fairly quickly.

Have a wee quad break at the hut and start bumbling your way up following Te Araroa again back over the top to Freehold Creek the whole way down and loop back on to the track you ran along this morning. There is about 6k to repeat in reverse.

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Features of interest

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 20%

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Route Data


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  • Access

    From Twizel head to Ohau Lodge. Park at the base of the Ski field Road.

    Be considerate to Te Araroa users and other walkers/bikers in carpark. Remember we are the minority.

    36 km

    29 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Mainly the turn off up Te Araroa over to East Ahuriri. Prepare for this as mentioned. Basic routefinding is necessary from the end of 4wd track over to the saddle above East Ahuriri.


    Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map, Gaiters.

    Water comes and goes in small streams for first 6 km then fill up once turn off the 4wd track as the water is non drinkable (tiny alagae filled creeks) above this. You will need enough to get you over the hill to the ahuriri so about 600m of climbing and 3km. Good water all the way up east ahuriri but choose your filling spot as some parts are better than others. if hot keep enough to get you over the top saddle down into freehold creek.

    Keep an eye on forecast. It is mainly front country but the East Ahuriri is back country so do not take it for granted.

  • Post run indulgence

    Poppies cafe Twizel
    great coffee nice setting

    4 square Twizel
    Cheapest beer in twizel some reasonable snack selections

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