|Nearest city Wanaka, New Zealand|
Top elevation 1925 m
Address Ohau 9412, New Zealand
Terrain parks 2
|Vertical 400 m|
Base elevation 1425 m
Skiable area 125 ha
|Location South Island, New Zealand|
Lift system 3 total; 1 chairlift , 1 snow mat, 1 platter
Similar Roundhill Ski Area, Mount Olympus Ski Area, Temple Basin, Mount Cheeseman, Cardrona Alpine Resort
Ohau is a small commercial skifield in the foothills of New Zealand's Southern Alps, near the boundary between the Otago and Canterbury regions, and close to the southwestern shore of the lake of the same name. The skifield was originally developed by the Mount Cook and Southern Lakes Tourist Co.
In 2004, a new two seater chairlift was installed on the slopes. This chairlift opened up the snowfield a lot more and increased the lift-accessible terrain. The next year, the longest snowmat in New Zealand was installed in place of the ropetow. The skifield now has 3 lifts (1 chairlift, 1 platter lift and 1 snowmat).
The base altitude is 1400 m and the highest altitude is 1825 m. The access road is an unsealed alpine road but is usually kept in good condition with buses leaving from the lodge daily.
Historically, the season has run from mid-July to early October. As of 2008, a new 23-cannon, fully automated snowmaking system is being installed. This will allow the skifield to open earlier, capturing lucrative July school holiday business.
In March 2012 it was announced that an ex-Treble Cone 2 seater chair lift had been purchased. This was to be installed over the following summer in time for the 2013 season, giving visitors a secondary access to the peak. This installation did not occur and in June 2013 it was announced this chair had been traded for the ex-Cardrona "La Franchie" 2 seater chair to be installed depending on the success of the 2013 winter season. This new chair has a claimed increased capacity of 1200 skiers and boarders per hour on a 4.5 minute trip. In March 2014 it was noted, "unfortunately we cannot afford to put in the chairlift for 2014 but hopefully if the business continues to trend upwards we can put it in for 2015!"
Ohau has some of the most spectacular mountain views in New Zealand. From the summit of the skifield a view of the Southern Alps can be seen. From the skifield runs, Lake Ohau and the Mackenzie Basin can be seen spread out below in the valley floor. There are good views across the lake to Ben Ohau.