4. Lake Ohau to Omarama

After breakfast, you will ride to the highest point of the trail, Tambrae point. The gentle gradient gains you 350m higher and gives amazing vistas over the Mackenzie basin. The expression goes ‘What goes up must come down’, but please be careful with your speed as you whizz down to Quailburn. Once you are there a quiet gravel road and cycle trail takes you to Omarama, half way at 152km. Omarama Hot Tubs is the key to relaxing any sore muscles and is included in your tour.

Highlights and points of interest:
  • Ruataniwha Conservation Park
  • Native Beech Forests
  • Quailburn Historic Woolshed
  • Clay Cliffs (side trip)
  • Freehold Creek Track
  • Distance: 45km
  • Fitness: Intermediate
  • Skill: Intermediate
  • Traffic: Low
  • Grade: 3
Track surface:
  • 26% gravel road
  • 19% sealed road
  • 27% smooth shingle
  • 17% Rough shingle


Section 4: Lake Ohau to Omarama

Departing along the driveway of the Lodge you cycle up the slopes of Ruataniwha towards the Tanbrae high point some 400m above.  The first 6 km takes you to Freehold Creek on an easy gentle slope.  After here the track becomes a little narrower and more bumpy to the top at 11km.  Beware there are a couple of false summits that might play with your motivation!  It’s not as bad as legend has it; worst case, you can push your bike to the top.

You know the saying….’What goes up must come down’. The next 7 km head down to Quailburn Road, it is fast so please take care!  There are a couple of creeks to cross that might help you cool off if the weather is hot.  This grassy hillside has a feel of being on safari and it would not be unfitting to imagine a giraffe in the scene!

At the Quailburn Road junction, you can head up 2km to the historic woolshed for a look around.  It is a lovely place for lunch next to the creek.  You will also find a toilet there too. Heading down Quailburn Road you will pass Henburn Road, a potential side trip to the Clay Cliffs.  It is a 14km return trip and the gravel road can get busy with tourist vehicles so please be aware.

Continuing along Quailburn Road you will meet the highway.  Here take the off-road trail which leads through the Ahuriri Camp Ground and on to Omarama. Please take care using the highway bridge over the Ahuriri River due to fast-moving traffic. Omarama marks the halfway point of the trail.