Trip 2. Dumb-bell Lake and Maitland Stream

29-30 March 2017.

A late afternoon start for a big climb up onto the Ohau Range. We started on the Alps to Ocean cycle trail, then followed the old bullock trail up Freehold Creek (now part of Te Araroa). Thence higher into the range where a campsite above a beautiful alpine tarn beckoned. The second day we climbed to the top of the range and headed north to the spectacular Dumb-bell Lake, and followed its outlet stream down to Maitland Stream. We picked up a track at the bush edge and followed it out to Lake Ohau station.
The Ohau Range is to the south and west of Lake Ohau. It’s not to be confused with the Ben Ohau Range, which is to the east and north of Lake Ohau. (BTW: you can’t help but love a place name with words from three languages – Scottish, Te Reo and English!)

Lake Ohau from the Alps to Ocean cycle trail. Perfect weather!

The tarn we camped above in the Ohau Range.
Sunrise light on the Ohau Range.
Tarn on the top of the Ohau Range. Peaks of the Barrier Range visible to the west.
The tops of the Ohau Range are very barren…
Panorama from Pt 1922, with part of Lake Ohau and the partially irrigated plains north of Omarama.
Dumb-bell Lake occupies a spectacular basin than just cries out to be skied. Come winter, we’ll be back 🙂
Elusive Peak is just visible in this shot. We’re saving that for another trip too…
Descending towards Maitland Stream, Barrier Range beyond.
The top flats on Maitland Stream provided relatively easy going – though there is plenty of speargrass among the tussocks.
Maitland Hut is a classic old Forest Service hut in immaculate condition inside. It’s in a small natural clearing in the extensive Ohau Forest. DOC warns that it might be avalanche prone (maybe that’s how the clearing came about??)
Maitland Stream is quite actively eroding its surrounds.
Some sections of track were literally “a walk in the park”.