Work Days - please come join us ...

Over the past 13 years, keen volunteers have undertaken a series of working bees clearing "wilding" (self-seeding) conifers, sweetbriar and broom from roadsides and public conservation land around Lake Ohau. Regular passersby comment on the greatly improved appearance of the cleared areas.

Restoration planting of native seedlings has also been done. These are grown by the Department of Conservation's Motukarara Plant Nursery staff from Ohau-sourced seed. Hundreds of little mountain beech, kowhai, hoheria, hebes, snow totara and snow tussocks are thriving, greatly helped when we have wet summers. Both the Alps 2 Ocean (A2O) Cycleway and Te Araroa Trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff pass through this area, and the plantings have been aimed at beautifying the lake edge for people as well as establishing berry-bearing shrubs for birds and geckos.

Regular Trust working bees generally involve removing wilding pines and planting. Outings for November 2017 and 2018 are scheduled on the following dates:


  1. 19 November 2017 (Canterbury Show weekend)
  2. 4 February 2018 (Waitangi Weekend)
  3. 1 April (Easter Sunday)
  4. 29 April (ANZAC weekend) DATE CHANGED (was 22 April)
  5. 3 June (Queens Birthday weekend)
  6. 23 September (South Canterbury Anniversary weekend)
  7. 21 October (Labour Day weekend)
  8. 18 November 2018 (Canterbury Show weekend)


All are Sunday mornings, commencing at 10am, at locations that are advised by email a few days beforehand. Other days are often worked, sometimes at short notice, with visiting volunteer groups.

Anyone interested is most welcome to join either the organised or informal outings, even if you want to do no more than have a look at what we're doing.

The Volunteer

Three-to-four year old wilding pines in tussock grassland, being progressively lopped by a Trust volunteer. Photo courtesy Albert Aanensen, all rights reserved.

Kettle Hole

The Alps 2 Ocean Cycleway from Mt Cook to Oamaru traverses the southern end of Lake Ohau and passes this kettle hole, formed naturally as the glaciers retreated 15,000 years ago. In the 1800s before roads were established up the lakesides, Boat Harbour (sometimes now called Kettle Cove) was the landing place for wool and chaff from the high country stations in the upper valley, as it was sheltered from winds from every direction. Across the lake, Ben Ohau mountain forms a spectacular background, and in spring the prolific kowhais around the lake shore put on a rich display of flowers. Photo courtesy Albert Aanensen, all rights reserved.