Located on the South Island of New Zealand, approximately 1.5 hours from Christchurch, is the alpine town of Methven. During the winter months, Methven turns into a haven for snow sports - think skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, heli-skiing, snow parks and hiking.
Most visitors to Methven fly into Christchurch Airport and then hire a car and drive, this is a great option if you want to explore the surrounding area or stop along the way. Once in Methven, if drivers are confident in icy conditions, you can drive up to Mt Hutt, this take approximately 30 minutes from town. Make sure you have adequate insurance and snow chains if you do want to self-drive. For those that don’t feel comfortable on the winding roads, there are mountain transfers for a less stressful experience.
Methven has a typical ‘country town’ vibe, with lots of character and great New Zealand hospitality. It is an excellent base for thrill seekers, skiers and snowboarders and Methven often works out cheaper than other ski resort towns. Each winter, Methven’s population increases dramatically, with the influx of tourists it is important to pre-book any must-do activities that may have limited space, such as helicopters. We do also recommend pre-palnning dinner reservations where possible.
As the highest ski resort in New Zealand, Mt Hutt offers over 4m of snow each season, which is excellent by New Zealand standards. The majority of visitors to Methven arrive between May and October to ski, snowboard and explore Mt Hutt. To avoid crowds, you may want to aim for early or late in the ski season; or plan to have rest days over weekends, when locals from Christchurch or surrounding areas will come to Mt Hutt for the day.
Driving up the winding road to Mt Hutt can be intimidating, so we do recommend considering mountain transfers if you aren’t used to this type of snowy alpine driving.
mysnow tip: Mt Hutt is on the same lift ticket as Queenstown ski fields Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, if you want to experience even more snow - why not consider getting a longer lift ticket and visiting these ski fields while you are in New Zealand!
Methven has a selection of superb accommodation choices ranging from budget accommodation through to 4 star resorts. For budget conscious travellers, Methven is a great ski holiday option, often coming in significantly cheaper than some other ski resort towns. Methven has a selection of clean comfortable hotels and lodges which offer deals throughout winter.
Travelling with a family or in a group, you have the option of large hotel-style rooms or self-contained apartments. Methven is fairly walkable, so even if you prefer to have the option to cook, it’s easy to dine out as well. We do recommend booking dinner reservations during your stay, as popular restaurants do book out.
For guests that are looking for the creature comforts of home, Methven does have high-quality 4 star hotels and resort with all the modern facilities. There are also 4 star apartments in Methven that cater well to couples that like the flexibility of having a kitchen. Brinkley Resort also has the added bonus of a hot tub, ideal to warm up after a day on the Mt Hutt ski slopes.
No matter what accommodation style you prefer, the most important things to know is that you are only ever about 30 minutes from the Mt Hutt ski fields.
Skiing & Snowboarding Mt Hutt
Methven is located close to the bottom of the Southern Alps and is a great base for anyone wanting to visit Mt Hutt, which it is only 30 minutes from town. Mt Hutt is the destination for those looking for a true alpine experience with spectacular views of the surrounding Canterbury landscape. Mt Hutt’s terrain makes for a delightful experience for all skill levels, with fantastic intermediate to advanced terrain as well as excellent ski school and family friendly facilities.
Mt Hutt is the highest in elevation of any ski resort in New Zealand, which means consistent, dry snow conditions and an average of 4 metres annually. Due to the higher altitude, Mt Hutt’s snow season is longer than other New Zealand ski resorts, this is great for bargain hunters looking to travelling outside of holidays and peak travel dates.
Mt Hutt ski resort is also a part of the Ikon Pass, which is a great selling point for serious skiers or snowboarders. Mt Hutt also have multi-day lift passes that allow you to ski Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, so visitors often visit Queenstown and Methven in one trip.
Getting around Methven
The town of Methven is quite walkable, if you do not have a car there is a ski bus from town to Mt Hutt ski resorts. For anyone who does plan to self-drive, it is essential to carry chains. If you don’t feel comfortable driving up the steep mountain roads, we recommend the bus for less stress!
How to get to Methven
Most visitors to Methven and Mt Hutt choose to hire a car from Christchurch Airport, but there are buses that make the journey if you prefer not to drive. Flights into Christchurch run frequently from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne & take 3 to 3.5 hours approximately.
Things to do in Methven in winter
Methven is a world-class alpine skiing and snowboarding destination, and Mt Hutt has won multiple awards as New Zealand’s favourite ski resort. For non-skiers there are other winter activities to enjoy while holidaying in the Canterbury region of New Zealand.
Visitors can try hiking one of the many trails around Methven and Mt Hutt, take a farm tour or have a ride in a helicopter to the top of the Rakaia Glaciers.
Dining & Après in Methven
Best Après in Methven:
While small, Methven still has a few fun après-ski options to enjoy! The Brown Pub is a typical ‘New Zealand country pub’ atmosphere and the bonus of offering Friday night karaoke. The venue also has a beer garden area with open fire for a more relaxed spot. The Blue Pub (see the theme here..?) is directly across the street and has been serving skiers and snowboarders since the 70’s, this venues point of difference is the live music. There are a few other venues, but these two would be the most popular.
Best Restaurants in Methven:
Kiwi’s know good food; New Zealand has access to amazing fresh local produce & it’s no surprise that food in Methven is also great. We asked our team of ski experts for their opinions on “The best restaurants in Methven” and we have included the top 3 below.
First, we must mention Irish pub The Dubliner, for a vibrant atmosphere and warm hearty pub fare, a local favourite. We recommend booking, as winter is peak season and the Dubliner is very popular. Next in our culinary journey of Methven is AQUA Japanese Restaurant, the service and food are always fantastic, and nothing warms the soul more than hot sake after a day on the slopes! Again, we would recommend booking a table in advance. Our third recommendation for where to eat in Methven is Ski Time Restaurant, we love the warm alpine décor and the delicious menu. Meals are hearty, there is a variety of wine available and Ski Time have to-die-for desserts to finish your meal. This is also a great family-friendly option with an excellent kid’s menu available.
These are only a few our ski specialists’ recommendations for the best dining options in Methven. If you have a favourite restaurant in Methven, let us know where and why you love it!