Mt Hutt ready to open – the South Island ski season begins!

9 June 2017

New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort, Mt Hutt in Canterbury, opens today, marking the start of the South Island ski season.

Mt Hutt, located about 90 minutes from Christchurch, is the first South Island ski field to open, and with a bit of a bang too.

Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie expects a great start.

“Thanks to the 25-30cm snow dump on Sunday and long periods of cold temperatures the mountain looks like it’s been dipped in white chocolate – it’s absolutely stunning up here. Mt Hutt is shaping up for another award-winning season.”

“Thanks to our awesome snowmaking team, our snow base is sitting between 30 and 50cms on our main trails which is fantastic,” added James.

Mt Hutt’s 2086m altitude – making it one of the highest ski areas in New Zealand – and an annual four-metre snow fall results in one of the longest seasons in New Zealand.

“We know there’s a lot of keen skiers and riders who have been waiting for this, and we’re looking forward to rolling out the white carpet,” said James.

All the main trails and some park terrain will be open tomorrow when the field opens from 9am.

Mt Hutt was voted New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort at the World Ski Awards in 2016, following on from the 2015 win.

New this year at Mt Hutt are improvements to the base lodge included upgraded toilet facilities and extended coffee bars, increased skiable terrain with an additional 21 hectares at the South West face, new automated snow guns and modified terrain at the upper mountain to boost snow coverage on the higher runs.

“This is Canterbury’s playground, with a friendly vibe, great customer service and excellent facilities,” said James.

“This is a big mountain with wide groomed slopes, all-lift access for all abilities, top to bottom terrain parks with world-class jumps.”

The Kids4Free Deal is a huge attraction also. This initiative between tourism operators in Methven provides several accommodation, dining and activities options for children aged 10 and under free of charge with one adult. This includes Mt Hutt where children 10 and under get a lift pass free of charge every day of the season.

Other features that make Mt Hutt so popular is the long vertical drops, the spectacular views across the Canterbury Plains - on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean in one direction and into the heart of the Southern Alps in the other – and the extensive terrain for all abilities, including four freestyle parks.

The 90-minute drive to Mt Hutt from Christchurch is beautiful also, travelling past the Canterbury Plains and Rakaia Gorge. From Methven, Mt Hutt is only 35 minutes’ drive.

Events

Aside from the opening day and local competitions throughout the season, the Mt Hutt calendar includes some big events. Two must do’s are the Mt Hutt Slope Style competition on Aug 5 and 6th where up and coming freestylers defy gravity as they hit the park in front on gasping onlookers. The famous Peak to Pub race on September 23rd is a hugely popular annual contest for New Zealand’s top multi sporters – as well as a host of enthusiastic amateurs – who have to ski/board, bike and run from the summit of Mt Hutt at 2086m to the Blue Pub in Methven at 300m.