As soon as the mountains show the first sprinkling of white, avid skiers and boarders count-down to the start of the season! It's time to dust-off the ski/snowboard gear so you're ready to hit the slopes!
The largest of the Canterbury ski fields is only a 90 minute drive from Christchurch: Mt Hutt offers good skiing, facilities and terrain to suit every level. For those not confident driving the access road there is a free shuttle bus transporting people from the base of the mountain to the upper carpark. A high speed chairlift delivers skiers and snowboarders to the top of the mountain. The view from the top is breathtaking: From the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean - picture perfect! Finish off a good day of skiing with a drink at Hubers Hut. This is a great spot to relax with a glass of mulled wine and enjoy the last rays of sun, before heading back.
Tired and not wanting to drive too far? Methven is close by and offers a good range of accommodation.
Daily transport from Christchurch to Mount Hutt is available.
Insider tip: Most ski fields run their own ski gear rental shop. Some transport providers offer combo tickets which include return transport, rent for skis/snowboards, boots and poles.
After a hearty breakfast, the next ski adventure is waiting. A good hours' drive from Methven is Porters: This ski field is smaller and the perfect playground for off-piste enthusiasts. Free-riders can test their skills whizzing down "Big Mamma" and beginners learn their first moves in the ski school area. The beginners' area is great, well equipped and only a short walk from the carpark and restaurant/shop area. There is plenty of space for parents to watch their children skiing and for the younger kids to play in the snow. The Porters mountain based cafe sells a good range of food with local favourites including The famous Springfield Pies - these will be sure to recharge the batteries!
Daily transport from Christchurch to Porters available.
Activities for non-skiers
Keen to learn how to ski? Most ski fields run ski schools and offer beginner lessons including gear rental to get a taste.
Skiing/snowboarding not your thing? Methven and surrounding areas has a wealth of things to see and do: Golfing, biking, a visit to the New Zealand Alpine and Agriculture Centre, walking or jet boating just to name a few!
Methven has a good range of different restaurants and bars all within walking distance. The food on offer is very international: Japanese, Italian, Irish, Thai and New Zealand cuisine and much more! The town has its own shuttle bus system over winter: The village cruiser. The bus offers pick-ups from certain accommodation to the town centre (gold coin donation).
If you can't get enough of the white stuff and have mastered the slopes, check out our top Heli Ski spots in Canterbury.