There's plenty of après ski options in Canterbury, from soaking in New Zealand’s highest hot tub to tucking into a classic Kiwi burger at a sub-alpine lodge. Make the most of your time on and off the field this winter, here's our hot tips.
Porters is the closest ski area to Christchurch, just over an hour from the city on the way to Arthur’s Pass. Porters Lodge is six kilometres along the ski area’s access road with accommodation, a café/restaurant and licensed bar on site. Ski all day and stay the night in a comfy bed after chilling out by the fire with a local craft beer or hot toddy and enjoying a menu stacked with homemade burgers, pizzas and classic Kiwi dishes.
Hanmer Springs is a great place to unwind after a day’s skiing at Hanmer Springs Ski Area – a friendly, fun ski area just 17 kilometres from the alpine resort town. Soak in natural thermal waters at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa before enjoying a meal in the village.
Mt Olympus is one of the region’s ‘club’ fields, which is run by members but also open to the public. Accommodation at these rustic ski areas is often right on the mountain and the 'social' aspect is a key component of any stay. Mt Olympus has a reputation for having the rowdiest parties of the lot, which often start with après ski beers while soaking in New Zealand’s highest hot tub followed by an invitation to raid an amazing dress-up box.
Lake Tekapo is the spot to head after a day’s skiing at Mt Dobson Ski Area, Roundhill Ski Area or Ohau Snow Fields. Treat yourself to a facial or relaxation massage at Lakestone Lodge on the shores of Lake Pukaki or soak in the hot pools or take a stargazing tour at Tekapo Springs. You’ll learn what many of the southern night sky’s prominent features mean for both European and Maori culture and the tour is followed by a relaxing soak in the hot pools. There’s also the Dark Sky Project for stargazing.
Mt Lyford Lodge
A 90 minutes' drive from Christchurch and just 45 minutes from Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs is Mt Lyford Lodge - a traditional log cabin nestled in the foothills of the Inland Kaikoura mountain range. The lodge is an ideal alpine retreat with breathtaking scenery, mouth-watering food and a cosy atmosphere. Snuggle up by the log fire in the public bar or find a table in the restaurant. The lodge caters to a variety of guests from backpackers seeking bunk rooms to those looking for a more deluxe experience.
The Methven Pubs
You can’t miss The Blue Pub because it’s smack bang in the middle of Methven and, well it's blue. The Brown Pub is easy to find too – it’s across the road. Just a snowball’s throw from Mt Hutt and within driving distance of several other ski areas, both are great places to relax after a day on the slopes. The Blue Pub not only has a fantastic bar it also offers a restaurant and backpacker style accommodation upstairs and if you're lucky live music. After more of a country pub experience, then head across the road. The Brown Pub has a welcoming, warm homely atmosphere. Methven is an hours’ drive from Christchurch.