Visit Methven, Canterbury, NZ

  • Click here to create a NZ itinerary
  • Methven sits on the western edge of the Canterbury Plains, beneath the mountains of the Southern Alps, about 90 km west of Christchurch. It is a great base for winter skiing, in a landscape that is most stunning when seen from the air.

    Mt Hutt Ski Area - 2014 Ski Season: Opening 7 June 2014

    South Island Ski Itineraries:

    Methven is only 30 minutes’ drive from Mount Hutt ski area. The Mount Hutt Snow Festival brings the town to life at opening of the ski season, which lasts from June to October. Other, smaller ski areas are in the vicinity.

    The wide, braided Rakaia River flows past the town about 10 km distant, having passed through the rugged Rakaia Gorge. This area is popular for rafting, jet boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and mountain biking.

    Accommodation in Methven (NZ)

    Accommodation choices are plentiful in Methven, with over 2000 beds available. But, it is advisable to book ahead during peak periods. There are luxury lodge and hotel options, along with motels and bed & breakfast establishments.

    Some lodges and motels have self-contained units. There are also cottages and apartments for rent.

    Methven has budget/backpacker accommodation providers. There is also a campground, with tent and powered sites, in the countryside a short distance from the town.

    There are crèche facilities in the town centre, allowing parents of young children to spend more time in the outdoors.

    Transport around Methven

    The journey from Christchurch to Methven is about 100 km and takes about 75 minutes. It is relatively easy to cycle this route, as the countryside is flat and the roads are easy. However, most people travel by private/rental vehicle or inter-city bus.

    The journey from Timaru, to the south, is about the same distance, and also served by tour buses.

    Methven’s nearest aerodrome is at Pudding Hill, about 10 km north-west of the town.

    Tourist Activities around Methven

    The Mount Hutt ski area is Methven’s closest, and one of the largest and most-established in the area.

    The region’s other ski areas include Porters and Mt Cheeseman - which are relatively easy and family-friendly - and Temple Basin, Broken River, Craigieburn, and Mount Olympus – which are relatively raw and may contain off-piste areas, steep runs and deep snow.

    There are many other outdoor pursuits possible in and around Methven. The Rakaia River provides good trout fishing and trails for walking or mountain biking, and is also popular for rafting and jet-boat tours, as with other rivers in the wider region, including the Selwyn, Ashburton and Rangitata Rivers. Horse trekking is popular in some of these areas.

    Popular trails include the Methven Walkway, Awa Awa Rata Reserve (at the base of Mt Hutt), Rakaia Gorge Walkway, and longer walks in the Mount Somers area, a short drive south-west of Methven.

    Hunting is possible in designated areas of the alpine foothills. Local guides for both fishing and hunting can be easily found.

    Parachuting and sky-diving operations are run from Pudding Hill aerodrome, not far from Methven. Hot-air ballooning is another way to appreciate the majestic landscape from the air.

    Methven has plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs, which bring about a vibrant nightlife. There are also gift shops and beauty salons.

    Methven’s 18-hole golf course is considered to be one of the best “country” courses in New Zealand, with mountain views and very clear air.