When most people think of skiing New Zealand they probably immediately think of places like The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Treble Cone and Cardrona. There’s no doubt, these ski fields are amazing, but there’s another one you may not have heard about that actually offers incredible ski fields too. Mt Hutt is located a little over an hour from Christchurch, making it a destination that’s easy to visit not just for locals, but overseas visitors too. We found ourselves visiting Mt Hutt for the first time, basing ourselves out of the gorgeous little town of Methven. Staying at a local spot, The Lodge, we found ourselves the perfect base for our Ski NZ adventures. Here’s a more detailed look at New Zealand’s hidden ski destination and some detailed insight into The Lodge.
But first, watch this…
Where is this magical place?
Located near Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, Methven is a quaint little town that comes alive in the winter months. A veritable winter wonderland, the Mt Hutt ski fields offer amazing skiing and snowboarding, a real favourite among Christchurch locals. Away from New Zealand’s beloved ski fields further down south, Mt Hutt is a new place to explore, a fun and friendly destination where you can lose entire days shredding the slopes, sipping cold beers or hot chocolates and immersing yourself in the sensational snow of the south island.
How the heck do I get my sweet buns there?
It’ll take you around 1 hour 15 minutes to drive from Christchurch to Methven, the little town nestled at the bottom of the Southern Alps that acts as a base for visitors to Mt Hutt. What’s great about Mt Hutt is it’s a budget-friendly, super easy alternative for holiday-makers looking for some winter fun without wanting to venture as far south as Queenstown. We made our visit to Mt Hutt part of our ski/snowboard trip itinerary, opting to drive from Christchurch down to Queenstown and Wanaka, visiting the southern ski fields first, then making the drive back up and ending our trip with two nights in Methven and a few days on the Mt Hutt ski fields.
If you’re based in Brisbane or the east coast of Australia, it’s easy and affordable to fly to Christchurch, hire a car and drive out to Methven. In some instances, it’s an even better alternative to venturing down to Thredbo as you’ll be treated to New Zealand’s fantastic winter sports conditions and natural beauty at a comparable price!
What are the rooms like?
The Lodge is the perfect base for your ski and snowboard adventures! The hotel is located right in the heart of Methven, which isn’t really all that hard given it’s a pretty small town. That said, the location made it really easy for us to head out on foot, visit the local cafes, shops and pubs and not have to worry about climbing back into the car and driving each time we wanted to go somewhere.
We stayed in a double room which was really spacious and comfortable, equipped with 1 Queen and 1 Single bed. Our room was really spacious, we could easily spread out our all our luggage and ski gear and still have plenty of room to walk around easily. The bed was really nice and comfortable, offering us a great night’s sleep each evening, which we really needed after a big day of skiing and snowboarding. There’s loads of storage and cupboard space, making it easy to hang up all your ski gear to dry out in the nice warm room. The bathroom was spacious, very clean and the shower offered fantastic water pressure for a nice, steamy, hot shower.
You’ll find the wifi really fast and totally free! I was even able to watch some Netflix without any trouble. The room also includes a mini-fridge, tea and coffee making facilities, a television, heater and a desk and chair. Like I said, decked out with everything you need. There’s a continental breakfast each morning which offers guests toast and condiments, cereals, tea and coffee – a great, simple start to each day before you head up to the mountain. Attached to the hotel is restaurant and bar, Crossroads, where you can get your hands on a glass of wine or cold beer as well as a delicious dinner. Best of all, guests of the hotel are offered a discount on food and drinks!
The accommodation itself is simple, clean, comfortable and just the ideal spot for a visit to Mt Hutt. We’re talking the kind of accommodation you look forward to getting back to after a big day on the slopes because it’s cosy, comfortable and the perfect place to unwind each day! Don’t let the understated facade fool you, The Lodge offers great accommodation.
We had a great stay at The Lodge and really looked forward to getting back to the room each day, finding it a very comfortable spot to be based. It offered great accommodations, easy access to the local area and a warm, welcoming and very friendly atmosphere which made our stay extra enjoyable.
But, what is there to do?
Without a doubt, the number one thing to do is visit Mt Hutt and spend your time shredding the slopes! If you’re planning on driving up to Mt Hutt you’ll need to check the road conditions before heading up and make sure you’re carrying snow chains if required to do so. To make life a little easier, we booked ourselves on one of the local shuttle bus services, Snowman Shuttles, which dropped us up at the ski field in the morning and picked us up in the afternoon.
Of all the fields we visited, Mt Hutt was the biggest surprise package. From the top, standing on the snow, you can see all the way out to the water, which kind of blew our minds. By the time I visited Mt Hutt I had a few lessons under my belt as well as having made my way down Treble Cone twice and Cardrona a few times, so I was really ready to spend the day working on my turns and trying out my shred skills. I absolutely loved Mt Hutt! Highway 72 was the perfect run for me, offering plenty of space to take some nice, wide turns and soak in insanely good views of the local area.
The boys also loved Mt Hutt as it offered 4 freestyle terrain parks, 365 hectares of snow to play on, 1 six-seaters, 1 four-seater, 1 three seater and 2 learner lifts as well. The guys, being more advanced, were able to really get into the terrain and leave the trails, giving them more to explore. Of course, there’s a childcare and a wide range of restaurants and cafes to visit – we ate at Huber’s Hutt and loved the food and coffee (and cold beers at the end of the day).
Talk me through the food situation…
- You absolutely must eat at the local hero, Truck Norris Texas BBQ! We ate there on our first night and loved it so much we went back again on the second night – it was just so good
- If you love dumplings and ramen be sure to make a visit to Purple Dragon
- Visit Pioneers Cafe for a yummy lunch, their soups are divine and the toasted sandwiches really hit the spot
- If you’re after hearty pub grub, look no further than The Blue Pub or The Brown Pub
- For something a bit fancier, check out The Dubliner
- Head out for breakfast at Arabica Cafe
- Duck into Cafe Primo e Secundo for breakfast, brunch or lunch
- Grab a bite to eat at Crossroads at The Lodge
We really enjoyed our stay at The Lodge! It was the perfect base for our Ski NZ adventures, allowing us to get out spend all day on the ski fields without feeling guilty like we’d forked out a lot of money for accommodation and were wasting it by being away all day. In saying that, the accommodation is by no means a slouch! We loved the friendly service and coming back to our cosy, comfy room in the afternoon to fire up the heater, peel off our snow gear and lay down for a much-needed relaxation session on the big, comfy beds.
I think Mt Hutt is a fantastic ski destination for anyone in Austalia who doesn’t want to make the journey down to Queenstown, be it for budget and time or reasons or those who simply can’t be bothered. Instead, a visit to the little town of Methven and the Mt Hutt ski fields will see you shredding with locals, enjoying some really friendly ski fields ideal for learners and the more experienced. The Lodge serves as your go-to accommodation base, offering comfortable, reliable and easy digs that will see you exploring Methven, tearing up the ski fields and unwinding too.