Skiing. Riding, Heliskiing, Mountain Biking, Jetboating, Helicopter Tours, Off Roading & Hot Air Ballooning.
Health & Wellbeing
Opuke Thermal Pools & Spa, Flow Pool & Studio, Salt House, Massage and the Garage Gym.
Activities & Attractions
Walking & Hiking, Golf, Fishing, Clay Shooting & Archery, Ice Skating, Shopping & Eateries and a Skate Park.
Why Methven ?
Methven (otherwise called Piwakawaka in Māori), is a rural village in the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand.
It is located near the western edge of the Canterbury Plains, just 35 kilometres north of Ashburton and 94 km south-west of Christchurch.
With Mt Hutt Ski Area on its doorstep (snow shuttles operate daily from Christchurch and Methven), some of the world’s finest heliskiing country and eight Canterbury ski fields all within close distance, Methven is a snow sports magnet during the winter months.
The town and surrounding district also caters for those seeking a country experience. Enjoy Methven’s hospitality while you refresh and relax in our amazing space. You will find the friendliness of our locals appealing especially when dining out at one of the many local eateries from cafes and country pubs to first class restaurants.
The region offers visitors an array of hiking & walking experiences; from a short walk suitable for the whole family, to challenging multi-day hikes for the serious tramper. Other popular outdoor activities range from mountain biking & cycling, fishing, hunting and golf to horse riding, jet boating, helicopter scenic flights and 4WD high country adventures.
Methven is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle, warm hospitality and abundance of outdoor activities on your doorstep…we call this ‘our playground’. In a world that’s gone mad, there is still a place where you can enjoy an old fashioned Kiwi lifestyle. Values like hard work, family, community and friends are embraced alongside a lifestyle that is intrinsically alpine.
Explore the Methven Lifestyle…
Mt Hutt Bike Park at the base of the Ski Area has over 40km of XC, downhill and single track trails.
From a family friendly XC loop to epic single track, double-black diamond technical descents and with some nice climbs to link it all together. All tracks are well maintained with berms, bridge features and jumps. But don’t let the jumps put you off; there are easy lines around all the features and jumps catering for all riders.
There’s also a Skills park in Methven, located behind the Medical Centre and plenty of easier flat rides around Methven through the walkway and along the RDR.
Mt Hutt has been voted New Zealand’s best ski resort eight years running at the World Ski Awards. A true alpine experience, with wide-open terrain, leg-burning runs, monster snowfalls, and spectacular views. You’ve not skied in New Zealand until you’ve skied Hutt!
The skiable area of 365 hectares offers wide groomed slopes, all-lift access for all abilities, top to bottom terrain parks with world class jumps, and some of the best off-piste skiing around.
Aside from the terrain and friendly vibe, another feature that makes Mt Hutt popular is its height. At an altitude of 2086m this is the South Island’s highest chair lift. Check out the spectacular views the Pacific Ocean in one direction and into the heart of the Southern Alps in the other, before hitting a leg-burning run.
With an annual four-meter snow fall, Mt Hutt also typically results in one of the longest snow seasons in New Zealand with legendary powder days.
Methven Heliski is the closest heliskiing to Christchurch and they are based in Methven. The heliski territory, the “Arrowsmiths” spans 3 mountain ranges.
The Arrowsmith, Ragged, and Palmer Ranges are at the headwaters of the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers. These mountains catch snow from every winter storm to deliver NZ heliskiing’s most consistent snow conditions and quality.
New Zealand’s best range of heliski terrain has runs for all standards of heli-boarder and heliskier, from beginner to expert with over 1,000 square kilometres of mountains to roam and over 200 named heli-skiing runs across 3 mountain ranges. The average vertical drop is approx 850 vertical metres.
Nowhere else in NZ (outside of the Mt Cook area) can you find the glaciated high-alpine heliskiing terrain that Methven Heliski offers.
Jetboating the Rakaia Gorge
Hold on tight as your skillful driver weaves the jet through an intricate braided river channel system, skimming along the rocky banks and gushing waters, home to Salmon and Trout fish. You will journey through the Rakaia Gorge, wind flowing through your hair and cool water splashing you with every twist and turn your driver makes as you take in the stunning scenery.
The scrub covered hills change to towering coal and limestone cliffs in shades of greys and browns, carved in the land over millions of years. Marvel at the snow capped Southern Alps between exhilarating 360 degree spins! With highly experienced drivers they will show you the treasures of the gorge, accessing spots others can only dream of!
Off Road Experiences
DIRT Bandits is New Zealand’s premier UTV Motorsport Experience. Utilising their purpose built UTV Circuit on the banks of the Rakaia River, a DIRT Bandits experience is raw, dirty and adrenalin fuelled.
Their drivers have extensive experience behind the wheel of the Bandit and although they love adrenalin, safety is at the forefront of a DIRT Bandits experience.
From rookies to motorsport enthusiasts, a DIRT Bandits experience is New Zealand’s ultimate off-road rush.
Hot Air Ballooning
There can be few finer places to take a balloon flight than New Zealand’s Canterbury Plains.
Adventure Balloons take off close to the foothills of Mt Hutt, where the mountains provide excellent shelter from the prevailing North Westerly winds.
They have unlimited airspace restrictions upto 9,500 ft which offers fantastic panoramic views across the southern alps as far away as Mt Cook and Mt Aspiring and also looking east across the patchwork landscape of the Canterbury plains to the Pacific coast.
Chief Pilot Graeme Church has over 35 years hot air balloon experience flying in New Zealand, the UK and other parts of Europe, including Alpine Flying as well as a flight across the English Channel!
Heli Scenic Flights
While enjoying Methven take the opportunity to see our area from the skies. Take in the stunning views, with opportunities for photos of the Rakaia Gorge, Mount Hutt, and the Canterbury Plains.
Local company, Heli Rural also provide High Country scenics, Wildlife Spotting flights and the opportunity to see Mt Hutt and the Southern Alps from above.
If you don’t like the idea of driving to Mt Hutt in the ski season, you can take advantage of their shuttle service from Methven, Terrace Downs or the base of the Ski Area.
Health & Wellbeing
Opuke Thermal Pools & Spa
Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa is the latest wellness destination in Methven Canterbury, just an hour out of Christchurch City.
Arrive and be transported to your own oasis in our beautiful facility which is like no other in New Zealand.
The Tranquility Pools offer a premium adult’s exclusive experience including an interconnected network of pools, star lit caves and swim up bar to allow you to escape from it all.
And for those wanting to connect with a more family friendly bathing experience, you can explore our Discover Pools. Find your inner child with our crazy river and leap of faith plunge pool, or slow down the pace and take refuge in our iconic star lit caves and relaxation pools.
Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa sourced from the Mountains, Powered by the sun.
Flow Pool & Studio
FLOW Pool and Studio is located on the outskirts of Methven and stands on 20 acres looking up at the majestic Southern Alps and vast Canterbury Plains.
The holistic health and movement space has been designed and created to promote wellbeing and balanced living, offering space for pilates, reformer, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, dietitian, lifestyle medicine, personal development coaching, aquacise, yoga, infrared sauna and plunge tub.
Their aim is to facilitate better community health and connection.
The Gym Floor is set up with a range of cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights and space for body weight exercises. Instructors will be available to do assessments and specific programs for your specific goals.
They provide you with the full exercise environment, mixing up the motivation of Group Fitness with the specific training of Gym Programs.
Methven Sports Massage
Located in Garage Gym, the focus is on customers experience, health and happiness. Providing a friendly service, that helps clients get back to optimal health and activity ASAP. Dedicated to ensuring that customers bodies, aches and pains are taken care of by offering a purposeful service to individual needs.
Salt House is a Halotherapy (Dry Salt Therapy) and Complementary Therapies clinic.
This clinic provides 100% drug free and non-invasive techniques, that assist the body to restore balance naturally. They have created a relaxing therapeutic environment for you to unwind and rejuvenate. Specialising in Halotherapy (Dry Salt Therapy), QEnergy Detox Foot Spa, Emmett Technique, Bowen Technique, Physiokey Therapy and Massage.
They are committed to providing a personalised and caring service to our clients and we utilise Advanced Technology along with Natural Products including a variety of Pure Salts, Organic Coconut Oil and 100% Pure Essential Oils.
Activities & Attractions
Hiking & Walking
Methven is at the gateway to a wide and varied range of walkways and tracks.
The Methven Walkway is 12 kilometres long, and is intersected by various country roads so that it is possible to walk through various sections or to complete the walkway from beginning to end which will take from 3.5 to 4 hours. The walkway includes the Enchanted Forest and the Piwakawaka Walk, perfect for families (and everyone else!) to enjoy.
Nearby are the Awa Awa Rata Reserve, Rakaia Gorge Walkway, Sharplin Falls, Mount Somers Walkway, Washpen Falls, Hakatere Lakes & Alpine Trails and the Te Araroa Trail. Information about all these walks and hikes can be found at the Methven iHub located right next to The Blue.
The five local golf clubs in Mid Canterbury are known as some of the finest country courses in New Zealand. The clubs, all within and hour’s drive from Methven include Methven, Rakaia, Ashburton, Tinwald and Mayfield Clubs.
Methven Golf Course offers spectacular views of Mt Hutt Ski Area and the Southern Alps and is open all year round to visitors. Golf carts and trundlers are available to hire and the 18 hole course is located just on the outskirts of town.
Terrace Downs Golf Resort, just on the other side of the Rakaia Gorge offers golfers the opportunity to play a unique high country 18-hole championship golf course. The rewarding par 72 course has spectacular views that pose a constant challenge for players to keep their eye on the ball!
Trout and salmon are the most common fish to catch in the region. The majority of the country’s salmon run is contained within the central area of the South Island and trout fishery habitats exist in many of the small local rivers. It is important to ensure that you are fishing within public land and you have a licence.
Fishing is regulated in New Zealand and all people wishing to participate in the sport need to obtain an appropriate licence to do so. You can purchase your fishing licence online by visiting Fish and Game New Zealand’s website.
The Rakaia River is fed by the Southern Alps and is a large braided river with great stocks of salmon and trout. The lagoon and river mouth are popular with anglers and are easily accessible. Prime salmon season is Mid-January to Mid-March with the prime time for trout between November and February.
Clay Shooting & Archery
Archery and Clay Bird Shooting can be experienced at Terrace Downs Resort, nestled on the edge of the Rakaia Gorge just 15 minutes from Methven and Mt Hutt in Canterbury.
Newzengland operate 7 days a week (bookings are essential) in most weather conditions. Their Mini Olympic Challenge combines clay shooting, archery and golf chipping. A great group activity for friends and family, work colleagues, and hens or stag parties. All activities are safe, cater to all abilities and are heaps of fun!
Owner Neil is a fantastic instructor (he spent 12 years as a senior instructor at The Royal Berkshire Shooting School in England) and the location is amazing.
The idea for a local ice-skating rink was raised in a conversation In the Staveley store between Eddie Totty and Ted Burgess Snr, one very cold frosty morning in 1949. A meeting was held and Sydney Bufton volunteered to take temperature readings at different sites over the next two years to determine the best site for a ring. The site chosen just happened to also be an attractive bush setting.
Staveley Ice & Curling Rink opened in 1951 and remained one of the few natural ice skating locations in New Zealand until 2023. The effects of climate change and increasingly warm winters led to limited opening of the rink during the last decade.
In 2021 the Staveley Hall Society undertook an ambitious $ 1m + project to develop and deliver the infrastructure works delivering a guaranteed three month opening season each winter. They succeeded!
Shopping & Eateries
Everything in Methven is in within walking distance so why not take a wander around town and check out some of the shops.
From outdoor equipment to local souvenirs Methven has a great range of shops. For a small rural town we have an impressive list of services including a bank, medical centre, pharmacy, petrol station & mechanics, gym, health & beauty, and real estate shops, along with some great local arts and crafts shops, a fantastic art gallery showcasing some of the many talented local artists and the local cinema. In winter, there are also 2 ski and snowboard shops who change identities to become the local bike shop and a watersports shop in the summer months.
When it comes to food, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with the array of cafes, bakeries and restaurants in Methven. It’s not a problem to find an excellent coffee in our town, the hardest decision is which cafe to choose.
Many years in the making, the Methven Skatepark opened in early 2020 and is located on the corner of Bank and McMillan Streets.
Featuring international standard features, Methven Skatepark has now become one of the premier skateparks in New Zealand. The development of the skatepark was underpinned by the enormous energy and dedication from local community group Kidz Methven.
Methven skatepark features a large bowl, miniramp and a street/transition area. It‘s a spacious concrete skatepark that has something for everyone whether you‘re a rookie or a more experienced skater.