Getting to Methven

Getting to Methven

Wagner Custome Skis

Where is Methven?

Methven is located in the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand, only 94km west of Christchurch. Methven is 413km northeast of Queenstown, and 157km northeast of Lake Tekapo.

Getting to Methven from Christchurch Airport

The Christchurch International Airport is 91km from Methven, a drive that takes about 1 to 1:15 hours.

If you want to sample various ski areas it is very advantageous to rent a car at Christchurch Airport to provide some flexibility (if you plan to visit the club fields, hire a 4WD). And in the likely event of a "down day", it is very handy to have a car to get to other activities.

If you would prefer not to self-drive, there are shuttle services available for transfers from Christchurch Airport / Christchurch city to Methven.

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Getting To Methven From Christchurch

For locals and those staying in a hotel in Christchurch, Methven Travel offer a daily shuttle service to/from Christchurch.

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Methven Shuttles to Mt Hutt

If you don’t have a car, there are a couple of shuttle bus operators to get you between Methven and Mt Hutt.

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Driving to Mt Hutt from Methven

Mt Hutt is a 35-40 minute drive from Methven. The last part of the drive, the 14km access road, is unpaved and the road conditions can vary significantly from icy to muddy or dusty corrugations.

It’s definitely necessary to carry chains, and signs on the way up will indicate whether it’s necessary for 2WD or 4WD vehicles to have chains on. It’s easiest to organise chain hire when you hire a car from Christchurch Airport. There is a chain hire and fitting service available part way up the mountain, but it’s not always open so check the snow report regarding its status. Chains for 4WDs can be limited, and sometimes there’s a big queue to get your chains fitted.

Mt Hutt has a few car parks and if you don’t get there early you may need to park in one of the lower car parks. They have shuttle services to ferry people up. Think twice about wearing your white ski pants or furry après boots, because the car park may be very muddy, and remember not to leave anything around for the keas to eat, even if it’s roof racks or something else seemingly indigestible!

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Driving From Methven to the Club Fields

If you’ve got a 4WD vehicle and a very adventurous spirit, you can drive to the Canterbury club fields yourself. Driving to Mt Olympus in particular can be a little daunting for the uninitiated, and it can be easy to get lost. A sign on the way up says it all – “Chains and courage are required” to get up to the hill.

Rather than travelling inland towards Darfield on route 77, the fastest way to get to the Canterbury club fields is via the Lake Lyndon Road ie go out past Terrace Downs and turn right at Lake Lyndon Road (the route to get to Mt Olympus) and then left onto SH73. The road past the lake is sometimes snow-covered and a little sketchy. The Lyndon road generally has a closed sign up during winter (which essentially means it’s not maintained) and it’s generally OK if you have a 4WD. This route saves about 15 minutes when the road is icy and up to 30 minutes when the road is in good condition.

The approximate drive times from Methven below are for driving via Lake Lyndon Rd.
There are a couple of ski fields south of Methven that could be visited as a day trip.

Mt Dobson is located 143km southwest of Methven near the town of Fairlie, a drive that takes about 1:50 hours. This is an inexpensive ski field that is completely uncrowded.

“Uncrowded” would be an understatement for Fox Peak, a primitive club ski field well suited to experienced riders. Fox Peak is also near Fairlie, 151km from Methven - an adventurous drive that takes about 2 hours. It may only be open on weekends – check the ski field status before making the big trek.

Other Methven Transport to the Club Fields

You may prefer to just leave the transport to the experts. For the Canterbury club fields, Black Diamond Safaris provide transport and guided tours to Craigieburn Valley, Mt Olympus and Broken River. Going with BDS is a great way to visit these somewhat remote ski areas, and to save your energy for the skiing rather than the adventure of getting there! 

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Transport to Porters

On weekends, Snowman Shuttles provide transport between Methven and the Porters Ski Field.

Getting to Methven Heli Ski

Methven Heliski has an office in Methven. For those without a car, Methven Heliski provides accommodation pick-ups and transport out to the helicopter staging area at Glenfalloch (about an hour drive from Methven).

Getting Around Methven

Most of the Methven accommodation and restaurants and bars and within easy walking distance of each other.