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Whilst the glory of the Southern Ski Slopes of Queenstown and Wanaka stands proud on the international stage, many people overlook the opportunity to ski just a couple of hours away from Christchurch. Mt Hutt is one of three ski fields in the NZ Ski Portfolio, as sister slope to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Being the easiest and often most cost effective slope to reach with a wide range of international arrival options into Christchurch International Airport, make sure to read on to consider this great destination.
An altitude of 2086m and 365 hectares of terrain make Mt Hutt one of the largest and highest ski fields in New Zealand. The terrain is perfect for families with 75% of the slopes being suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers/snowboarders.
There is a great early learning centre for the little ones and the Kea Club for those that are confident enough to get out on the snow. What I really like about NZ Ski is that they offer kids under 10 free ski passes everyday of skiing as well as free meals.
The little kids will really love the costumed mascots too.
Apres-Ski Dining Options
Methven turns from somewhat of a sleepy town in the summer to the a buzzing ski-centre in the peak of winter. With this annual winter rush has come a variety of quirky and cool eateries that are perfect for the family.
My favourite places to eat out with the kids in Methven are;
The Last Post Cafe – The former post office of Methven turned funky kiwi cafe. With comfy sofas and open fires you can sit back and relax with a post-ski hot choccie or delicious comfort food for dinner. You can also choose to take up a movie meal deal with tickets to see the latest flick at Cinema Paradiso
Methven has a great way of being able to make their pubs easily distinguishable, names by their colour, with the Blue Pub offering a more traditional rustic feel whilst the Brown Pub has gone more contemporary with its fit out. Both offer good family fayre.
Non-Ski Day Activities
Here are the two family activities that I’d recommend a trip to on the day’s your body is just too tired to make it back up the slopes;
Aoraki Balloon Safaris - Gliding over the Canterbury Plains with views over 300km on a good day, it’s certainly not cheap, but well worth it – particularly if you’ve got older children who will be able to appreciate it.
Middlerock Farm Tour Experience – Ultra friendly and welcoming, Bruce, Lyn and their daughter Charlotte offer an amazing hands-on experience. Within a few hours you will get to grips with the workings of a real New Zealand farm, with dog mustering, sheep handling and lamb feeding at times. Kids just love it.
Apartment style Mt Hutt accommodation perfect for family ski holidays
If you’re travelling with a family, hotels can be an expensive option and often meaning splitting the family up, not to forget the added expense of not being able to cook. We’ve got five really good options for multi-room apartments that have full kitchen facilities, a lounge area and in-room laundry facilities. All things that are a god send when travelling with the family.
Whitestone Cottages – Sunny, spacious and gracious classically designed & fully self contained limestone cottages. These delightful full-serviced cottages have panoramic views of Mt Hutt and the Southern Alps. Absolutely stunning in the winter.
Clearridge Apartments – A little further away in the beautiful winter ski destination of Hamner Springs, these five star apartments even come with their own on-site spa and swimming pool.
Unique to NZ these apartments are like a home away from home. Choose from 40 properties throughout NZ. Need your own full kitchen to self cater? An in room laundry? 1, 2 or 3 bedroom options. Perfect for self drive families, friends and couples.