1. Ski Mt Hutt
Let’s get that elephant in the room out of the way: the Mt Hutt Ski Field. The thing that most people know Methven for is its proximity to Mt Hutt. With 365 hectares of skiable area, Mt Hutt is one of the largest ski fields in the South Island. The resort has rentals, ski school and cafe/bar on the mountain. Return shuttles are available to catch from the Methven i-SITE. Learn more about the ski seasons in New Zealand here.
Location: 30-minutes drive from Methven along State Highway 77 and continue straight on McLennans Bush Road.
2. Check out Washpen Falls
There’s definitely more to this walk than the name suggests. The waterfalls are just a tiny aspect of this walkway of discovery. Walk through a volcanic canyon filled with huge rock formations and caves. Continue uphill through bird-filled forests until you reach a hillside of wonderful views of the Canterbury Plains. The walk continues down to a long-drop waterfall and onward to a lagoon. There’s even a rowing boat! Access to the 2-hour loop track for NZ$10 for the upkeep of the track on this private land.
Location: 25 minutes drive from Methven heading east on State Highway 77.
3. Jet Boat down the Rakaia Gorge
The glacial milky blue waters in contrast to the steep grey river gorge walls make Rakaia Gorge a stunning location to check out! Follow the Rakaia Gorge Track or get right into the middle of it by blasting along the river by jet boat. Full jet boat trips are available, as well as drop-offs to the far end of the Rakaia Gorge Track to walk the track one-way. For more awesome jet boat rides in New Zealand, see 17 Places to Jet Boat in New Zealand.
Location: 20 minutes drive from Methven heading east on State Highway 77.
4. Hike in the Mt Hutt Forest
When the snow is away there are actually more things to do on Mt Hutt. At the base of the mountain, explore the Mt Hutt Forest’s Awa Awa Rata Reserve. Choose from several short walks ranging from 10 to 45 minutes, heading deep into the forest which is abundant with birdlife. There’s also a longer tramping option of the Pudding Hill Stream Route.
Location: 15 minutes from Methven, along State Highway 77 and continue straight on McLennans Bush Road. Continue until the end. Don’t take the ski field access road.
5. Try your hand at archery
Feel like Robin Hood as you sling arrows through the pine forests. Located on the scenic Terrace Downs resort, Newzengland allows you to get behind the bow in a small tract of forest. You’ll learn how to fire arrows, be set fun challenges, and you’ll be getting bullseyes in no time (unless, of course, you’re really really bad).
Location: Terrace Downs, Windwhistle. 30 minutes from Methven. Take State Highway 77 east and turn up the Coleridge Road.