Skiing at Mt Hutt, New Zealand – Know Before You Go
Mt Hutt is one fo the best ski hills in New Zealand. For that reason, we recently went skiing at Mt Hutt to see what all the fuss was about and this is our honest review and information about skiing at Mt Hutt.
During our time living in Queenstown in the winter ski season, we had purchased NZ Ski season passes that let us go skiing and snowboarding on the Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski fields (the two ski fields closest to Queenstown) as much as we wanted!
But what many people don’t know is that this season pass also includes access to another skifield, Mt Hutt, some 5 hours from Queenstown.
With Mt Hutt included in our season passes and it winning the award for New Zealand’s best ski resort in 2015, 2016, and 2017 we simply just had to check it out for ourselves! With that in mind, we packed our bags for the weekend for a New Zealand road trip to Mt Hutt!
Here is everything we learned about skiing in Mt Hutt while we were there.
About Skiing at Mt Hutt
Mt Hutt is one of the three ski fields owned and operated by NZ Ski. Located near the town of Methven, Mt Hutt is the closest ski hill to Christchurch. This makes it super popular among locals but also visitors road-tripping from Christchurch to Queenstown.
At Mt Hutt, there is one high-speed chairlift that seats 6 people and 4 other smaller chairlifts (2 for beginners.) The longest run is 2km long. Of course, this isn’t as large as other resorts around the world but for NZ, it’s big!
The Mt Hutt ski field is open from June to October with the exact dates changing depending on seasonal weather (New Zealand’s winters aren’t always good!)
Throughout the ski hill, there are lots of different runs from the bunny hill all the way to double black runs and of course backcountry areas where you can make your own path.
One of the best things about skiing at Mt Hutt is the views! Towering 2086m in the air some of the views from the top chairlift are absolutely stunning. Even if you aren’t skiing or snowboarding, I’d recommend going up and down in the chairlift just to check out the views!
Where is Mt Hutt, New Zealand
Mt Hutt is located right outside of a town called Methven, or an hour or so outside of Christchurch. Methven is the most popular place to stay for those who want to be close to the ski field, however with Christchurch so close you can also just stay there.
From the base of the mountain, it takes about 30 minutes to drive to the ski field parking lot. So you need to allow for that when you’re making the drive all the way from Christchurch.
How much does it cost to go skiing at Mt Hutt?
If you have one of the NZ Ski seasons passes then Mt Hutt is included in your pass. These season passes can be purchased for as little as $600 NZD if you get the super early pre-sale. Then pre-sale is $700 and in the weeks before it opens expect to pay $800 +.
Overall, it’s one of the cheapest season passes in New Zealand and you get access to three ski resorts for that price.
However, if you don’t have a season pass and want to visit for a day expect to pay $104 NZD. However, if you’re a beginner then try one of the learner packages that allow you two lessons and entrance for the day. These passes can be only $149 so they are good value!
Rates change and the more days you go the more you save, so refer to their website here.
What are the road conditions like to get to Mt Hutt?
The road to Mt Hutt is an unsealed gravel road with some very steep cliff edges. Many corners are sharp and without barriers. During the winter, you must at least carry snow chains at all times in case they are required. That being said, when the weather is good a 2wd will easily make it to the top without snow chains.
If you drive slowly and cautiously then the drive up to the resort will be just fine. In fact, the drive to the Mt Hutt skifield is absolutely breathtaking. When the weather is clear, the views will have you in awe.
Luckily, there are several parking bays that let you stop to take pictures of the view (we took full advantage of these!)
Facilities at Mt Hutt Ski Resort
I was actually quite impressed with the facilities at Mt Hutt. There was lots of outdoor and indoor seating, a café and bar, as well as a restaurant upstairs. Live music was playing all afternoon and the atmosphere was vibrant!
The facilities at Mt Hutt actually make it comfortable for those who aren’t skiing or snowboarding just to hang out. However, be aware prices aren’t the cheapest and a takeaway meal will cost around $18 NZD.
There is also a rental shop where you can get all the gear you need to go skiing or snowboarding. On top of that, if your own gear needs a tune then just pop into the workshop for wax or repairs.
Is Mt Hutt Ski Field Good for Beginners?
Yes! In fact, it is really great for beginners. There is one chairlift run that is very easy but quite long. It caters really well to those who are learning. In fact, despite Mt Hutt being very busy the day we went, the really easy long green run was not crowded at all which is one thing that’s great for beginners.
In my opinion, Mt Hutt is better for beginners than the other two ski fields owned by NZ Ski (the Remarkables or Coronet Peak.)
How to Visit Mt Hutt on a Ski Trip
The majority of people who were at the Mt Hutt skifield were actually from Christchurch. Many locals make the 1.5hour drive for a day trip of hitting the slopes. If you’re living or visiting Christchurch then this is a possibility.
However, the closest town to Mt Hutt is called Methven. If you want to maximize your time on the slopes then staying in Methven is ideal. If you are planning on enjoying an epic road trip then check out our Christchurch to Queenstown road trip guide! It includes all the best stops along the way!
Mt Hutt Accommodation
Methven is your best option for Mt Hutt accommodation. We stayed at the Blue Pub, which was great budget accommodation right in the center of Methven. The fact that it’s attached to a pub was also a big plus.
The Blue Pub restaurant is also awesome and we would highly recommend eating there (try the lamb ragout, you won’t be disappointed!)
The Downside to Skiing at Mt Hutt
Mt Hutt was very busy! We went on a Saturday and it felt as if half of the city of Christchurch was skiing at Mt Hutt with us! That being said, the facilities did cater to a larger number of people and with the many runs available people were very spread out all over the mountain.
We haven’t been for ourselves yet, but we have heard that Treble Cone ski resort is a great option if you don’t want a huge crowd of people!
Overall, our trip to Mt Hutt for skiing was a success. We were glad we made the drive and got to experience another skifield as opposed to just the ones near Queenstown. If you are headed past Mt Hutt I would highly recommend stopping for at least one day of skiing or snowboarding.
Also, the road from Queenstown to Mt Hutt is a beautiful drive!
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January 24, 2020