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Mt Hutt Ski Area. Methven is the gateway to a number of ski slopes (Kiwis say ski fields). Thanks to its altitude, (6,780 feet) and snowmaking machines, Mt. Hutt's access begins in early June. Its wide basin and a vertical drop of 655 meters (2,148 feet) ensure a 2-km (1-mi) run, with some of the best powder in Australasia. From the chairlifts you'll have terrific views of the mountains and the Canterbury Plains below. Shuttles to the slopes run from Methven and Christchurch, often as part of a package offer including lift fees and equipment rental. You can catch a ski-bus from Methven, or drive yourself but the road's not paved and has a number of hairpin turns. Rental equipment is available, and the area is family- and beginner-friendly. There's a ski school and crèche (kids under ten ski for free). Up-to-date ski conditions are available by phone or on the website. 03/302–8811. www.nzski.com. Lift tickets from $NZ93.
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