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Mt. Hutt's. 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 drive yourself or catch a ski-bus from Methven, but the road isn't paved and it has a number of hairpin turns. Lift tickets start at $91 for a full day. Rental equipment is available, and the area is family- and beginner-friendly. There's a ski school and crèche (kids under six ski for free). Daily snow reports start at 7 am; up-to-date ski conditions are available by phone or on the website. 03/302–8811. www.nzski.com.
Mt Hutt Helicopters. Intermediate and advanced skiers can sign up with Mt Hutt Helicopters for heli-skiing on Mt. Hutt, flying into slopes where no one else may have skied that day. North Peak Run, the most popular, offers an 800-vertical-meter run (2,600 vertical feet). Costs start at roughly $185 for one run; other options include a full day to the Arrowsmiths Range for $795, with elegant lunch provided. Heli-skiing is a winter-only option, but spectacular scenic and adventure flights are available in summer. 03/302–8401. email@example.com. www.mthutthelicopters.co.nz..
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