New Zealand’s South Island is an incredibly popular ski area for locals and tourists alike. While it doesn’t offer the hour-long runs that some of the bigger international fields do, the scenery, the atmosphere and the quality of the snow all help to bring these ski areas up to an international par.
Mt Hutt is a favourite for many, especially as it can be reached in less than two hours when you pick up a Christchurch car hire.
The access road is just one hour away from Christchurch central, and from there it’s just a 30-minute drive to the car park.
When it gets busy, the car park at the top of the mountain fills up, but there is a secondary park just ten minutes from the top that a shuttle will pick you up from for a ride to the field for free.
Once you’re on the mountain, there are slopes for all levels of skier and boarder, and even a good area for off-piste skiing too.
The magic carpet is essentially a conveyor belt that is an ideal way for learners to come to grips with being on the snow for the first time.
A four-person lift, ‘the quad’, services a longer learners’ track and an intermediate run.
To get to the top of the mountain, take a quick ride in a six-person lift – the summit six – that lets you off at the stunning peak of the mountain. It’s such a breathtaking view that it is recommended even non-skiers take a ride so they can look out over the western side of the Southern Alps, and then ride back down on the lift again!
A three-person chairlift, the triple, was knocked out by heavy snowfall earlier this year, but is due to be back up and running in no time.