Get away from the crowds and ride the biggest mountains in NZ this winter.
Spend 3 days heli-skiing New Zealands best heli-ski terrain on our Methven Freeride Tour. This is our longest running and most popular NZ ski and snowboard program for good reason.
The country town of Methven, located around one hour from Christchurch Airport, is the perfect staging area to explore New Zealand’s best heli-ski terrain across 3 mountain ranges: The Arrowsmith, Ragged, and Palmer Ranges. These ranges are located at the headwaters of the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers and catch snow from every winter storm to deliver New Zealand’s most consistent heli-ski conditions.
Our Methven accommodation is purpose built and designed to offer our guests high quality accommodation in comfortable surroundings that reflect the local Canterbury landscape. Relax after a big day on the mountain with a local craft beer in the lounge with log fire and espresso coffee bar on-site.
Each evening we sit down to a home cooked meal including locally sourced ingredients like Canterbury beef, lamb or salmon washed down with a glass (or bottle) of South Island wine.
24 August - 29 August, 2020
06 September - 11 September, 2020
Guest to Guide Ratio
4 guests : 1 guide
AUD $4295 per person
Heliski - Backcountry terrain and variable snow conditions
Why Travel With Mint
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. We are a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conduct business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
3 Days Heli-skiing
You've got 3 days of heli-skiing included on this tour. Need more? No problem. Pre-book to avoid missing out.
You'll clock up the vertical on the Methven Freeride Tour. Ride real big mountain terrain with runs averaging 1200 vertical metres.
3 Ranges to Ride
The Arrowsmith, Ragged, and Palmer Ranges are home to over 200 named heli-skiing runs across these 3 mountain ranges.
Our base for this tour is Methven. A small farming community famous for its colour coded pubs, 'The Brown' and 'The Blue'.
Methven Freeride Tour
Get in touch for a detailed tour itinerary and more info
Only an hour drive across the Canterbury Plains from Christchurch and sitting at the base of the Southern Alps is the township of Methven. A typical kiwi farming town that transforms into a bustling ski village during the winter centred around the famous Blue and Brown Pubs. The tour isn't complete without catching local Methven live band 'Little Big Men' fronted by Methven royalty (and Mint guide) Richie Owen playing til the wee hours.
SNOW & CONDITIONS
August is our preferred time to run this tour as conditions are at their optimum. The vast terrain spans numerous mountain ranges which are affected differently by prevailing snow and weather conditions. It is these variations that allow us to ski or snowboard many aspects ensuring powder snow each day.
Your heli-ski guides have an in depth knowledge of the local area and will be able to find any type of terrain to suit your ability. From sheltered powder-filled basins, bowls and wide rolling mountain flanks through to steeps and chutes. Runs vary between 2000 to 4000 vertical feet of treeless terrain.
LODGE STYLE ACCOMMODATION
Each room has 2 single beds and everything you need for a comfortable stay. Ensuite, great heating, TV, and free WiFi. Every morning you’ve got a hot breakfast and each night you’ll enjoy a home cooked dinners made with the freshest local produce. Relax by the fire at the end of the day with some local beers and keep your equipment powder ready with the tune room and workshop.
After you sign up for a tour, you will receive pre-trip emails with specific information about your tour, the arrival and departure day process, information about the destination, packing suggestions, and other relevant information to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to this, you have access to our customer care team who are just a phone-call away. And as a full-service travel agent, we are able to take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre or post tour arrangements.
We offer one of the smallest client to guide ratio’s in the industry which ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. Our small groups allow greater manoeuvrability and ease of access to the best areas a destination can offer. On our heli-ski days, our guest to guide ratio is maximum of 5 people per guide. This also makes for a more personal experience between our guests and guides.
Meet your guides
LOCAL GUIDES & PARTNERSHIPS
Your snowboard & ski guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
Meet your expert team
Kevin Boekholt has been Methven Heliski's Director and lead guide since 1988. His passion for heliskiing is key to the close knit relationships that have developed between guests and guides. Kevin started his career as a mountain guide in 1983 and became a full IFMGA certified guide in 1985. He is also a lead guide for CMH in Canada.
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES
- 3 Heli-ski / snowboard days (guaranteed 5 runs per day)
- 3 days of professional heliski guide services
- Use of safety equipment on heliski days
- 3 days return transfers to heli staging area on heliski days
- 5 nights accommodation, twin room with ensuite
- 5 breakfasts at Mt Taylor Lodge
- 5 dinners at Mt Taylor Lodge
- Generous picnic lunch on heliski days
- Scheduled airport transfers on arrival and departure day, Christchurch Airport
- Hosting & guiding by Mint Tours
The Methven Freeride Tour is 5 nights. If this isn’t enough, then book one of our multi-tour combo’s. Ask us about tour combo ideas and multi-tour discounts.
WEEK 1 24 August – 29 August, 2020
WEEK 2 06 September – 11 September, 2020
PRO-TIP – GO PRIVATE!
Book this tour as a private departure – with your own guide and all the benefits of a Mint group tour – for any group, big or small (even just one traveller). Get in touch to discuss.
WHY TRAVEL WITH MINT?
In a rapidly changing travel industry it’s important to know that your travel provider is accredited, accountable and responsible. Mint is a registered member of AFTA and IATA and conducts business in accordance with the ATAS Charter and Code of Conduct. When you travel with Mint you can have peace of mind that you are booking with a qualified and established travel operator with over 20 years of expertise. And as a full-service travel agent, we can take care of your flights, insurance, stopovers and pre-or post tour arrangements.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BORDERS ARE CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?
The global health crisis has impacted everyone enormously, so we want to make sure your future travel plans are safe and reassure you that we are committed to supporting our customers in the best way that we can. You can view our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates HERE
WHAT IS A FREERIDE TOUR?
Our Methven Freeride Tour offers you the best chance to heli-ski for 3 days over a 4 day weather window. If guests ride the allocated 3 days consecutively, you have the option to book another heliski day if available or we can arrange transportation to the local ski area of Mt Hutt. Of course weather and conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride anything from knee deep powder through to spring corn.
WHAT HAPPENS ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE DAY?
Once you’ve signed up for the tour we will send you through a comprehensive guide with details about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information.
WHAT IF I’M TRAVELLING SOLO?
About 99% of our guests are travelling solo, so you’ll be in good company. If you are travelling solo, you will be paired with another guest to room with. The accommodation for this tour is twin share i.e. 2 beds per room. Your group will be made up mostly of solo travellers. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snow sports and an eagerness to explore all that New Zealand has to offer.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON THIS TOUR?
Each tour is different, but we know that by offering one of the smallest client to guide ratio in the industry allows you to ski or snowboard at your preferred pace, and ultimately leads to a better experience for everyone. This ensures you get the most out of your time with us, and keeping the groups small means less time waiting and more time riding powder.
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR ME?
This tour is best suited to skiers and snowboarders who are comfortable skiing and snowboarding in backcountry terrain. You can can link turns in powder snow, can make a variety of turn shapes and can traverse, hold speed and is adventurous when skiing and snowboarding the entire mountain including side-hits and jumps. If you’re not sure, give us a call. Weather and ski conditions are impossible to predict so guests must be prepared to ride or ski anything.
WHICH MOUNTAINS WILL WE VISIT?
We leave this up to our head guide, but depending on weather, snow pack and ability levels, expect to ski and snowboard at either the Arrowsmiths, Ragged Range or Palmer Ranges of the main divide.
CAN I ARRIVE EARLY OR STAY ON AFTER THE TOUR?
For most tours you can arrive earlier or stay later. We can tailor the trip to suit your travel plans. Speak with one of our tour specialists when you are booking and they will be more than happy to assist.
WHO ARE THE GUIDES?
All of our tours are guided by friendly, knowledgeable and expertly trained guides who are passionate about the mountains. Most of our guides work for us season after season. If you have a preferred Mint guide, just let us know and we’ll be able to tell you which tours they are leading.
CAN YOU BOOK FLIGHTS?
Yes. Let us take the hassle out of selecting the right flights for the tour. We can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED?
No, flights are not included. If you need assistance booking flights, we can book you the best flight options for the tour, with no booking fees.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Yes. All guests on tour need to be covered be comprehensive travel insurance. Once you have booked on the tour, we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We offer all of our tour guests discounted snow specific travel insurance.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I’VE BOOKED?
Once you’ve booked your spot on tour, we will send you through a booking confirmation and provide updates about the tour including the arrival and departure day process, a map of where we meet, recommended arrival and departure times, flight options, Visa requirements and transportation information. We will send out a Pre Departure Guide 30 days prior to departure. Prior to the tour commencing we will invite you to a group chat which is managed by your tour manager and guides.
HOW CAN I CHECK MY ABILITY LEVEL?
The best way to check if a tour is suited to your ability is by speaking with one of our tour specialists. They will be able to determine if the tour you have selected is a good fit for your ability, as well as suggesting other tour options.
HOW DO I GET TO METHVEN?
We’ll provide you with a guide with details on how to get to Christchurch and where to meet your hosts. If it’s your fist time to New Zealand or if you’re unsure about travel arrangements, often we can link you up with other tour guests to travel with.
HOW DO I CHECK AVAILABILITY?
Speak with one of our tour specialists. As this is a small group tour with limited availability, it’s best to get in touch early to avoid disappointment.
DO YOU TAKE SKIERS & SNOWBOARDERS?
Yes! We are ski and snowboard friendly. Please note that the majority of our tours are led by snowboard guides.
ARE LIFT TICKETS INCLUDED?
Lift tickets are not required when heli-skiing. However, we can assist with Mt Hutt lift tickets for pre / post tour ski visits.
CAN I RENT EQUIPMENT?
We can arrange rental equipment for most destinations, however we do recommend bringing your own equipment as selection can be limited.
WHAT EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
Skiing and snowboarding in the New Zealand backcountry is like nothing else. Expect all kinds of weather and snow with temperatures typically ranging from +10 to -10. We recommend that guests have a good quality waterproof jacket and pants, lightweight insulated layer, merino base layers, merino gloves and waterproof gloves, goggles with low light & high light lenses, sunglasses, balaclava, beanie, and helmet. We recommend that all guests bring their own ski or snowboarding equipment for the tour (board, boots, bindings & outerwear).
WHO WILL BE ON MY TOUR?
Your group will be made up of travellers from diverse backgrounds and will be varied in age. Our groups generally mix well due to a shared interest in snow sports and an eagerness to explore all that New Zealand has to offer.
PRICE PER PERSON
The Methven Freeride Tour is AUD $4295 per person
Pricing is in Australian Dollars and based on twin share accommodation. Please contact us if you would like a quote in your local currency. We can accept payments in USD, AUD, NZD, GBP, CHF, EUR, JPY, CAD.
RESERVATION AND DEPOSIT
To secure your spot on tour, a non-refundable 25% deposit is payable within 3 days of booking. The balance is due 90 days prior to tour departure. You can view our terms and conditions HERE and COVID-19 policy HERE
If you would like some more information or a quote for the tour you can contact us by:
Click on ‘Enquiry’ below and send us your details. Once we receive your request one of our New Zealand Tour Specialists will be in touch with a with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.
2. OVER THE PHONE
Call us and follow the prompts to speak to one of our New Zealand Tour specialists.
Drop us an email and one of our New Zealand Tour Specialists will be in touch with a with a quote, availability and further details about the tour.