One hour from Christchurch on Inland Scenic Route 72, the township is nestled close to the Southern Alps and is arguably the centre of Ashburton’s growing bike activity. The area is full of classic rides, starting with the Methven Walkway accessible for all abilities, extending to the Hakatere Conservation Park and a lot closer to town, the Mt Hutt MTB Park. The Park is well known for its challenging downhill.
High country wilderness, foothills and plains, braided rivers, wild coastline: the Ashburton District in Mid Canterbury stretches from the Pacific Ocean, to the Southern Alps. Numerous MTB trails near Ashburton include short and multi-day ridesin Hakatere Conservation Park; a visual feast of beautiful lakes and tarns, tussock lands, river valleys and soaring mountains. The Ashburton/Hakatere River Trail is a single track network from Ashburton to the east coast…
Just 1-1.5 hours’ drive from Christchurch, it’s a great base for mountain-biking - including cross-country, single track and epic NZ Downhill Series trails, at Mount Hutt Bike Park. Methven has cafes, pubs, bike shops, plenty of accommodation, plus the annual Methven Rodeo, and exciting Mountain Thunder motorcycle street racing.
By Bob Frame
The 360, or ‘Meurky Walk’, showcases Christchurch’s varied and fascinating ecology. It was developed by Colin Meurk to circumnavigate the city and link up its many parks, reserves, wetlands, beaches, hills and urban landscapes.
With a fairly average day unfolding in Christchurch, a couple of friends and I decided to go ride Methven; we were a little skeptical as we always thought it was a downhillers domain, but in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Situated in the backcountry behind the ski town of Methven, and an easy two-hour drive from Christchurch, sits the Hakatere Conservation Park: 60,000 vast hectares of rugged mountain wilderness, beech forest and crystal-clear rivers and lakes.
Situated just off State Highway 72, just south of the Rakaia Gorge at the base of the Mount Hutt Skifield Access road and close to the busy wee town of Methven, lies the Mount Hutt Bike Park.