HIKING & WALKING
The Methven region offers visitors an array of hiking & walking experiences; from a short walk suitable for the whole family, to challenging multi-day hikes across high country conservation land for the serious tramper. Below are the most popular walking tracks in the Methven region.
An easy walkway mainly following grass verges beside the Rangitata Diversion Race (a hydro-electric irrigation channel) and private farmland. The Walkway commences and ends at the Methven i-SITE Visitor Centre and is intersected by various country roads allowing several walking options.
Mt Alford Conservation Area
Trampers on the new Mt Alford Track will pass through the Alford Scenic Reserve, climb beside a stream gully which emerges onto tussock grassland before climbing through subalpine vegetation to the summit of Mt Alford (1,171m). From the summit, trampers are rewarded with wide views across the Canterbury Plains and the inland mountains.
Mt Hutt Forest Conservation Area
The Mt Hutt Forest Conservation Area includes the Pudding Hill Scenic Reserve and the Awa Awa Rata Reserve. The Awa Awa Rata Reserve is a popular picnic area at the bottom of Mt Hutt with a magnificent display of flowering rhododendrons during spring, and is the starting point for variety of walking and tramping tracks.
Mt Somers Tracks
A loop track around Mt Somers. The most popular section of the trip is from Sharplin Falls to Woolshed Creek picnic area (17km long) which takes about 10 hours to complete. The return section of the track (across the south face of Mt Somers) is suitable for more experienced trampers. The whole traverse takes approx 2 days.
Rakaia Gorge Walkway
This 5km one way walkway on the north side of the Rakaia River offers several unique features of geological and historic interest, as well as spectacular views of the river. A popular option with locals and visitors alike is to jet boat up the river with one of the operators based at the starting point of the walkway and to walk back.
Sharpin Falls Scenic Reserve (via Staveley township) is a picnic area within the Mount Somers Conservation Area. As well as the start or finish point for the Mt Somers Tracks, it also offers a short scenic walk to Sharplin Falls; twin falls which drop 7m over the Mt Somers Southern Fault into two large pools – ideal swimming holes on a hot day.
Woolshed Creek (via Mt Somers township) is large, grassy, sheltered picnic area within the Mount Somers Conservation Area. As well as the start or finish point for the Mt Somers Tracks, Woolshed Creek offers a series of short walks including the Nature Trail (40mins return) and Sidewinder Track (2 hours return).
Personal locator beacons, owned by Methven Search and Rescue, can be hired through Hammer Hardware on the Main Street of Methven (Phone 03 302 9664) and are a must have item for people heading into the back country. These beacons (weighing only 250gms) once activated, will enable emergency services to pinpoint you to within 50 metres and organise your rescue. $10 per day, $20 a weekend, and $30 a week.
With a wide range of mountain biking trails in the area, Methven is a playground for bikers. Options range from an easy loop circuit through farmland around the Methven town boundary to adventurous downhill tracks & cross country trails at Mt Hutt. The nearby Hakatere Conservation Park also provides an array of options for mountain bikers. Why not take advantage of our $59 special and check out some of these rides.
Short & Sweet Rides
– Methven Walkway
– Lake Emma & Lake Camp
One Day Rides
– Arrowsmith Station
– Mt Hutt Bike Park Downhill Trails
The trails are vast, from open 4WD and skidder tracks, to epic single track. All tracks are well maintained with berms, bridge features and kickers. But don’t let that put you off, there are easy lines around all the features and jumps catering for all riders. There are some easy trails that follow old skidder tracks which make for some good riding and if you’re a speed freak, fast! To get there from the centre of Methven follow the signs to Mt Hutt. At the end of the sealed road on the right is the new car park with a large trail map to get your bearings. The Swamp Donkey x-c trail starts here. Follow this up to Treeverse or To The Core. Find Stubblerash and then you have a thrilling downhill rush down Backdoor. For downhill junkies there are trails for all abilities. Most have easy outs but Black trails mean Black!
– Mt Hutt Forest Cross Country Trails
Multiple Day Rides
– Hakatere Conservation Park
Big Al’s Bike Rental just across the road from The Blue Pub, provides bike rental (full suspension x country and XC hardtails), as well as a good range of spares, tyres and tubes and workshop facilities – thanks to Shimano and Sram certified mechanic Richie. Be sure to call in & see the team for trail-maps, riding tips and information on all the local trails.
Bike Methven is a great place to check out trail maps, blogs and all the local inside info on the Mt Hutt Bike Park. Mt Hutt is their home ride base which has approx 15km of downhill freeride trails. The latest projects are a cross-country track on the lower part of ‘Mt Hutt Forest’ and a jump Park in central Methven.