Snow Denn Lodge

Private Lodge, Family and Backpackers Lodge 



Mt Sunday, New Zealand

Posted on March 16, 2019 at 3:55 AM
Just over an hour drive through the Hakatere Conservation area and onto Mt Potts station is Mt Sunday. More of a hill than mountain, the short climb up gives a panoramic view of the Rangitata River. Surrounded by the Southern Alps, the drive to Mt Sunday is beautiful.

To get to Mt Sunday from Methven head south on scenic 72, turn at Mt Somers onto Ashburton Gorge Road. After 30 km the road turns to shingle as you enter the high country. The drive is beautiful passing by livestock, mountains all around and high country lakes. Lake Emma and Roundabout are first of the lakes. There is a sign directing as they are off the road a bit. As you drive on, Lake Camp comes into view on the left, Lake Clearwater on the right. Both are a great place to stop for lunch or take your boat along for a ride on the lake. Lake Camp is the only one allowing motorized boats. Continue on that road which becomes Hakatere Potts Road and the parking lot will be on your left.

The hill has become famous from Peter Jackson film trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. The sheer cliff sides are rugged and dramatic making it the perfect spot for Peter to create Edoras, a village which was the capital of Rohan in the film. The set was built for both the second and third movies taking nine months to make. Of course the set is taken down but well worth the drive to see it for yourself. The views are expansive and certainly take you to. The walk to Mt Sunday has a small swing bridge to cross where you can see the stream flow beneath. The walk up is steep but short and suitable for families.There are tours that operate from Christchurch and Methven.

What to do in Methven- Water fun!

Posted on February 13, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Methven is situated in the perfect area for the watersport enthusiasts out there! Less than an hour each way out of town there are 4 lakes to get you out on the water under the sun enjoying a beautiful day.

A favourite lake among the locals is Lake Camp situated up the Ashburton Gorge above Mt Sommers. This area is also known as the Ashburton Lakes district as there are many small and large lakes in the area. Because of wildlife reserves and restrictions, Lake Camp is the only lake to allow motorized boats. The area is lovely with tall rugged mountains dusted with snow in the far distance. The tussocks glow in an evening light in the summertime and magic sparks as the sun goes down turning the sky different shades of pink. Camping is permitted around the edge of the lake and new toliets had been put up. Something to note though is that dogs are strictly not allowed in the area. To get to Lake Camp from Methven, head south on highway 72, turn right at Mt Sommers onto Ashuburton Gorge Road. Follow that road for about half and hour and Lake Camp will come into view on the left. The boat launch is at the end of the lake. Lake Coleridge is another popular lake 45 minutes from Methven, heading North on Highway 72. Formed from a glacier 20,000 years ago, Lake Coleridge is the largest lake in North Canterbury sitting between the Torlesse and Mt Hutt ranges. The lake is huge so lots of room for water fun. Summer is filled with blue skies stretched over the lake and crisp clean air fills your lungs. Be sure to check the weather forecast. Nor westerly winds can rip down the lake making it quite rough. Lake Coleridge is off of Coleridge road. If you’re looking to launch a boat, you can do so at Ryton Bay. To get there follow Coleridge road to Homestead then Harper Road. Follow Harper Road to just before the Ryton River and you can turn off there down to the waters edge. For a more off the beaten track adventure head over to Lake Lyndon. Nestled in the mountains and glistening with it’s deep blues, Lake Lyndon is another great family spot. Park a few chairs along the edge of the lake and spend an afternoon in the water or on a boat with kids in tow! You can get to Lake Lyndon through Lake Coleridge. Instead of turning on Harper road you can turn on Lyndon Road which takes you right to the lake. This road can become unsuitable for small cars so caution should be taken. An alternative route is heading north on Highway 77 and following the turnoff to go to Springfield. Lake Lyndon is on the left as you drive 20 minutes from Springfield. Last but not least is Lake Hood. A man made lake beside Tinwald, Ashburton on the south side of the river. This is a great spot to get out on the skies or wakeboard and especially close to Methven. Enjoy a bite to eat at the beautiful lakefront restaurant, The Lake House and a picturesque neighbourhood view from all around. This lake has a boat launch.If you're thinking about heading to Methven don't forget its beautiful and easy accessible lakes nearby. Bring your skies and get your life jacket on! There is a lot of fun to be had on a lovely summer day!

The Methven Walkway

Posted on February 4, 2019 at 2:55 AM
There is lots to do in Methven during the summer or winter months and one of our favourites is right in town, the Methven Walkway. The walkway was first opened years ago in 1979 and takes you on well-formed tracks through dense evergreens, past private farmland and along the Rangitata Diversion Canal. This is an easy 12.4 km track that starts and ends at the Methven I-site visitor center. Although the entire track is about 3.5 hours to walk it can easily be split into sections if you’re looking for a shorter walk.

The Methven walkway takes you through a world of beautiful Canterbury plains landscape. The town is rich in history and holds a certain grandiose with its stunning mountain backdrop of the Southern Alps.

To do the full circuit, starting from the Methven i-SITE visitor center, you would follow Chertsey Road to the iron gates of the Methven Cemetery. The area is shaded by tall evergreens and although some may find it a tad uncomfortable walking through a cemetery, studies have shown that a simple walk through can actually improve your mood and prompt positive thoughts. An interesting tid bit about Methven Cemetery is that it contains the war grave of Private Stewart Callaghan who served in the New Zealand forces during World War I.

It won’t take very long before you’ll find yourself entering the A & P show grounds and heading across the paddock to Barker’s Road. From there follow on to Holmes Road, across the highway and into the drain reserve which is situated right by the Methven Racecourse. The drain reserve is lined with trees call Wellingtonias which are part of the Sequoia species. They stand tall and provide a great home for nesting birds. The path crosses over a few footbridges before reaching the Rangitata Diversion Canal, which most locals call the RDR (Rangitata Diversion Race).The Rangitata Diversion Canal is an important part of the area’s water system. It was completed after World War II in 1945 taking almost 20 years to reach its full capacity. It was originally built to provide irrigation to the Ashburton county to increase production and diversify farms.

The canal is 66 km long carrying water from the Rangitata River to the Rakaia and provides water for irrigation in the summer and power in the winter. The idea to irrigate 66,000 acres was big at the time and became New Zealand’s largest major river diversion and irrigation scheme.

The track then follows the canal giving beautiful uninterrupted views of the Mt Hutt Range, Pudding Hill Range and Mt Taylor Range. The track is open and shared with bikers and sometimes sheep. Ducks like to float in the canal beside the track and birds singing above.If you’re feeling full of energy, once you’ve reached the Pudding Hill Road Bridge, you can keep going to the Ashburton River. The other option is to head back into town down Pudding Hill Road, follow the road around the golf course (Hobbs Road) which will lead to Main Street and back to the Methven i-SITE visitor center.

The walk is scenic giving lovely views of the landscape around and a tour through the town of Methven. Maps can be found at the Snow Denn Lodge to take you around this beautiful area!

Walking tracks near Methven!

Posted on December 18, 2018 at 3:05 AM

At the end of McLennans Bush Road is the Awa Awa Rata Reserve. Only 12 km from Methven it is popular for its walking tracks taking you through Mt Hutt forest. There are a variety of tracks and signs and are very clearly posted in the picnic area and at the start of the tracks. In behind the walking tracks is the Pudding Hill Reserve surrounded by the Hakatere Conservation Park.

During the spring months, September to November and into December the picnic area of the Awa Awa Rata Reserve is full of beautiful vibrant Rhodedandrons. There is a 10 minute walk that takes you through these bushes and follows a stream. Another gentle walk is also in the area called the Te Awa Awa Walk and takes about 15 minutes For those wanting an extra challenge, there are several other tracks to choose from. You can walk them individually or combine tracks for a longer walk.


As you drive into the reserve, this track starts on the left in behind the toilets. The track gently climbs through Alder trees and reaches a forest of larches just before it meets the junction on the ridge. From there you can follow and un marked track taking you down to Pudding Hill stream or you can carry on the ridge which later joins up with the Opuke track or the Scotts saddle track, both taking you back to the picnic area. You can also keep on going which will lead you to Scotts Saddle. One way this track is 30 minutes.


To get to the Opuke track follow the road up from the picnic area. There is a sign clearly posted which track to take. It climbs quickly for 30 minutes one way.


You can climb the beginning of the Scotts Saddle track which takes you to the ridge junction where you can then turn off to take the Alder or Opuke track back down. You could also go back down the same way you came or continue on to Scotts Saddle which is a good 2.5 hour climb to the top. This track climbs steepily and rooted most of the way. Big steps from natural depressions take about 25 minutes to get to the ridge junction. This track quite often is wet and muddy.


You can always go down the same way you came but to build on to your walk and make it a loop there are a few circuits you could do:

Alder Track-Opuke Track- 1 hour, 15 minutes

Alder- Scotts saddle- 1 hour, 15 minutes

Opuke-Scotts saddle- 1 hour, 30 minutes

Methven is the perfect place to visit to get out in nature and go for a walk! The area in the Awa Awa Rata Reserve is full of beech forest and native plants giving a jungle like feel. Pack a lunch for after you walk or move into town to one of the many cafes and restaurants. It’s a great place to bring the kids but be sure to bring some bug spray!


Come explore Methven!

Posted on November 29, 2018 at 11:55 PM

Methven is just off highway 72 and is the perfect place to visit for a weekend getaway out of the city or a stop on an iconic NZ road trip. Known for its winter fun on the ski hills, Methven has just as much to offer all year round.

The town has a friendly and relaxed vibe without a shortage of adventure. From jet boating, to tramping, horse trekking, scenic flights, mountain biking and hot air ballooning, Methven and the surrounding areas really do have it all. The town isn’t huge but it is filled with lots of cafes to choose from and restaurants with all sorts of menus.

Methven is surrounded by a beautiful patchwork of farmer’s fields, braided rivers and rugged mountain tops. The area is nothing but inspiring to make you want to get outside and experience New Zealand’s raw beauty. A cluster of high country lakes can be found only about 45 minutes away. A 25 minute drive takes you to waterfall. 50 minutes and you’re on a set from Lord of the Rings. You can see Mt Hutt from the town square. What could be better?

For those travelling, choose the scenic highway 72 for your adventures. Stop in Methven for a night or two! Have a meal at one of the pubs and immerse yourself in Kiwi life right away. The locals are friendly and can point you in the right direction no problem. It is the best way to see the heart of Canterbury and have a good local experience.

There is something for everyone in Methven. It is unlike any other part of the country.

Come to Methven to explore, to relax and get outdoors!