MHF Town
Ashburton District Council

Methven is your year round recreation ‘space to play’ with a fantastic range of activities. Surrounded by an amazing landscape of braided rivers, backcountry lakes and mountains.

Located at the base of the Southern Alps, Methven is an agricultural service centre and ski village servicing a large and productive agricultural area and the Mount Hutt ski field.

Just one hour south of Christchurch on the Inland Scenic Route 72, this alpine-themed village buzzes in winter, while in summer it is humming with events such as markets, multisport challenges and some very social golfing.

A cluster of high country lakes lures avid fly fishers, a hot air balloon or heli flights provides a bird’s eye view of a magnificently varied landscape, or a 4WD adventure can take you on a journey into the high country wilderness to witness the unspoilt beauty that was captured in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Mountain bike the scenic tracks or downhill forest runs, or if hiking is more your thing, there are many extensive short walks, day and multi day hikes to strech your legs on. 

Scottish roots

In 1869 Mr Robert Patton bought land and gave Methven its name after his hometown of Methven in Scotland.  Robert Patton built the first Hotel in 1888. Some year’s later part of it was demolished. The present Hotel was built in 1918 and it’s internationally known as “The Blue Pub”, easily identified by the colour. 

In January 1879 building commenced on the township of Methven. The first shop was Morgan & Hibbs a butchers, bakers, drapers and general store. 

Sheep were the first to be farmed locally and in 1882 local farmer John Grigg set up the Canterbury Frozen Meet Company and his first shipment of frozen mutton was just 12 months after the more famous first shipment out of Dunedin. 

Freedom camping 

Methven is located in the Mid Canterbury region, and Freedom camping is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. We welcome you to experience being close to nature in a responsible manner. Please respect the district to ensure our freedom camping areas remain for everyone to enjoy.

The Freedom Camping Act 2011 enables freedom camping in Mid Canterbury, as long as it adheres to bylaws and the Department of Conservations conservation areas. Read the relevant bylaws and conservation areas.

Specific waste facilities are provided in our District for you to dispose of your rubbish. Some are commercial ventures and involve a charge. These can be found in;

  • Rakaia River Holiday Park, 16 Main South Road, Rakaia
  • Coronation Holiday Park, 780 East Street, Ashburton
  • Ashburton East Street, opposite the Mobil Service Station, Ashburton
  • Methven recycling drop–off facility, corner of Methven Chertsey Road and Line Road, Methven
  • Mt Somers Domain, Hoods Road, Mt Somers  

Some washing detergents and soaps can be toxic to aquatic wildlife so please do not discharge waste water from washing activities in or near streams, rivers or the ocean.

For information on fire-bans check for signage at your camping site or see the fire and emergency website .

Other Points of interest in Methven:

  • Claybord Shooting and Archery
  • Ski or snowbaord the slopes of Mt Hutt Ski Area
  • Enjoy a relaxing massage after a long day exploring
  • Feel the thrill of Jet Boating the Rakaia Gorge
  • Visit New Zealand’s Alpine & Agricultural Encounter

For more information about Ashburton, accommodation, activities and events please visit

Ashburton District Council | 5 Baring Square West, Ashburton | Ph: 03-307 7700 -