Insiders guide to Methven: Kevin Boekholt

Kevin Boekholt is a heli ski guide. He owns Methven Heli Ski in New Zealand, spends the northern winters guiding for CMH in Canada and takes a select group to Greenland to heli ski every May.

Are we jealous? Hell yeah. Did we mention he also takes great photos? Grrrr.

How long have you lived in Methven?

Since 1986 when we started Methven Heliski so 28 winters so far. I moved to Methven to establish Methven Heliski and have yet to leave.

Methven is a very friendly town with a real sense of community. It offers lots of potential for outdoor recreation especially with the new Mt Hutt bike trails and is on the door step of Hakatere Conservation Park one of the largest in NZ. The Arrowsmith range for Heliskiing is the biggest asset in my mind.

What do you love about Methven the most?

It’s the small rural town that has everything! Driving around looking for a car park or waiting at an intersection is not for me, it the kind of place you don’t waste any time in.

How has your life changed for the better since moving to Methven?

I met my wife Hiromi who is a ski instructor at Mt Hutt and we have 2 great kids who are both achieving well at Mount Hutt College. We have a nice property and I still travel around the world on different adventures on a regular basis and enjoy the fact that the airport is on an hour’s drive away. It’s a perfect base.

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Best place for coffee?

My back garden however there are at least 4 good cafe’s which is amazing for a town the size of Methven. Primo on the back street is set amongst an amazing collection of antiques and second hand goods prides itself on having the best coffee!

Best place for apres?

The Green Parrot (formerly Steel works) is a fun bar and you can’t beat the Blue Pub on a sunny day. Barkers Lodge has a small bar with a large collection of boutique beers.

Best place for breakfast?

Both Cafe Primo and Arabica on the back street of Methven offer fantastic breakfasts. Primo is an interesting experience being a combination antique shop and cafe.

Special occasion dinner spot?

Ski Times restaurant and bar located off the Main Street on Racecourse Road offers some of the finest food in Methven and the bar and restaurant have a great atmosphere as well as an amazing mountain vista. Pete Wood the owner is another one of Methvens great characters and is always pleased to give you advice on the area or his extensive wine list.

Best place for sunrise or sunset?

Sunrise from the road to Mount Hutt if you want to look at the sun coming up but just out of town on any road provides great viewing of the early morning colours of Mt Hutt and the rural landscape. Sunsets are fantastic especially in early winter and again are best viewed from any rural road out of town or the bar at Ski Times.

Best place to keep the kids entertained?

Mt Hutt is Kids for Free so the whole town is on board to ensuring that families have a great time. There is a park in the centre of town, a movie theatre with kid’s movies on down days. For teenagers the town offers a safe and fun place to wander around.

What is your favourite event on or off the mountain during the season?

The Peak to Pub is a great event held every spring that includes a ski, a mountains bike ride down the mountain and a cross country run to the Blue Pub in the centre of town. Even if you are a spectator it’s a great day with lots of positive energy in the town.

Where do you take out of town visitors to WOW them?

The Rakaia river gorge is a beautiful place. There are a number of places to view it from plus a walkway and a jet boat service that will take you up the river.

Favourite run in the region?

The south face of Mt Hutt on a powder day rivals anywhere but to find that secret stash a day later you may need to head to Mount Olympus or one of the other club fields. If want an all-day powder stash go out with Methven Heliski they get snow from every storm system and have over 250 runs to choose from.

Where do you ski the most during winter?

I am a heliski guide so the Arrowsmith Mountains is where I am every fine day.

Your favourite Methven local character and where would we find them?

At the main intersection on the Main Street in Methven you can find “Big Al” a friendly guy who is can inform you on anything about the region provided you buy something off him. Methven is full of characters have a beer in any bar and don’t be afraid of the locals they like the tourists.

What can you get at Methven you can’t get anywhere else in the world?

A local tee shirt to say you’ve either been to Methven, had a beer at the Blue Pub, met Big Al, been heliskiing with Methven Heli or ripped it up at the Mount Hutt ski resort.

If you had to buy one thing to take back with you as a visitor to Methven what would it be?

Stick with the tee shirts or hoodies.

Don’t just take Kevin’s word for it, check out our other Insider Guides to Wanaka, Queenstown, Methven, Ohakune, Jindabyne, Mt Beauty and Mansfield as they are updated daily here.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017, a former columnist for Mountainwatch and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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