Mt. Potts, an hour from the commercial ski resort of Mt. Hutt and its ski town of Methven, has had a makeover. Gone is the cat ski groomer, replaced by helicopters. The concept of the new heli park is simple: Guests are picked up at the base lodge on the owner's farm and transported up to Mt. Potts. It's NZ$200 to get the first lift to the peak, then ride or ski down on fresh tracks. Each subsequent run is NZ$75.00. You choose how many you do or don't partake in.
All skiers and boarders are riding the same mountain, so you won't be left behind if you choose to hike rather than take the chopper for every run. Ski guides maintain safety standards and if you want to go further afield, then Mt. Potts offers half day and full day heli ski trips in nearby ranges.
It's a novel concept from the country that brought Snow Park to the world, a stand alone terrain park resort for those who prefer rails and superpipes to powder and piste. Mt. Potts hopes to attract the same big photographic crews that shoot their catalogues at Snow Park near Wanaka and the Arrowsmiths Ranges in Canterbury.
With the region already under a good half metre of snow long before the official opening dates, it is looking good for an overdue healthy New Zealand snow season. For more information on Mt Potts visit helipark.co.nz