Hanmer Springs is a charming alpine town built around a serene hot spring that pampers visitors with a range of thermal pools, waterslides and massage services. You’ll also find a wealth of outdoor adventure activities, an immersive local farm, family-friendly entertainment and plenty of skiing opportunities.
Things to do in Hanmer Springs
You can’t visit Hanmer Springs without experiencing the pleasures of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. Here you’ll find a number of aqua therapy, hexagonal hot, rock and sulphur pools to soak weary muscles. It also features private sauna and steam rooms, a freshwater pool, lazy river and high-speed waterslides.
If you’re keen to carve some powder, head to the Hanmer Springs Ski Area, a popular ski resort with 52 hectares of skiable terrain. There’s a range of beginner, intermediate and advanced groomed runs, along with daily ski lessons and gear hire. During summer, visit the Hanmer Springs Animal Park, where you can pet farm animals, let the kids run wild on playgrounds and kick back at the on-site cafe.
Adrenalin junkies will love the various mountain biking, four-wheel driving and hiking trails through the surrounding forests. You can also head to Waiau Gorge to go jetboating, white-water rafting, river fishing or bungy jumping. If hiking is your favourite pastime, don’t miss trekking the forested paths up Mount Isobel.
Within Hanmer Springs you’ll find numerous international restaurants, such as the Italian-themed Piccolino's Cafe Italino. It’s next door to Monteiths Brewery Bar, which features a rustic taproom, fireplaces and the iconic Monteiths cider and beer. Don’t forget about Malabar Restaurant for authentic Indian cuisine or Hanmer Thai Restaurant for delicious far from the exotic East.
Getting around Hanmer Springs
Hanmer Springs is about two hours’ drive from Christchurch, where you can fly into from most domestic and international destinations. You can easily explore the centre of town on foot, but you’ll need your own vehicle or tours to venture further afield.