Hanmer Springs is a very small town in the Canterbury Region of the South Island of New Zealand. William Jones first founded the locality in 1859, with its primary use coming in the form of the hot springs located in the area. John Turnbull Thomson first surveyed the land for the township in 1879.
The original land area sprawled for over 2,500 acres, which did not include the hot springs and of which the town itself only comprised 300 acres. In 1882, the government determined that it was important for the public to retain access to the hot springs.
As such, the area underwent development to include an accommodation house near to the springs as well as a bathhouse around the springs themselves.
The town itself is located around 65 kilometres southwest of Kaikoura, although it is a longer, 135 kilometre trip by car. It is 130 kilometres northwest of Christchurch.
While the hot springs remain the primary draw to the town, there are now other tourism related attractions that draw visitors by the thousands during the summer months.
What to Do – Hanmer Springs
Obviously, the first thing on most people’s list is to visit the hot springs! The springs’ location high in the mountains really does make them the ideal, relaxing alpine retreat.
Visitors can breath the crisp, alpine air while letting all their stress melt away in the award-winning natural thermal pools. Some of the pools have stunning views of the surrounding mountains, allowing visitors to take in the surrounding beauty while they relax in the water.
The springs also have spa attached to the complex, which allows visitors to take a dip in the tranquil, soothing waters of the hot springs either before or after, or both, they receive any number of world-class spa treatments and massages.
Of course the springs also have a range of activities to keep the children entertained while the parents pamper themselves, including an activity pool, a lazy river, water slides, and a garden picnic area.
If you are looking for a serene, tranquil, and relaxing alpine retreat, there are few better places than at the hot springs and spa at Hanmer Springs.
Of course, if you want to throw a little bit of a thrill in there as well, Hanmer Springs has developed an impressive portfolio of adventure activities as well. True adrenaline junkies can take their turn as some world-class bungee jumping.
Those who might not be so brave can take an exhilarating jetboat trip around the nearby lakes. The surrounding wilderness also serves as a wonderful site for hunting, walking, and biking.
Visitors can take in some of the beautiful alpine scenery while meandering along the trails that wind their way through the surrounding wilderness.
The town itself also has a gold course as well as a number of excellent restaurants and cafes, thus making it easy for visitors to spend a day just enjoying the amenities around town.
As you might expect from a popular tourist destination, there are a number of different accommodation options on offer at Hanmer Springs.
With backpacker’s hostels, campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, and self-contained vacation rentals, there is something for every taste and budget in Hanmer Springs.
Travelling from Abroad?
The nearest major airport is located in Christchurch. There are two daily shuttle bus companies that travel from Hanmer Springs to Christchurch and back each day. As such, it is very easy to reach Hanmer Springs, even if you are travelling from abroad.