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One Night Visit To Hanmer Springs – New Zealand

bridge over river with mountains behind

Following on from a weekend away at Banks Peninsula, for our second mini-break we headed north and inland to the picturesque alpine town of Hanmer Springs. About a two hour drive from Christchurch, along the coastline and after stopping off to admire the mountainous views several times we reached our cabin room at a cosy holiday park. This efficient accommodation was perfect for our one night stay, with shared facilities but a lovely comfortable room with all you could need, but we weren’t in there for long as Hanmer Springs is truly a place to embrace the outdoors.


View over Waiau River and Ferry Bridge


Sunset glow across Hanmer Springs

We went for an evening stroll to explore what was around the main street, and it’s quite clearly a place designed for tourism as aside from bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops there’s not much else! In such a peaceful, quiet town it’s hard not to feel yourself completely relax and soak up the fresh air and beautiful views, and after we eventually picked one of the many restaurants to grab a bite, we were making our way back for an early night in.


Accommodation views

A beautiful bright morning and we were off to enjoy the main attraction of the town: Hamer Springs Thermal Pools. The pools were created in order to harness natural thermal spring waters which are rich in minerals due to the journey the water makes over many years as snow and rain coming down the mountains, to eventually reach an underground reservoir heated by the earth. This water is then extracted and used in the various pools around the park, and has now become an extremely popular tourist attraction for millions of people, bringing a huge amount of recognition and revenue for the Hurunui District.

We arrived at the pools not long after they opened, and to our surprise there was barely a queue so even at busy weekend times such as this we realised you don’t need to feel pressured to get up at the crack of dawn in order to make full use of the day, thank goodness! Once inside, all we had to do was decide which pool to aim for first. There’s a varied selection of pools with a choice of temperatures, minerals, and bubbles!


A slowly boiling but very relaxed Brit & Kiwi

We started off with a relaxing hot pool to acclimatise to the temperatures, and after dragging ourselves away went on to explore the other options. Alongside the hot pools are swimming lanes, a lazy river, and even waterslides to entertain children and all the big kids who fancy a little thrill in between relaxation sessions (ahem, mentioning no names!). We tried out all the pools, and by far my favourite is the aqua therapy pools, where you have the soothing heat and knowledge that the minerals are doing their thing, with the addition of water jets providing a gentle massage to help you sink even further into relaxation heaven. It was hard to pull ourselves away from the comforting warm waters, however we knew it was time to get dry, rehydrate and de-prune from stewing in all that water! Another beautiful drive home meant we had the chance to stop off at Leithfield Beach for a dramatic walk along the sands, and before we knew it we were home and dry after a perfect night away from everyday life.


Skipping stones

Windy Leithfield BeachIMG_0492

If indulgent relaxation is what you’re after, Hanmer Springs will certainly have you covered. And if you’re looking for something a little more adrenalin filled, there’s plenty of lively activities too! We didn’t explore all the activities on offer, from hiking and biking to jet boats and bungy-jumping Hanmer Springs has every activity you could imagine. Our visit to the Thermal Pools are but a sample of the spa options available to try out, however it’s also easy to simply enjoy your time in Hamer quite literally soaking it all up if you just fancy a day of chilling out. All in all, it’s the perfect little getaway town that really does have something for everyone.

Think you’d visit Hanmer Springs? What would be the activities you’ll be excited for? There’s lots to choose from so share your thoughts!

Text overlay of the Hanmer Springs bridge with New Zealand mountains in the background

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  • Reply
    Milana's Travels
    10/11/2017 at 3:08 pm

    That looks like an awesome weekend getaway. I’ve never been to NZ but it’s definitely on my list. The hot pools and the lazy river area around it sounds great. My daughter would love it!

    • Reply
      10/11/2017 at 9:08 pm

      It really is a great place. For sure! It’s perfect for families as there’s something for everyone 🙂 Hope you get to visit one day!

  • Reply
    So The Adventure Begins
    10/11/2017 at 3:12 pm

    This looks like such a lovely weekend away! Those hot springs sounds so relaxing – wish we had something similar here in Vietnam to escape to! And I love that photo of you with the view at the top!

  • Reply
    Planes, Trains and Champagne
    10/11/2017 at 6:09 pm

    Looks like such a great trip. The thermal pool looks so relaxing. I may need to add Hanmar Springs to my list!

    • Reply
      10/11/2017 at 9:05 pm

      It’s worth it for sure! hot spring pools are just what you need to unwind 🙂

  • Reply
    10/11/2017 at 6:30 pm

    Wow looks like a great trip. Always wanted to visit a thermal pool in New Zealand. Aussie here and ashamed to admit I still haven’t gone to visit my neighbours

    • Reply
      10/11/2017 at 9:04 pm

      It’s such a relaxing activity! Whereabouts in Australia are you from? I’m visiting Perth next month if you have any tips!

  • Reply
    10/11/2017 at 8:24 pm

    Oh my gosh! New Zealand is so beautiful! It is definitely on my bucket list. The spring just looks amazing too! Hope you enjoyed it.

    • Reply
      10/11/2017 at 9:03 pm

      Thanks so much, certainly did enjoy it! Hope you get to visit soon 🙂

  • Reply
    10/11/2017 at 11:23 pm

    Those hot thermal baths sound heavenly and the relaxed beautiful atmosphere is just what the doctor ordered. This sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      10/12/2017 at 8:04 am

      Thank you so much! Really were perfect to unwind in such a peaceful setting ??

  • Reply
    10/12/2017 at 2:17 am

    Wow New Zealand is so gorgeous!! The water color reminds me of my Banff…. in my beautiful. Homeland-Canada

    • Reply
      10/12/2017 at 8:03 am

      It really is ?? I can definitely see the similarities! I’m sooo wanting to visit Banff, I hear great things about it and you can’t go wrong with beautiful mountain views! I’ll have to come to you for tips!

  • Reply
    10/12/2017 at 2:57 am

    I wish I could get somewhere this beautiful with only a two hour drive. Those pools look beautiful, and would be the perfect way to relax after a long week. I went to one in Iceland, and wish I could’ve sampled a few more.

    • Reply
      10/12/2017 at 8:02 am

      It certainly is! Could get a little too used to relaxing I suppose ? where did you visit in Iceland? I would love to go!

  • Reply
    10/12/2017 at 3:18 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve only ever been to Queenstown so I’m definitely keen to check out the rest of New Zealand.

    • Reply
      10/12/2017 at 8:00 am

      Queenstown is one of my favourites! It’s definitely worth exploring, there’s so much to see ?? hope you get to visit soon!

  • Reply
    10/12/2017 at 2:14 pm

    Ah… makes me think back on my South Island road holiday with my parents. 🙂 Incredible landscapes.

    • Reply
      10/12/2017 at 2:16 pm

      Aww sounds amazing! Driving around is absolutely the best way to see the country ?? and you can stop as much as you like for pictures!

  • Reply
    Top Things To Do In Canterbury New Zealand – Suzy Stories
    11/16/2017 at 9:41 am

    […] 2 hours drive inland from Christchurch is the alpine town and resort of Hanmer Springs. The perfect weekend getaway for romantic relaxation or family fun alike, the Hot Pools steal the show with their choice of […]

  • Reply
    Planning A South Island New Zealand Road Trip - Suzy Stories
    06/05/2018 at 6:33 am

    […] our free time taking weekend trips around our work schedule to nearby spots in Canterbury such as Hanmer Springs, Arthur’s Pass, and Banks Peninsula, we had a full 2 weeks to fill with exciting activities […]

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