Hanmer Springs, New Zealand - Activities & Attractions

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Hanmer Springs, New Zealand - Activities & Attractions

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The beautiful Hanmer Springs is located 65 kilometres southwest of Kaikoura (135 km by car). The township is built around a hot mineral spring which was created by a fractured rock bed along the Hanmer fault. It’s an increasingly popular tourist destination and is famous for its mountain views, relaxing hot pools and outdoor activities. If you are traveling through the South Island, definitely pencil these 5 top Hanmer Springs attractions into your itinerary.

1. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

Whether you are traveling as a family, couple or solo there is something to suit everyone at the famous Hanmer Springs thermal pools. Enjoy the healing properties of the rock and sulphur mineral pools which are renowned for soothing away aches and pains and creating the ultimate stress-free and relaxing experience. Hanmer Springs pools There's an extensive family area, complete with activities for the kids and adventurous water-slides, and the complex has recently been expanded to include more public and private pool options. The complex also include the world class Hanmer Spa where you can indulge in luxurious massages, skin therapy or just about any beauty treatment you can think of.

2. Mountain biking

For a slightly more adventurous day out have a go at the scenic mountain biking tours through the Hanmer Forest. Jacks and Jollies Passes offer around 25 km of riding and are suitable for beginners. The trip should take between 3.5 - 5.5 hours depending on your speed and the track is a mixture of uphill, downhill, sealed and unsealed tracks. The scenery is remarkable so don't forget your camera!

3. Hanmer Forest Park walking tracks

If you feel your co-ordination isn’t up to mountain biking standards, a walk through Hanmer Forest Park could be a better option. The tracks are suitable from beginner levels and take around Hanmer Springs2.5 hours for a return trip. Depending on the track you choose there are waterfalls, astounding plantations and perfect spots for picnics. If you are walking with children, stick to the Conical Hill-Majuba-Woodland Walk, it is a short looped track of an easy grade and has several beautiful areas to stop and rest, as well as a great view of the Hanmer basin from the top.

4. Hanmer Horses

For a down-to-earth and memorable experience, enjoy a trek with Hanmer Horses. Located just 10 minutes from the Thermal Pools, Hanmer Horses offers a huge selection of treks through forestry, farm land and mountain streams. The horses are well trained and are matched to your experience and ability. The treks themselves operate daily and range between 1 - 2.5 hours in length depending on weather conditions and the route taken. Better yet, these rides are suitable for all abilities and children over 5. The treks really bring you closer to nature and the views are simply spectacular.

5. Wai Ariki Farm Park

A unique farm park that isn’t only for kids, Wai Ariki farm is set on a 14 acre lifestyle block looking out over majestic mountain views. Suitable for the whole family, there's a cafe, craft gallery and even a horse drawn taxi providing rides around the complex. Children's horse trekking is also offered for children 2 years and over - a great experience that parents can have as much or as little involvement in as they choose. The farm animals cover over 2 acres of land and there is lots for children to do, including pony rides and animal feeding experiences. For a fun family day out visit Wai Ariki Farm Park.

Where to stay

If you are planning to take some time out in Hanmer, the Hanmer TOP 10 Holiday Park offers a great choice of tent sites, motel accommodation and cabins.