The Ultimate Winter Escape in Hanmer Springs, New Zealand

By: Rene Smith

Despite our best attempts to warm the globe unnaturally, it’s winter and its bloody cold. It’s even worse for us living in the South Island where the desire to get out of bed in the morning is diminishing by the day. Sounds like a good excuse for a weekend away and what better place to head in the winter than Hanmer Springs, New Zealand. If you’re struggling to justify the trip, think of it as a reward for putting up with the dreary weather.Hanmer Springs is only an hour and a half drive north of Christchurch and offers a wide range of fun and relaxing activities, most notably the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa. The pools have been around for a long time and have undergone a number of changes of the last 10 years including the introduction of waterslides for kids, more thermal pools and a new entrance. These new features go along with the ever popular rock and sulphur pools, private spas and general swimming pool. The hot pools range in temperature from about 33 to 41 degrees celcius. The hottest can feel a little draining after too long but everyone has their own perfect temperature and there’s enough different pools for you to find the one that’s perfect for you. It’s a great feeling going from the near zero air temperatures to the warmth of the pools and you won’t be regretting your decision to go as you lay back and enjoy the stunning snow capped mountains that surround you.

With steam rising from the pools through the cold air it makes for a picturesque setting and it’s even better if you’re lucky enough to be there when it’s snowing.These days the Thermal Pools are a very popular attraction for both tourists and locals, depending on when you go the pools can range from moderately busy to very busy and while some of the unique charm it had 10 years ago has gone the quality and value for money of the venue has improved immensely. The adult price is only $12 which seems very reasonable and for just another $3 you can get a return pass which allows you to pop out for a meal and come back later in the day. This comes in handy if you want to come back during the night when, for me, the hot pools are at their best. It’s a great way to spend the evening even if they insist on dragging you out of the warm pools and into the cold changing rooms come closing time at 9.00pm.If you’re after something a little different or don’t want to spend all your time in Hanmer lounging around in the hot pools, then you’re in luck. There’s lots of adventure sport on offer at the nearby Thrill Seekers Canyon such as bungy jumping, jet boating and 4x4 motor bike tours. There’s also some great mountain biking tracks around the area. You can hire a bike for $25 and explore some of the tracks and lesser seen areas of Hanmer. You’ll save a bit by bringing your own bike but $25 isn’t too much to pay if you don’t have access to one.Being a well known tourist spot, there’s plenty of accommodation options and you’ll find everything from simple but friendly backpackers to the other end of the market at the Heritage Hotel. The main street is also home to plenty of bars and restaurants to satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst after a hard days work at the hot pools.Hanmer Springs is a very popular spot in the winter and it’s easy to see why, the scenery is spectacular, the hot springs are a great way to take your mind off the winter blues and there’s plenty of other things to keep you occupied over a fun winter weekend. Do yourself a favour and get to Hanmer Springs at your next opportunity.

Oceania Destinations
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Oceania Destinations
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles