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Hanmer Springs

Thrillseekers' Canyon. Photo (cropped): Samuel John, Flickr Creative Commons

Set amongst mountains, rivers and forests, the alpine village of Hanmer Springs is always popular, for adventure activities, skiing, hiking, biking and enjoying the famous thermal springs.

The Hanmer Forest is one of New Zealand’s oldest planted forests dating back to 1901. Planted with a wide variety of both native and exotic tree species, the trees stand tall like soldiers. Pick up a copy of the Hanmer Walks brochure from the Hanmer Springs i-SITE and then step out into the myriad of walking tracks. Short walks range from 30 minute trips through to 1.5 hours return. You can also link through to the half day hikes available.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

Luxuriating in the natural thermal pools at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is a must-do experience. Relax, unwind and lie back in any of the nine open-air thermal pools or three sulphur pools that are surrounded by towering trees and tall mountains. A fresh-water heated pool and a popular family activity area ensure that the kids are well taken care of. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa lie at the heart of the Hanmer Springs village.

Hanmer activities that thrill!

Among the many activities in the area are jet boating, rafting, bungy jumping and mountain biking. Rainbow Station and the famous Molesworth Station can be toured by 4WD.

Skiing from Hanmer Springs

Mt Lyford, halfway between Kaikoura and Hamner Springs, is a friendly family-oriented ski area. Wild Ride Terrain Park has jumps, kickers and rails. Hanmer Springs Ski Area will be closed for the 2016 season.

Hanmer Springs: a great base for mountain biking

The St James Trail, one of the first Great Rides to open, of the NZ Cycle Trail project, runs through the St James Station, near Hanmer Springs. The full trail is a challenging 64km and takes in stunning views of mountain peaks, beech forests, rivers and alpine meadows. Those with less time could take the Homestead Run, a family friendly 15km trail, starting from St James Homestead. There are also trails in the Hanmer Forest.

What to do

  • Soak in an outdoor thermal pool
  • Hike through the Hanmer Forest
  • Bike the St James Trail or Homestead Run
  • Try a bungy jump
  • Go rafting on the Waiau River

More info

Where to stay

Find a property


Photo (cropped) by Samuel John from Flickr Creative Commons

Getting there

  • From Christchurch by road: 135km
  • From Nelson by road: 286km
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