BUG New Zealand travel guidebook
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BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

 

BUG New Zealand travel guidebook

Destination guides > Pacific Islands > New Zealand > Canterbury > Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs is a small alpine town about 150km northeast of Christchurch. The mineral-rich waters of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve, where you can soak in naturally heated pools and spas, are internationally known and the town has become quite touristy due to the day trippers and pensioners on package tours. The town does not have much else of interest for the backpacker besides some nice walking and cycling tracks, but there are opportunities in the area for jet boating, bungy jumping, heli-skiing, and horse riding. Hanmer Springs is a quiet town and everything closes rather early in the evening.

Practical information

Hurunui i-SITE Visitor Centre

42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7128 or 0800 442 663
Website www.alpinepacifictourism.co.nz
Open 10am-5pm daily

Coming & going

Astro Coachlines (tel 0800 800 575) operate a daily coach service between Christchurch and Hanmer Springs, which costs $25 one-way.


InterCity Coachlines (tel (03) 365 1113) and Southern Link K Bus (tel (03) 358 8355 or 0508 458 835) services between Christchurch and Nelson (via the Lewis Pass) go past Hanmer Springs, although only InterCity stop in town (outside the i-SITE visitor centre on Amuri Avenue). Southern Link K Bus stops at the Hanmer Springs turn-off 9km outside town.

Hostel accommodation

Hanmer Backpackers

41 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7196

Hanmer Springs Forest Camp

300 Jollies Pass Road, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7472

Kakapo Backpackers YHA

14 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7472

Le Gite

3 Devon Street, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 5111

Eating & drinking

There are a few good cafés in town, although most of them cater to an affluent crowd. The Hanmer Springs Bakery has nice fresh bread, pastries and sandwiches. The Pukeko Junction Café also has cheap breakfast and lunch. There are some nice places to hike in the mountains, so many travellers pack a picnic to take on a hike.


Your best bet is to shop in the supermarket in the town centre and cook in the hostel kitchen.

Activities

Bungee jumping

Thrillseekers have a bungee jumping platform on the historic Waiau Ferry Bridge, 35m above the Waiau River.

Thrillseekers Canyon Adventure Centre, Ferry Bridge, Main Road, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7046
Website www.thrillseeker.co.nz
Price $135

Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve

The Thermal Reserve features seven open-air thermal pools, three sulphur pools plus a sauna, steam rooms and a swimming pool with waterslides. The best time to visit the pools is lunchtime or around 7pm-8pm, when there are only a few people around.

Corner Jacks Pass Road & Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7511
Website www.hanmersprings.co.nz
Admission $12-15; $22-32 including sauna and steam rooms
Open 10am-9pm daily

Jet boating

Thrillseekers run jet boating trips down the Waiau Gorge, which include jet boating down white water rapids.

Thrillseekers Canyon Adventure Centre, Ferry Bridge, Main Road, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7046
Website www.thrillseeker.co.nz
Price $99

Skiing

The Hanmer Springs Ski Area is a 40-minute drive from the town centre. It’s a small area that is geared mostly for intermediate skiers and it’s a good value place to ski with $45 lift passes.

White water rafting

Rafting is a good way to see the Waiau Gorge Canyon while tumbling down the grade two rapids.

Thrillseekers Canyon Adventure Centre, Ferry Bridge, Main Road, Hanmer Springs
Tel (03) 315 7046
Website www.thrillseeker.co.nz
Price $135


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