Photograph of a bridge crossing a gorge with a river underneath.

Top things to do in Hanmer Springs

What are the top things to do and see in Hanmer Springs?


Hanmer Springs 

Nestled among the impressive Southern Alps and majestic forests, you’ll find the picturesque alpine village of Hanmer Springs. A quaint little village, built around a hot mineral spring created by a fractured rock bed along the Hanmer fault. It is this unique phenomenon that gives Hanmer Springs its renowned image of being a health & well-being escape.

Hanmer Springs is the perfect destination to escape to when you require true relaxation and indulgence. If you seek adventure as well then even better, Hanmer Springs has it all! Need help with ideas and planning? Download the Hanmer Springs App; the insider’s guide to all things Hanmer. You’ll have easy access to What’s On, shops, eateries, accommodation, activities for all the family and of course, special deals!

The journey there

You will not need to travel for hours when Hanmer Springs is a mere 90-minute drive from Christchurch. Don’t feel like driving? No stress, you can catch the Hanmer Connections bus from Christchurch that takes about 2 hours. With charming sights along the way, you’ll get excited before you have even arrived. Make sure you keep up with what’s happening in Hanmer Springs by using the app and utilising the journey time to find out extra hot tips for your Hanmer Springs holiday. There are direct flights to Christchurch from most major destinations within New Zealand and afar. So, escape the hustle and bustle of city life and get moving.

The epitome of comfort

While here, discover the iconic Hanmer Springs Hotel; the perfect place to stay. Featuring Spanish-inspired baroque architecture and lusciously grand gardens, our hotel is a beauty in its own right. Hanmer Springs Hotel is nestled right in the middle of the village, giving it the prime location and perks for you to love. Enjoy a short, pleasant walk to local shops, restaurants, and of course, the famous thermal pools! A must-do while here. All this and more can be found in the helpful Hanmer Springs app. Staying at the Hanmer Springs Hotel is where the relaxation and indulgence begin. As you first enter the grounds, the feelings of magnificence and grandeur will consume you as you witness the lavish gardens. Resembling a Spanish-style vineyard, you’ll feel transported to Spain with the Southern Alps as your scenery, a memory you won’t forget.

Our wonderful hotel caters to anyone’s needs. With an excellent range of different accommodation styles, from stylish rooms to spacious suites, and grand family villas, they are the epitome of comfort. You will also have access to both the outdoor swimming pool and tennis court, adding that extra specialness to your experience.

Hanmer Springs ventures

Relaxation isn’t the only item on the agenda. Hanmer Springs is also home to a variety of adventures that are awaiting you. What say you? Hiking up glorious mountains, exploring vast native forests or whizzing down the Waiau River. All of these and more can be found on the Hanmer Springs App. All you need, all in one place.

A must-do is the iconic Hanmer Springs bungy. Take a leap of faith from the historic Waiau Ferry bridge and plunge into the abyss of the river below where you might be able to dip a finger or two in the river. After you have ticked bungy jumping off of your bucket list, power through the Waiau River via a jet boat. You’ll experience an action-packed experience filled with numerous spins and thrills. Take it old school and try your luck at a 2-hour rafting adventure along the gentle rapids of the Waiau River, perfect for families.

Take the adventure to dry land with a variety of different activities that are different levels of adventure. Start with a beautiful horse trek across the historical St James homestead which was built in the 1880s. The horses will take you on an unforgettable horseback journey along breath taking mountains, isolated high country, and glacial-fed rivers and lakes.

Another fun activity found in Hanmer Springs is the walking and mountain biking trails that cater from beginners to experts. Bike along the slopes of Mt Isobel or through the Heritage Forest area, both boasting beautiful breath-taking sceneries.


Home to over a dozen spa offerings, there are plenty of options to choose from that will provide you with that feeling of ahhh relaxation! Located a mere 4 minutes’ walk from Hanmer Springs Hotel, you’ll find the embodiment of tranquillity; Hanmer Springs Thermal pools and Spa. Boasting more than 22 outdoor thermal, sulphur and freshwater pools as well as private pools, and hydro slides.

Seeking pure well-being? Located right next door is The Spa, a premier day spa dedicated to relaxation. Considered a luxurious oasis from the fast pace of everyday life. You’ll find here several spa treatments from hot stone massages to beauty treatments.


The Hanmer Springs experience isn’t complete without a visit to Isobels Restaurant, a local community favourite. Indulge in a taste of the Mediterranean combined with local influence. Head chef Cesare is known for his delectable dishes that serve up new and exciting flavours. Dine alfresco on the patio overlooking luscious gardens as the sun goes down or cosy up inside beside the roaring fire. Whatever the weather, Isobels makes for a beautiful place to dine. There are also several great eateries for you to experience, check out the Hanmer Springs app to discover all the possibilities.

Grab your family, friends, or partner, and make your way down to Hanmer Springs for a memorable experience. With so much to do, you’ll be asking yourself, why did I not come down sooner? Relaxation and adventure are on the horizon for you, so don’t imagine, make it happen!

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