Two days relaxation in Hanmer Springs
Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs is the perfect setting for indulgence, rejuvenation or adventure. Soak in natural hot pools, explore 50 kms of mountain bike and nature trails, enjoy gourmet dining or try your hand at a round of golf.
Christchurch to Hanmer Springs (1 hour, 43 minutes – 134km)
The drive from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs is the perfect length with a variety of settings, transition from the rolling hills and magnificent vistas of the Waipara region to the winding Waiau River and limestone littered hills deep in the Hurunui.
Waipara, on the doorstep to the Hurunui, is New Zealand’s fastest growing wine regions so stop by a cellar door and see what all the fuss is about. Black Estate offers wine-tasting from their restaurant perched on the sunny slopes of the valley. The distinct black building stands out amongst the vines and offers unparalleled views of the surrounding hills.
You’re past halfway once you reach Culverden but there’s no rush so find a park. The Culverden Golf course is perfectly secluded and boasts views of the Kaikoura Ranges to the north and the Southern Alps to the west. If you don’t have the patience for golf, relax with a coffee at the Red Post Café situated in a restored villa on the main street.
Take special note of the Waiau River as you cross the bridge and begin your descent into Hanmer Springs because in the next couple of days you could be falling toward it attached to a bungee!
Hanmer Springs - Day 1
As you cruise down the main road lined with tall Redwood trees feel any stress dissipate from your body and look forward to two days of relaxation.
For the active relaxer, Hanmer Springs is surrounded by a seemingly endless network of biking and walking tracks. Spin out the legs on the Easy Rider track, a non-technical 4km loop through the stunning Heritage Forest, or the Dog Stream track for those more adventurous. If you like the idea of biking, but not peddling, then a Hanmer Springs Attractions quad bike tour is just for you. Plough through streams, mud, forest and rocks on a two-hour trip through Hanmer Spring’s back yard.
Dine at Malabar for dinner. Gorge on lemongrass spiced pork belly with cloud ear mushrooms and bamboo stalks paired with a Pinot Gris or Riesling from the Waipara region you drove through earlier in the day.
Hanmer Springs – Day 2
Rise when you please and take the short Conical Hill walk to the top of a pine covered hill overlooking town. Once you’re finished grab an espresso with breakfast on the main street and begin your day.
You’ve ridden the tracks and walked the hills so sink into geothermal hot pools before receiving a full spa treatment. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is the jewel in Hanmer’s crown and with six different types of pool systems topping off at 42 degrees Celsius they’ll ease the most fatigued muscles. Massages, facials and hot stone treatments await you at the spa, so head over at your leisure to lose track of time.
Rejuvenated from your day at the pools, stop by the Log Cabin to resupply for the journey home or to your next destination – maybe it’s Kaikoura, a short 106 kilometres along the Alpine Pacific Triangle.