Hanmer Springs: Best Spa Town & Hot Pools on the South Island

Hanmer Springs

Did you know the spa town of Hanmer Springs has some of the best hot springs in New Zealand? You’ll also find boating, mountain biking, and even bungy jumping to enjoy on your visit! Join us as we take you on a visit to the hot pools and discover more of the best things to do in Hanmer Springs.

About Hanmer Springs New Zealand

Despite Hanmer Springs having such a small local population, it brings in thousands of tourists year round. The main attraction is by far the Hanmer Springs Spa which is known as one of the best in the entire country.

The spa is located on the long main street where you can find a great mix of both local and international restaurants. The resort town is surrounded by the scenic Heritage Forest and Conical Hill which makes for some great hiking and skiing.

The nearby Waiau Gorge is also known for its fishing and white water rafting. Being just 90 minutes from Christchurch makes Hanmer Springs both the perfect weekend getaway for Kiwis, and a very accessible spot for visitors to NZ. 

→ 10 Easy & Helpful Tips For Traveling in New Zealand

Hanmer Springs New Zealand Guide

Hanmer Springs Spa 

Cost: $35 Adult / $20 Child
Hours: 10am – 6pm 
Time Needed: 3 Hours
Location: Hanmer Springs Spa

No trip here would be complete without going to the famous Hanmer Springs hot pools! We arrived on a weekday in early June a few minutes before they opened. This meant we had the Hanmer Springs pools basically to ourselves for the first hour.

Although it’s a bit colder in June and July this is actually a great time to visit Hanmer Springs Spa. The natural mineral pools are an awesome escape from the cold, and it’s quite the experience to dunk in the water with snow all around you! 

Hanmer Springs Hot Pools

If you’ve never been to thermal spring park before then get ready for the ultimate relaxation. The water is heated directly from the earth and combined with natural minerals to treat your skin and muscles. Below we’ve listed the different pools, each with their own design and functions.

Our favorite was the sulphur pools as they have the hottest temperature out of any at the Hanmer Springs Spa. Also, make sure to check out the Conical Thrill, Super Bowl, and two other Hydro waterslides in the fun park area! 

  • Cascade Pools
  • Hexagonal Pools
  • Aqua Therapy Pools
  • Rainbow Pools
  • Rock Pools
  • Sulphur Pools

Hanmer Springs Pools

Hanmer Springs New Zealand

Hanmer Springs Pools and Slide

Hanmer Springs Hot Pools

More Things to do in Hanmer Springs

After you’re done soaking in the Hanmer Springs hot pools there’s many other great things to do in the area. New Zealand’s Canterbury region is filled with endless outdoor activities, and most are just a quick drive from town.

We only had a couple of days in Hanmer Springs New Zealand, but we did the Conical Hill Walk and highly recommend it. If you’re looking for the best places to stay in town also make sure to check out our hotel suggestions at the bottom of this post. 

Outdoor Adventures in Hanmer Springs

Conical Hill Walk: This is a one hour round trip hike that showcases the best views of Hanmer Springs and mountains in the distance. It also connects with the Majuba Walk if you’re looking for something a little longer. 

Mountain Biking: Hanmer Springs has over 20 miles of trails to ride with all different skill levels and terrain. Beginners should try the Easy Rider loop through the Heritage Forest, while experts can head to the more difficult Red Rocks trail. 

Waiau Gorge: Just 30 minutes drive from Hanmer Springs is the impressive Waiau Gorge. Here you can raft down the whitewater rapids, jump on a jet boat tour, or do some trout and salmon fishing in the river.

Bungy Jump: Ever bungy jumped off a 135 year old bridge? This 35 meter (114 feet high) plunge off the historic ferry bridge is perfect for adrenaline junkies! 

Monteith’s Brewery Bar: After taking in the great outdoors, stop in for all your favorite Monteith’s draft beers and ciders right on tap in the town center.

Hanmer Springs NZ

Where To Stay in Hanmer Springs New Zealand 

Ultra Luxury – The St James Premium Accommodation – Located just a 5 minute walk from the Hanmer Springs spa, this luxury accommodation has everything you need to enjoy your stay in town. Take in the views of nearby Chisholm Park and the mountains from your balcony or patio.

Fun Vacation – Drifters Inn – This lovely inn is set right in town with comfortable and spacious rooms. The guest lounge is equipped with a fireplace and communal kitchen which will be great for the whole family.

Hostel Life  – Hanmer Backpackers – This backpackers lodge is right near the center of town with both private rooms and dorms available. All rooms are heated, and there is a nice upstairs lounge to hang out in.

For more places to stay in Hanmer Springs New Zealand you can explore the latest prices here!

Have any questions on the best hot springs in New Zealand, or want to share more awesome things to do in Hanmer Springs? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!


Hanmer Springs

New Zealand Travel Planning 

Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.

 Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll still need a vehicle to get around. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.

 Flights: It’s easy to find cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Auckland to Queenstown for $40 USD & New Zealand to Fiji for less than $150! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from a Milford Sound cruise with underwater observatory, to a Otago wine tour with gourmet wine & lunch, and even a Kaikoura whale watching cruise

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for insurance the last few years and they are always there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

South Island New Zealand

Travel Tips & Guides:  North Island ItinerarySouth Island Itinerary25 Beautiful BeachesWellington to Picton Ferry15 Freedom Camping Tips27 Delicious Food & Drinks7 Milford Sound Tips

Queenstown: Ben Lomond TrackFergburger (Is it Worth It?)Tiki Trail HikeFun Wine TourQueenstown Hill Hike18 Fun Queenstown Things to DoQueenstown RestaurantsArrowtown NZ

North Coast: Abel Tasman Day HikeWharariki Beach & Archway Islands6 Picton Things to Do 

East Coast: Banks PeninsulaFrench Town of AkaroaTunnel Beach Dunedin – Kaikoura

Mt. Cook & Tekapo: 10 Mount Cook TipsHooker Valley Track5 Can’t Miss Lake Tekapo 

Explore all our North Island New Zealand Travel Tips & Guides

South Island New Zealand

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