In this country of variety and contrast, it is not surprising to find a mineral Spa Resort deep in the rugged mountains of North Canterbury.

Hanmer Springs, 140 km north of Christchurch, is a convenient stopover point on a South Island tour. Here you can indulge yourself in all manner of outdoor activities during the day and follow up with a refreshing health giving spa. The town offers luxury and budget accommodation and attractive shops, restaurants, cafès and bars.

The springs were first discovered around 1860, by a farmer searching the barren tussock plain for stray cattle, but they were soon developed as a therapeutic spa. Their source is an underground reservoir 2 km under the town. Spring water is heated from the earth’s core and bubbles up to the surface to form the largest thermal spring in the South Island. Today the thermal spa has wonderful landscaped rock pools, at different temperatures, a 25 metre freshwater pool, sauna, steam room and massage facilities.

Hanmer SpringsThe Waiau River is where you will find Thrillseeker’s Canyon and its adrenalin-pumping experiences. Bungy jumpers hurl themself off the bridge with tortured screams. You can pile on the excitement with rafting, canyoning, canoeing and jet boating here as well. Mountain biking and horse riding are on offer, plus golf at one of New Zealand’s top courses. The 4wd Tours into Molesworth Station, New Zealand’s largest high country sheep and cattle run, should not be missed.

Hanmer SpringsHanmer Springs offers far more than extreme adventures and therapeutic bathing. There are local walks, which cater for all degrees of fitness. The Hanmer Forest Park has good walking tracks through sycamore, oak and silver birch plantations and native forest. The sub-alpine walkway on Mt. Isobel is particularly enjoyable. St. James’ Walkway is well worth exploring if you have several days, and other interesting walks take in the Lewis Pass area on the highway to the West Coast. Fishing is good in the Waiau River (trout and salmon) and Amuri ski field provides skiing opportunities in the winter.

Hanmer Spring’s soothing waters, outdoor adventures and fashionable living are guaranteed to make a holiday visit an unforgettable experience.