Hammer Springs

Located in a high country basin at 385m above sea level, Hanmer Springs is an idyllic small alpine village just 135km from Christchurch (about 1.5 hour drive) and is a destination perfect for rest, relaxation or adventure.

An extensive range of cafes and restaurants are available in Hanmer Springs, and the accommodation selection is just as varied, ranging from luxury lodges, motels, hotels, and homestays, camping grounds, cabins and backpacker lodges.

Thermal Reserve

Hanmer Springs is most notable for being home to one of the main attractions of the South Island, the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve.

With a pristine backdrop of mountains and native forest, the thermal pools provide the perfect conclusion to a day of skiing, biking, golf, or just a complete day of relaxation.

The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools have been operated commercially for over 126 years and during winter the pools are often blanketed in snow, creating a magical, serene atmosphere in one of New Zealand’s most picturesque settings.

The thermal pools were voted the Best Visitor Attraction at the 2004 New Zealand Tourism Awards and were also named Champion Host at the Champion Canterbury Awards.


The surrounding Hanmer forest is unique for containing a wide variety of trees that were planted in the early 1900s, and offers a range of scenic bush walks, from half an hour to all day.

Other tracks wander through the remnants of native New Zealand forest and can vary in grades and times taken.

Although only a small township, Hanmer Springs offers a myriad of activities for families, couples, backpackers or groups alike.

Activities available include bungy jumping, jet boating or taking a ride in a helicopter, as well as heli-skiing and 4WD motor-biking.

Mountain bikers can try the trails through either the Molesworth or Rainbow Stations. However, it may be necessary to acquire permission from the station owner prior. 4WD drive tours through both stations are also available.

Rafting on the mighty Waiau River is an option all year round, and for those wanting a slightly gentler pace to take in the views of the area, try a horse trekking tour.

For some indulgence, why not spend some time and pamper yourself with a relaxing massage.

For golfers, there is a beautiful yet challenging course located near to the village, or some may prefer to choose from one of the mini golf courses in the village center

Indulge in some retail therapy and pick yourself a unique gift by visiting one of the local pottery or craft shops, or maybe discover the regional history through a tour of the local museum.