- Visit the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
- Explore the stunning Conical Hill Walkway
- Go bungee jumping over Waiau River
- Indulge in a round of golf at the Hanmer Springs Golf Club
- Visit the Hanmer Springs Animal Park
- Experience Hanmer Springs from a bird's-eye view with Hanmer Helicopters
- Visit the Waiau Ferry Bridge and take in the beautiful views
- Treat yourself at The Spa at Hanmer Springs
- Explore the Hanmer Heritage Forest Trust
- Take a quad bike tour through Hanmer Springs
- Hit the slopes at the Hanmer Springs Ski Area
- Take a horse trek through the beautiful countryside
- Explore the local shops and boutiques in Hanmer Springs
- Try jet boating on the Waiau River
- Take a mountain bike ride on the many trails in the area
- Visit the Hanmer Springs Fete for local crafts and food
- Explore the beauty of the Conical Hill Recreation Reserve
A few years ago, I had the privilege of visiting Hanmer Springs and had no clue of what there was to do in this small town.
However, after weeks of exploring around Hanmer Springs, I realised that Hanmer Springs was a place unlike any other. Whether it was the thrill of bungy jumping or the peaceful serenity of a scenic forest walk, every day held a new adventure.
So, if you’re in Hanmer Springs and unsure of what to do, I’ll share some of my favourite things to do that I believe everyone should experience in the area.
1. Visit the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
Address: 42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
- Monday to Saturday – 10 AM to 9 PM
- Sunday – 10 AM to 7 PM
Phone: +64 800 442 663
- Adult – 38 NZD
- Child – 22 NZD
Start your visit to Hanmer Springs with the experience of a lifetime here. The soothing minerals in the water from these natural hot springs will make you feel rejuvenated and relaxed.
Indulge in a variety of water features, from sultry sulphur pools to cascading thermal waterfalls, each offering a unique, therapeutic experience. For those looking for a more private experience, there are also private thermal pools and spa treatments available.
Consider purchasing a multi-visit pass if you plan to go more than once. It offers great value for frequent visitors. And remember, the pools are less crowded in the early morning and late evening, so plan your visit accordingly to soak in peace.
2. Explore the stunning Conical Hill Walkway
This short walking track, which is about an hour away, takes you to the top of Conical Hill, providing panoramic views of Hanmer Basin and beyond. It’s a relatively easy climb, making it suitable for people of all fitness levels.
You’ll be walking through a beautifully maintained forest reserve, and the walkway is lined with a variety of native New Zealand plants. The view from the top is simply breathtaking and well worth the walk. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Visit at dusk or dawn for the most stunning pictures. The soft light during these times makes for a spectacular view.
3. Go bungee jumping over Waiau River
Address: 839 Hanmer Springs Road, Hanmer Springs, New Zealand
Phone: 0800 661 538
Price: 169 NZD
Suspended over the stunning Waiau River, the jump platform provides a thrilling plunge towards the rushing waters below. Whether you’re a seasoned adrenaline junkie or a first-timer looking to check off a bucket list item, you’ll be able to do so with Hanmer Springs Attractions.
Ask the staff about the ‘water touch’. If the river conditions are just right, they can adjust the bungee cord in such a way that you’ll just touch the water mid-jump.
Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes. After the adrenaline-charged dive towards the Waiau River, you might want to freshen up.
4. Indulge in a round of golf at the Hanmer Springs Golf Club
Address: 133 Argelins Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
- Monday to Friday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
- Saturday – 9 AM to 5 PM
Phone: +64 3 315 7110
Prices: From 30 NZD
For those who enjoy a leisurely game of golf, the Hanmer Springs Golf Club is the perfect spot. The 18-hole course is beautifully maintained and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
You don’t need to be a pro to play here—the course caters to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned golfers. And with a friendly atmosphere and a well-stocked club house, it’s a great place to spend a morning or afternoon.
Make sure to book a round early in the morning. This is when the course is usually at its quietest, and you’ll get to enjoy your game surrounded by peace and tranquility.
5. Visit the Hanmer Springs Animal Park
Address: 55 Hanmer Springs Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM
Phone: +64 3 315 7772
- Adults – 15 NZD
- Children – 8 NZD
- Senior/Students – 12 NZD
This delightful petting zoo houses a variety of animals, many of which are native to New Zealand. From cuddly rabbits and guinea pigs to friendly alpacas and deer, there’s a whole host of adorable creatures waiting to meet you.
This park is perfect for families, especially those with young children. The kids will love the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals. They’ll have the chance to feed and pet some of the animals.
Don’t forget to explore the park’s scenic walking trails. These trails offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling activity of animal encounters.
6. Experience Hanmer Springs from a bird’s-eye view with Hanmer Helicopters
Address: 561 Hanmer Springs Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8 AM to 9 PM
Phone: +64 3 315 7758
Prices: From 550 NZD
This local company offers a range of flights, from quick 20-minute tours to longer trips that take you further into the stunning New Zealand wilderness. You’ll see breathtaking views of the mountains, forests, and rivers that make this region so special.
The pilots are experienced and knowledgeable, providing interesting commentary about the region throughout the flight. Plus, the helicopters are well-maintained and comfortable, ensuring you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacular views.
Try their sunrise flights for sights that will take your breath away and make you fall even more in love with Hanmer Springs.
7. Visit the Waiau Ferry Bridge and take in the beautiful views
No visit to Hanmer Springs would be complete without a trip to the Waiau Ferry Bridge. This historic bridge, which is situated near the Waiau River, offers some of the most picturesque views in the region.
From the middle of the bridge, you can see the crystal-clear waters of the river, the lush green banks, and the majestic mountains in the distance. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a photo opportunity.
If you’re looking for the best photo spot, go to the bridge in the early morning, just as the sun is rising. At this time, the soft morning light casts a beautiful glow on the surroundings, creating a stunning backdrop for your photos.
8. Treat yourself at The Spa at Hanmer Springs
Address: 34 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
- Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 6 PM
Phone: +64 3 315 0029
Prices: From 90 NZD
A trip to the spa is the perfect way to unwind and reconnect with your inner peace. Treat yourself to an unforgettable spa experience amidst the serene beauty of Hanmer Springs.
They offer a wide range of services, from rejuvenating facials and deep-tissue massages to relaxing aromatherapy sessions. Give their signature hot stone massage a try – it’s ideal for easing tension and promoting deep relaxation.
If you’re visiting the spa on a weekday, try to book your treatment for the late afternoon. The spa is usually quieter at this time, and you’ll likely have the place almost to yourself.
9. Explore the Hanmer Heritage Forest Trust
Address: 100 Jollies Pass Road, Hanmer Springs 7395, New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 315 7686
This tranquil forest reserve is home to a variety of native New Zealand plants and wildlife, making it a haven for nature lovers. There are several walking tracks throughout the forest, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes.
Each trail offers its own unique views of the stunning landscape. One of the most popular tracks is the Majuba Walk, a scenic trail that takes you up a small hill to a lookout point.
From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of Hanmer Springs and its surrounding mountains.
If you’re quiet and patient, you might spot some of New Zealand’s native birds, such as the bellbird and fantail.
10. Take a quad bike tour through Hanmer Springs
Address: 839 Hanmer Springs Rd, Hanmer Springs, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 2 PM
Phone: 0800 661 538
Prices: From 169 NZD
Hanmer Springs Attractions has guided quad bike tours through some of Hanmer Springs’ most stunning landscapes, providing an adrenaline rush and breathtaking views in equal measure.
The tours are suitable for all skill levels, and the quad bikes are easy to handle. You’ll quickly get the hang of it, even if it’s your first time.
You’ll be taken on a thrilling journey through a working sheep farm, across rolling hills, and through streams. The trail even includes some challenging terrain—just enough to get your heart racing.
If you’re visiting during the colder months, make sure to bring a waterproof jacket and some warm clothing.
11. Hit the slopes at the Hanmer Springs Ski Area
Address: Mt St Patrick, Hanmer Springs, 7334, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM
Phone: +64 274 341 806
This local favourite is known for its relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, and, of course, its exciting ski and snowboarding slopes. The ski area boasts a range of runs suitable for all skill levels, from gentle slopes for beginners to more challenging trails for seasoned skiers and snowboarders.
There’s also a dedicated snow play area for kids and those who simply want to enjoy the snow without strapping on a pair of skis.
After a day on the slopes, make sure to stop by the on-site day lodge. On a clear day, the outdoor deck has stunning views over the ski field—the perfect backdrop for a post-ski selfie.
12. Take a horse trek through the beautiful countryside
Address: 300 Woodbank Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
- Monday to Friday – 10 AM to 2 PM
- Saturday & Sunday – 10 AM to 3 Pm
Phone: +64 274 439 064
Prices: From 50 NZD
Horse trekking is a popular activity here, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll get to experience the region’s natural beauty from a different perspective, and it’s an activity that’s suitable for all ages and skill levels.
Hanmer Horse Trekking has various trekking options that cater to all levels of experience. The treks take you through a variety of landscapes, from lush forests to open plains with sweeping views of the surrounding mountains.
If you’re going horse trekking in the summer, try to schedule your trek early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is when the weather is cooler and more comfortable for both you and the horse.
13. Explore the local shops and boutiques in Hanmer Springs
Add a touch of retail therapy to your Hanmer Springs itinerary by visiting the local shops and boutiques. From fashion and homewares to art and souvenirs, the local retailers offer a delightful mix of items that reflect the unique character of Hanmer Springs.
For the fashion-conscious, Mirror Mirror Boutique provides a variety of high-quality New Zealand fashion labels. Looking for a unique piece of art to remember your trip? Tait Gallery has a great selection of local art and jewellery.
Don’t miss the weekly Hanmer Springs Market. Every Saturday, local vendors set up stalls selling a variety of products, from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
14. Try jet boating on the Waiau River
Address: 839 Hanmer Springs Rd, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5:30 PM
Phone: +64 3 315 7046
- Adult – 125 NZD
- Child – 70 NZD
For a heart-pounding adventure that combines speed, excitement, and stunning scenery, you must try jet boating on the Waiau River. No previous experience is required, which means everyone can enjoy this exciting activity.
Hanmer Springs Jet Boat tours take you speeding down the Waiau River, manoeuvring through narrow gorges, white water rapids, and braided shallows. Along the way, you’ll be surrounded by some of the region’s most stunning landscapes, from towering cliffs to lush forests.
If you’re jet boating in the cooler months, make sure to wear layers and bring a change of clothes. You might get a bit wet during the ride, and it can get chilly on the water, especially on the return trip.
15. Take a mountain bike ride on the many trails in the area
One of the best ways to explore the stunning landscapes of Hanmer Springs is by mountain biking. The trails wind through a variety of terrain, from dense forests to open grasslands, offering breathtaking views at every turn.
Beginners can enjoy the easy yet scenic Dog Stream track, a 10.5-kilometre trail that will take you through beautiful forests and alongside the Dog Stream.
For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Jacks Jolies loop track is a fantastic option. This 25 kilometre track is a bit steep at the beginning but levels out to offer a thrilling ride through native beech forest with spectacular views of the Hanmer Basin.
The most experienced riders might want to try the Tombstone track, a demanding trail that will test your skills with its tight corners and steep descents.
16. Visit the Hanmer Springs Fete for local crafts and food
A must-visit event when you’re in Hanmer Springs is the annual Hanmer Springs Fete, held in the beautiful grounds of the Hanmer Springs Domain.
Browse the myriad of stalls, each offering unique, handcrafted items that make for perfect souvenirs or gifts. From handwoven scarves and handmade jewellery to artisan soaps and unique home decor, there’s something to catch everyone’s eye.
Don’t forget to sample a variety of food, from gourmet sandwiches and homemade pies to decadent pastries and local wines—it’s a food lover’s paradise!
If you’re keen on getting the best items, try to get to the fete as early as possible. Many of the most unique crafts sell out quickly, and the food stalls can get very busy around lunchtime. Also, don’t forget to bring cash, as not all vendors accept cards.
17. Explore the beauty of the Conical Hill Recreation Reserve
Address: Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand
Conical Hill Recreation Reserve has a variety of walking and hiking trails that meander through native forests and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
As you walk through the forest, keep an eye out for native birds such as the cheeky kea or the beautiful tui. You might also spot some of our unique plant species, including the iconic silver fern.
The best time to go to Conical Hill Lookout is right around sunset!