Nature on display in NZ’s South Island
We know of the attractions in Hanmer Springs. This from an Australian source…
Vincent Van Gogh could easily have been referring to New Zealand’s Alpine Pacific Triangle when he said: “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”
Situated two hours north of Christchurch and taking in the alpine spa village of Hanmer Springs, the whale watching town of Kaikoura and the Waipara Valley wine region, the Alpine Pacific Triangle offers the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure.
Hanmer Springs has been a popular destination for New Zealanders for generations with its natural spa pools, nestled between forests, mountains and rivers, offering the most breathtaking views as you ease away the aches and pains from a long working week.
There are 12 open air pools with temperatures ranging between 33-42 degrees Celsius and they are open all year round, including the snow season.
There is also the opportunity to really indulge and pamper yourself with body massages, pedicures and body wraps available. From the on-site therapists on hand to care for your every need to make a weekend break or road trip relaxing.
In addition to the pools, Hanmer Springs has something for all tastes from horse riding, to a spot of golf at the village’s beautifully maintained 18-hole course and short walks around the forest tracks.
It wouldn’t be New Zealand if there wasn’t the opportunity to indulge in some thrill-seeking adventure and Hamner has plenty on offer from jet boating on the Waiau river to mountain biking and bungy jumping from a historic bridge.
There is also a small ski field perfect for families wanting to take advantage of the snow without wanting the madness of peak season in Queenstown.
One of the most enjoyable and fun ways to see the rugged terrain and woodland that surrounds Hanmer is in an all-terrain vehicle designed for off-road conditions and used by NATO, British and American forces.
Hamner has a whole host of places to dine with cafes and restaurants aplenty and the award-winning Malabar restaurant, offering a fusion of Indian and Asian cuisine with a contemporary touch is well worth a visit.
Ninety minutes north of Hamner is Kaikoura, a town boasting some of the most wondrous views in the world both in and out of the water.
Situated on a rugged peninsula and overlooked by Mount Fyffe and the Kaikoura Ranges, this tiny town is a haven for tourists who flock here to see the resident sperm whales, dolphins and fur seals.
The drive into Kaikoura is quite simply one of the best you will undertake anywhere in the world as the road opens up to reveal the stunning peninsula which the whales call home.
The whales are the focal point of Kaikoura tourism with cruises departing four times a day and seeing some of nature’s most magnificent mammals in their natural habitat is something only a few places in the world can offer.
In addition to the whales, fur seals are also omnipresent in Kaikoura and the opportunity to swim with these athletic, inquisitive and playful creatures was the highlight of the trip.
Be prepared for water that is freezing, even in a wetsuit, but don’t let it deter you. Seal Swim Kaikoura has been in the business for more than 20 years and offers an unforgettable experience to snorkel alongside the seals in the waters off the Kaikoura Peninsula.
There are also fishing charters, kayaking and the chance to see the whales from above via a plane or for those who enjoy walking, a fully-guided Maori tour of the area with a chance to learn about the town’s history and culture.
Kaikoura offers a wide range of accommodation from backpacker hostels to upmarket establishments such as the Fyffe Country Lodge which not only has an award-winning restaurant but ample sized rooms and the friendliest staff to take care of your every need.
For the wine lover, no trip to this part of New Zealand is complete without a visit to the Waipara Valley which is rivalling Marlborough as the most prolific wine region in the country.
There are cellar doors aplenty with many offering a fine selection of local products and a diverse menu suitable to all tastes.
If you would like your Hanmer Springs event listed please contact us.