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Must do in Hanmer

Hanmer Springs is one of Canterbury’s most loved not-so-hidden gems. A short drive from Christchurch, North Canterbury and the upper South Island, the small-town punches above its weight in both beauty and activities. Whether you’re a seasoned local, regular visitor or first-time tripper – Metropol recommends some things you simply must do in this quaint alpine village.



Options bound for enjoying the great outdoors in Hanmer. There are also ample opportunities for tramping, walking and mountain biking to enjoy mother nature.

Stop into the iconic Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Resort to soak up the natural hot springs, where relaxation is teamed with fun for the whole family. Psst, there’s a day spa next door!

Visit the abundance of boutique shops in the village to find loved and local labels, arts and crafts, homewares, keepsakes and of course, artisan cuisine.

Pique your competitive streak with a hit of mini golf, or take to the water in a jet boat, try a horse trek, quad bike or Jeep tour, or, head to the local ski field, Amuri, just 17km away.

All this adventuring (or relaxing) is sure to build up your appetite, so make your way to one of the beautiful cafés, restaurants or gastro pubs lining the village centre. From delicious coffee to a hearty meal, all bases are covered.


A relaxed retreat: Clear Ridge Apartments

We have experienced a long and mellow autumn, but, as much as we may want to ignore it, winter is on the way. That’s no reason to hibernate though – instead escape to somewhere luxurious and indulgent.


That’s what you will find at Clear Ridge Apartments right in the heart of Hanmer Springs village.

This 5-star boutique accommodation consists of 13 beautifully furnished and appointed two-bedroom suites that are spacious enough to sleep up to six guests. Apartments have full kitchens and their own laundry facilities.

They also have views to the mountains and across to the Hanmer Golf Course over the road. Some apartments feature a spa bath, but all guests have the use of the outdoor spa and heated swimming pool.

An extra benefit of the Clear Ridge Apartments is the 30 square metre small meeting or event space, well suited for business meetings or special family occasions.

The staff of Clear Ridge Apartments want their guests to feel their apartment is a “home away from home,” warm, cosy and inviting with concierge service and housekeeping to match. Simply everything you can imagine for that break away from the cold and dreary weather.

You can contact Clear Ridge Apartments on freephone 0800 555 596 or email




Gorgeous grazing: Four Square Hanmer Springs

Stunning Hanmer Springs, what a place to get married! And at the heart of your beautiful location is Four Square Hanmer Springs catering which has a renowned talent for creating beautiful-looking and delicious-tasting grazing platters.



They can do pre-wedding snacks for the bridal party, larger platters for all your guests, and a platter or two of little something for a pick-me-up the next day.



They don’t skimp on their hot or cold delicious treats, made from seasonal ingredients, specialty cheeses, cured meats, fresh fruits, chutneys, hummus and pâté. All requirements are catered for – vegetarian, keto, vegan and gluten-free.


Four Square Hanmer Springs; grazing platters are their thing, for any kind or size of gathering.

Phone: (03) 315 7190


A golden escape

As the leaves turn golden from green and the temperatures start to drop, we begin to think about weekends away in cosy accommodation where there’s rainy day activities and welcoming hospitality. So naturally, Hanmer Springs comes to mind. Here are Metropol’s picks of what to do on our northern doorstep.


Hanmer screams autumn. The tree-heavy town centre turns into a kaleidoscope of fiery reds and gorgeous yellows – which makes for picturesque walks and fantastic photos. If you time it right, you might even be treated to an early-winter dusting of snow on the surrounding mountains.

It almost goes without saying that a soak in Hanmer’s thermal pools is perfect on a cloudy cool day, but it wouldn’t be an article on what to do in Hanmer in autumn without mentioning this delightful activity. For an even dreamier experience, head to the adjacent day spa.

Visit one of Hanmer’s local gastropubs for a warming meal. Take your pick of the loved local offerings to enjoy pub fare classics reimagined for modern paletes using fresh local ingredients – with delicious drinks menus to accompany.


Hugo’s Hanmer holiday: Tait Gallery

Tait Gallery at Hanmer Springs has a beautiful selection of ceramics, pottery, glassware, wood turning and jewellery, as well as a large display of pictures by artists both emerging and established.



The portfolio includes landscapes by Tony Roche, Ross Lee, Debbie Lambert, Karen Werner, Charles Pickworth, Jane Riley and Jane Sinclair; water colours by Svetlana Orinko, Ivan Button and Devon Huston; acrylics by Michelle Green and Rob Barton; a wide range of prints and framed photos by Indigo Wise, David Shepherd, Ian Gardiner, Sarah Power and Bryan Isbister; mixed media by the award winning Jo Loughnan, and Jill Cowan; abstracts by Paul Smith, Rae Manson and Joe Wiseman; copper creations by David Kean, and Bulldog Hugo by Sue Lund.

Visit Hanmer Springs for your Christmas shopping and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of an alpine village that now boasts four galleries! No fast food centres or shopping malls here…
just lots of fresh air and sunshine, along with friendly faces to help and advise!
Gallery hours: 10am to 4pm most days over the Christmas holiday period.

34 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs, phone
027 4325 914 or email


Hidden hikes of Hanmer

You know about the hot pools, you know about the adrenaline activities and you know about the quaint village – but did you know about the plethora of hikes and tramps awaiting at Hanmer Springs?



Hanmer Forest Park is a walker’s paradise. The indigenous forest and a small portion of exotic forest makes up some 13,000 hectares of Hanmer Forest Park administered by the Department of Conservation (DoC). From short walks under one hour, to six hour return tramps on easy and advanced terrains – there’s an amble for everyone.

Spur Track is a three hour return trek to Dog Stream Waterfall offering panoramic views, subalpine plants and plantation forest views. It can be known to get a bit muddy in parts, so may be best left for warmer, drier seasons.

You’ve probably heard of Conical Hill, but tucked into the same area are dozens of other tracks to take. Try the nine-stop, one hour return Forest Walk and get to know the native and exotic trees and flora along the way – begin 1km along Jollies Pass Road and look out for the signposted stops to learn about various tree species.

Visiting the waterfall at the Upper Dog Stream Track to Jolliffe Saddle Track can take up to two and half hours return, from Jollies Pass Road carpark. Walk through the pine forest and climb over the saddle to connect back to the Woodland Walk and Timberlands Trail.


Mountains of modernity: Hanmer Springs Scenic Views Motel

Tucked into the Hanmer Springs village, Hanmer Springs Scenic Views Motel is a tranquil place to relax, unwind and enjoy an alpine escape in modern self-contained accommodation.



Just 400m from the famed hot pools complex, the motel is also a stone’s throw from the quaint village’s collection of cafes, restaurants, bars and shopping.

For those who wish to venture beyond a stroll, there is also access to local hikes, ski fields and mountain biking tracks.

New owners Tony and Emma are dedicated to continuing and building on the accommodation’s reputation for providing a quiet, stress-free environment to soak in the mountain views while enjoying the vibrancy of the local village and picturesque mountain surrounds.

2 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs.


Trackside glamour in Hanmer: Fashion Works Hanmer

Very bright and very pretty. This will be the winning look for Cup Week, and is the exciting spring vibe when stepping into FashionWorks.



A day in Hanmer Springs is pure inspiration when creating a top-to-toe outfit of designer creations and accessories. Stand out from the crowd on race day with beautiful pieces from blazers and dresses to jewellery – with that touch of difference.

FashionWorks now has New Zealand-designed Et Alia, with its natural fabrics in gorgeous colour palettes and feminine silhouettes.

Other designer icons include Augustine, Stella, Cooper Street, IvyBlu, Zafina and Seduce.

The classy shoes from Django and Juliette, Mollini and Top End are race day elegance in comfort. Style-savvy staff share their expertise in choosing a perfect fit.

For those that can’t make it to the Conical Hill Road boutique, the fabulous new online store will be up and running in November.


Luxurious alpine escape: Village Lake luxury apartments

Nestled against Hanmer’s picturesque mountainscape, Village Lake luxury apartments offers a 5-star alpine getaway.


Modern and spacious, each stylish apartment contains everything you need to escape the city and soak in the alpine surrounds.

Each apartment includes a gas fire to cosy up in front of, along with a balcony or patio to steep in the mountain vistas.

Close to the Hanmer town centre and famous thermal pools, Village Lake guests can take a leisurely stroll to the idyllic village to explore the local cafés, bars, restaurants and boutique stores.

Equally, guests can lace up their sneakers for more sizeable adventures like exploring local hiking trails, leisure and adrenaline activities.

If you’d prefer to stay nestled amongst the stylish interiors, each apartment has a self-contained kitchen and all residences (except for the two-bedroom accessible apartment) have a spa bath.

Furniture is equally as stylish and comfortable, with top quality beds, fine linen and beautiful handcrafted toiletries by Jeymar and original artworks by Christchurch artist Liz Jenkins.

Village Lake is the perfect place for a weekend getaway to celebrate a romantic occasion, birthday, family holiday or business retreat, endorsed by the Qualmark five-star gold rating.


A crafty business: Mickey Raes

“What a time to celebrate being open for two years – right in the middle of lockdown!,” says Wendy Lamont, who can hardly believe that two years have passed since, encouraged by her mother-in-law Pauline, she exchanged her home-based handmade craft business for the beautiful sunlit store called Mickey Raes in Hanmer Spring’s Boulder Point Precinct.

It’s right opposite the duck pond on Chisholm Crescent. “I really want to pay tribute to my mother-in-law at this time. She passed away only a short while ago, but she gave me the courage to take the big step to a shop of my own stocking all the items that both she and I love – fabrics, sewing, knitting, crochet and quilting supplies, craft kits and haberdashery.” But the delights of Mickey Raes don’t stop there. This store is a veritable treasure trove of unique giftware all personally selected by Wendy who runs the shop herself seven days a week. “I have wedding accessories, party supplies and birthday presents. Right now, I also have hand sanitizer, reusable cotton tissues and face masks – even a pattern to make a face mask.” Wendy is thinking Christmas, too. “Let’s craft our way to Christmas! I’ve brought out my Christmas products early as there has been so much demand from all the New Zealanders flocking to Hanmer. “There’s everything from Christmas crafting supplies and beautiful Christmas fabrics for quilting to knitting cottons for making homemade presents.” You can message Wendy via Mickey Raes Facebook page to order your products.