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Lose yourself in art: Tait Gallery

A festival is always a drawcard and this year’s Hanmer Village Winter Festival is no exception.

Among the highlights at this year’s event – from July 2 to 31 – is a children’s art expo, sponsored by Hanmer’s Tait Gallery and The Drawing Room (Christchurch).
On display at Boulder Point Precinct throughout this month, the expo is a must-see for all art aficionados!

Also on display at Tait Gallery at 34 Conical Hill Road this month are new works by established artists Tony Roche, Alethea Roche, Jane Riley, Jo Loughnan, Peter Geen, Debbie Lambert. Roger Heslop and Rob Barton as well as many new faces on the block (Debbie Garland, Samwell Warren, Joanne Webber, Martin Letham and Meg Maguire).

While in Hanmer, visit Blewbury at Boulder Point to find some of the country’s finest jewellers including Ringcraft Moana, Jewellery by Design, Stone Arrow, Talbot Silver, Off Shore Jewellery, Rangiatea Jewellery and Hart Mess Enamel.

Interesting must-sees at Tait Gallery include:

Watercolours and acrylics, abstracts and impressionism works.

Exquisite works and forms by Tony Harding and David Kean.

A selection of outstanding sculptures by Vicki Charles and Anneke Bester.

Opening hours are 10am to 4pm (except Wednesday). Phone 021 325 914 or visit


Sensational swimwear: Lifestyles Hanmer

As much as Hanmer Springs is all about outdoor pursuits and hot pools, equally it’s about indoor pursuits, such as restaurant fine-dining, cafe culture and fabulous shopping.


If heading to the pools and donning swimwear, the most important thing is that the swimsuit flatters the figure, rather than just covers it. Cut and design is everything. Lifestyles is a beautiful swimwear store that, true to its name, caters for the vast and varied lifestyles of the hectic 21st century.

With top brands such as Jantzen, Moontide, Seafolly, Billabong and Togz, to name a few, customers know they have access to the latest styles that focus on fitting to perfection and looking sensational.

Opened in 2003, it was due to the immense popularity of the swimwear that owner Alice Stielow decided to run Lifestyles as a separate entity from Fashionworks, her other clothing shop in Hanmer Springs.

Alongside the swimwear is urban and street wear clothing (such as Ketz-ke, Levis, Billabong and All About Eve), shoes and accessories.

Lifestyles’ staff are very knowledgeable about all the products instore and love to help customers find that stunning swimsuit that they have only dared dream about.

Lifestyles is located at The Alpine Pacific Centre, 5 Conical Hill Road. Phone 03 315 7126, email or visit



Experience the magic: Amuri Estate


Amuri Estate is a special luxury destination where you can relax and unwind or take in some of the excitement of Hanmer Springs Winter Festival this July.



At night be captivated by the moonlight dancing on the snowy mountains, by day stay toasty-warm in the lodge or pop into the nearby Hanmer township.

The lodge is small, giving it a feeling of exclusivity and general manager Vanessa Orr says there are never a lot of people around. All the rooms have king-size beds and the views are spectacular from all of them. And it is adults only. The welcoming atmosphere is highlighted by a beautiful cheese board and bottle of wine waiting for you when you check in.



Vanessa says winter is a particularly magical time at their place. “The sunsets and sunrises are really special this time of year. The light is amazing. You should have seen the super blood moon!” Maybe you will need to book ahead for the next one?

In the meantime, Amuri Estate is hosting the Winter Festival masquerade ball on July 3, so make sure you book your room and get your tickets by calling Vanessa 027 554 4056 or (03) 3155 351, emailing or visiting



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




Location, location, location: Salt n Pepper Cafe

Salt n Pepper owner, Dharambir Judge, argues that his café has the best view in Hanmer. Situated at the Boulder Point Precinct you can take in the scenic Conical Hill whilst taking in your sensationally smooth Atomic coffee.



It’s dog-friendly, which makes stopping in on your walk that bit more inviting. Dharambir says they have great food at a reasonable cost.

Freshly baked muffins each morning, cabinet choices and an à la carte menu are all on offer.

If you’re making your way over in the afternoon, treat yourself to an array of the best wines from North Canterbury and beyond.

More of a beer person? Tap and craft beers are also available such as locally loved Three Boys Pilsner.

And if the view is something you want to share with your family or friends on a larger scale, private functions are available for booking.

The café will work together with you to create an amazing set menu.

So, is Dharambir right? You’ll just have to find out. Visit the café for breakfast, lunch or dinner at Boulder Point.


Staying active: Clear Ridge Apartments

A thrill seeker’s paradise with a touch of relaxation and a sprinkle of fine dining sums up Canterbury’s resort town, Hanmer Springs. But recently, it has been the much-anticipated events that have had visitors flocking from far and wide.



Hanmer Motorfest, Honour Festival, 4&8 Hour MTB Challenge, The Bandquet, Half Marathon And 10km Fun Run, Old Forest Hanmer Hundred and the Bivouac Outdoor Mt Isobel Challenge are all happening in the next four months.

Naturally, visitors will be needing somewhere to rest their heads after a busy day lapping up the local events on offer.

Clear Ridge Apartments offers luxury hospitality with a smorgasbord of amenities. Full laundry facilities, double deluxe spa baths, free parking, free wifi, outdoor BBQ, heated outdoor swimming and spa pool, 50-plus channels on Sky TV, disabled access units with lifts, fully equipped kitchen, and in-suite spa therapies.

Book online using the Clear Ridge website or phone 0800 555 596.

Or, for more information contact Rosie and Steve on (03) 315 5144 or email


Music to our ears

Loved local music, food and drink have become a tried-and-true formula for success in Hanmer, and The Bandquet on 27 March shows no sign of diverting from that equation.



The line-up is a degustation of Kiwi favourites; The Feelers, Jason Kerrison, Kaylee Bell, Sweet Mix Kids, City Limits and the Incrowd.

With a promise of six-plus hours of New Zealand music – from Motown funk to country tunes – you are in for a treat!

There will be over 45 delicious food stalls, serving seemingly endless bite-sized options for you to have in hand whilst swaying to some summer tunes.

The festival also features Hanna Spanna’s Silent DJ Cube and a Kidtopian World… just make sure not to get the two mixed up when sending the kids to play.

General admission and VIP experience are available through the Eventbrite website. Children under 18 can receive a free entry ticket to the festival but this does not include access to the Kidtopian World.

For more information check out the event page on Facebook, or find all details at the website below.


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


Hair-raising Hanmer

Not just a relaxing alpine resort, Hanmer Springs is its own adventurer’s paradise. Outdoor activities in the area are plentiful no matter the season. Here’s Metropol’s picks of the North Canterbury township’s adrenaline fixes for the summer seasons.



Explore secluded mountain valleys on four wheels with a quad bike tour, or soak up the scenery on a mountain bike. Ease your muscles with a post-ride soak in the thermal pools to finish a day of adventuring.

A local clay bird shooting and archery range make for some heart rate rising action. Challenge your friends and family to see who can shoot the most clays in a claybird shoot out, and who can get closest to the bullseye in an archery comp.

If you need speed in your adventure repertoire, jet boating is a great way to get your heart pumping. Or, why not try white water rafting? Take advantage of local operators offering these exciting activities on the Waiau River and Gorge, just a short drive from Hanmer’s township.

The quintessential Kiwi adventure activity: Bungy Jumping. Pay homage to the locally invented adrenaline pumper by throwing yourself 35-metres off the 135-year-old Ferry Bridge. Don’t worry, you’ll be tied on!


Holistic, healthy Hanmer

Simply escaping from the craziness of the city is holistically beneficial for us, so Hanmer must be a wellness bundle with bells on! Even driving through serene Waipara valley, on route to the heavenly haven, renews and relaxes all the senses.


We can’t take a pilgrimage to famed spa sanctuaries of the world just now, but Hanmer offers very comparable health and happiness benefits to lure us – world class in fact.

It’s the alpine air, therapeutic hot springs, peace and a woodland abundance of exotic trees such as Norwegian Spruce and black pine.

Simply breathing in that Christmas-like scent is beneficial. Add a spa treatment or therapeutic massage to unwind the stress clock, then nourish with healthy local cuisine.

Back to Roman times people bathed in mineral-rich thermal waters for wellness.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa is born from rainwater seeped deep into the mountain rock, and drawn up to create rich therapeutic mineral pools. A soak will soothe aching bones and many an ailment.

The slightly higher altitude of 358m encourages beneficial deep breathing of fresh alpine air for those who stroll or cycle through this North Canterbury hot spot.

It has also been smoking and vaping-free since 2018.

Whether you’re heading for an overnight (or multiple) or a day trip – a soujourn to Hanmer could be the holistic, healthy escape you need to see out the year, or in the new one.