If you need some inspiration for a day trip from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs may be the answer. Hanmer is a 90 minute drive north of Christchurch and offers something for everyone: an opportunity for relaxation in the thermal pools or a spa treatment; or immersing yourself in nature with forest walks; or something to pique the adrenaline with bungy jumping and quad biking activities.
Stella went on a day trip recently and enjoyed some of the activities Hanmer had to offer:
Hanmer Connection's shuttle service collected me from the airport to take us to Hanmer Springs. Once we got there, we went for a forest walk on the Amble trail. Taking 40 minutes, we walked along spruces and ponderosa pines. There were beautiful sculptures nestled in the trees every few metres, and this made the walk interesting and unique.
The walk was fairly easy and is great if you want to escape in nature.
We then had lunch at Alpine Chinese Restaurant, newly opened in Hanmer. The owner had invited a chef they knew from a restaurant in Kaikoura to join them. We had very authentic Chinese food which was fresh and tasty, however the portions weren't as big as I'd hoped for the number of our group. Either way, it offers a great place to dine if you enjoy Chinese food.
Hanmer Springs also offer Horse Trekking! If you want to enjoy a trail or a luxury carriage ride, the team at Hanmer Horse Trekking will be able to help no matter what skill you have as a rider. The team have a range of horses which they select to suit the customer on the day. Imagine riding a horse through native forests and across rivers... their passion is to make the visitors journey safe, enjoyable and unforgettable.
Unfortunately the weather the day we left wasn't suited for horse-riding... but it's a must-do when we go back.
Then, it was time for my Spa treatment. I was lucky enough to experience a whole body massage - almost feel asleep because it was so nice and relaxing... A 1-hour massage is $160; you can get a hot stone massage, facial or some hand and foot therapies. Its luxurious and indulgent... and I LOVED it.
The highlight of the day trip was my spa, perfect for a cold and wet day.