When people say that New Zealand is the world in one country, they are not lying. My drive through the Canterbury Region of New Zealand from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs took me through some truly picturesque countryside. One minute I was admiring the snow-capped mountains, the next a beautiful waterway, a moment later I was picking my eyeballs up off the floor. New Zealand truly provides a taste of the world and the views are mesmerising.
Based on the Southern island of New Zealand, the Canterbury region provides a variety of things to do and see and boasts grassy fields, beaches and snow-capped mountains.
Hiring a car is a great way to get around New Zealand. It’s easy to navigate your way around and the flexibility of driving provides you the opportunity to stop when your jaw hits the floor. The drive through to Hanmer Springs takes about 2 hours and there are plenty of places along the way to stop and grab a cuppa and a bite to eat. Friendly people welcome you at each stop. In what seemed like a blink of the eye I found myself arriving in Hanmer Springs.
I had organised to stay at the Hanmer Springs Scenic Views Motel, which was easy to find on the main road into Hanmer Springs. I was soon made to feel at home and was pleasantly surprised to see the view from my room, which had a comfortable bed and lounge area, a great little kitchenette and spa on the private back deck. There was more than ample fluffy towels and the best coffee I had had since I arrived in New Zealand. My wonderful hostess Jane, made me feel so welcome and I could tell that she was the one responsible for the little luxury touches in my wonderful room.
My motel was just a short walk up into the village and it was a beautiful autumn day. The sun was shining and I soon found myself exploring the lovely little village. Hanmer Springs is lovely village with an array of little boutique shops, cafes and restaurants. You will have no trouble fining a great place to eat and a taste of the local wine here. There are some great little walks around the village and hiking trails up into the hills for those more adventuresome types.
Hanmer Spring’s surrounding mountain slopes are known as a great place to ski in the winter and a walk up into the hills made me feel like I was in Oregon in the USA. A walk up to Conical Hill provides you with amazing vistas of the area, although a little challenging. Just remember to take a bite to eat, some water and your camera on your walk.
Hanmer Springs is renouned for it’s hot springs and on a cool afternoon, there is nothing like dipping yourself in the warm waters at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Baths and Spa. Of course I had my own private spa at my hotel where I could relax and take in my very own view of this beautiful place. The village itself reminds you of villages in the Swiss and French Alps. You can do as much as you like or as little as you please in Hanmer Springs. During the evening I dined with my hosts at the No.31 Restaurant and Bar. The food was a wonderful juxtaposition of local flavours and french style. I must confess the cocktails at this restaurant are outstanding.
For a short stay or a relaxing holiday, Hanmer Springs will not disappoint. It’s a great place to recharge your batteries and take in the beautiful surroundings. Next time you are in New Zealand, why not check out Hanmer Springs.