With a free week between our Christchurch and Dunedin house sits we decided to spend a few days up at Hamner Springs. Just a short 1 1/2 hours drive from Christchurch it makes for a nice getaway. A lot of 'Cantabrians' go here for the weekend, particularly to go to the hot springs, which apart from the spectacular scenery, is the main draw card to the area. We spent 2 days at the hot springs soaking in various pools that ranged from 36 to 42 degrees celsius. It is quite a shock to the body when you get out and the air temperature is hovering around zero degrees. The pools are open from 10am till 9pm daily. More information about the pools can be viewed here.
There are quite a few restaurants and cafes in Hamner Springs but one which became a favourite whilst we where there was Five Stags. It has a great atmosphere and is beautifully decorated like an old hunting lodge. Great open fire and a bar that stocks about anything you could want, even Feijoa cider. It is one of the more reasonably priced restaurants in Hamner Springs which in general is fairly pricey. There are some lovely bush walks around Hamner Springs that are well worth doing. Some are quite short and fairly easy going if bush waking is not really your thing.