Family Activities in Hanmer Springs
Welcome to the South Island’s family-friendly alpine resort village with river adventures, forest walks and relaxing hot springs on the activity menu! From soft adventures suitable for even the younger ones to tackling the waterslides or indulging in the famous hot springs complex, the activities in Hanmer Springs are abundant and diverse. We’ve picked out some of the best things to do in Hanmer Springs with kids, including all-weather and free activities.
Check out the family activities in Hanmer Springs in the list below. Otherwise, head to The Guide to Hanmer Springs for Families or the 10 Best Family Accommodation in Hanmer Springs for more advice on planning a family trip to Hanmer.
1. Experience the Amuri Jet Boat or White Water Rafting Experience for Families
Let’s get started with some of the family-friendly adventure activities on offer in Hanmer Springs, like Amuri Jet’s jet boat tours and family-friendly white water rafting! Join them for their iconic Amuri Jet experience, blasting over the diverse Waiau River on a transitional journey between narrow gorges, shallow braids and white water rapids. The experience is suitable for kids from three years old and up. Learn more about the jet boat tour on Viator or Tripadvisor. Alternatively, their white water rafting experience for kids aged six years and up is another fun way for families to get on the river. Marvel at amazing rock formations like the faultline at Marble Point and the Waiau Gorge, with an opportunity to jump in for a swim in the crystal clear waters. See the white water rafting tour on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Location: 869 Hanmer Springs Road, approximately 9km (6 miles) from Hanmer Springs town.
2. Bond Over an Archery Competition or Hire a “Rocket Bike”
More family adventures await at the Hanmer Adventure Centre! A highlight is their archery experience, with a tutorial session to learn how to get the best shot, then it’s a competition for the bullseye! The activity only takes around an hour, so even those with the shortest attention spans can enjoy. Alternatively, hire one of the Adventure Centre’s hilarious “rocket bikes” – a four-seater, four-wheeler peddle bike that makes for a fun way to get around town and visit the various cafes! Check out Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre’s offerings on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Location: 20 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs town.
3. Paddle Down the Waiau River in an Inflatable Canoe
Double-up in a fun inflatable canoe and journey along the gentle waters and mild rapids of the Waiau River with Hanmer Springs Attractions. On this six-hour tour, experience the stunning countryside, river gorge waterfalls and surprises along the way. You’ll stop on the riverbank for a scenic picnic and end your journey with a jet boat ride back to the base. The minimum age for the trip is six years old. For more details on the tour, check out Hanmer Springs Attractions on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 839 Hanmer Springs Road, approximately 9km (6 miles) from Hanmer Springs town.
4. Enter a World of Whimsy on the Fairy Door Track
Looking for some free things to do in Hanmer Springs to break up your itinerary (and stick to your family travel budget)? Start exploring the easy walking trails of Hanmer Springs! One that was made for kids in Hanmer Springs is the Fairy Door Walk. In the Brook Dawson Reserve of the Hanmer Forest, enjoy this 30-minute track with little painted doors to find in the trees.
Location: End of Bath Street, Hanmer Springs town.
5. Enjoy a Short Hike to the Top of Conical Hill
An alternative walk for families with older kids, the Conical Hill Walk takes you to a 550m (1,805ft) summit for amazing views of the surrounding mountains and Hanmer Basin. Follow a zigzagging trail through a variety of pines until you reach the top where you’ll find a sheltered viewing platform and picnic tables nearby.
Location: End of Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs town.
6. Soak and Slide at the Hanmer Spring Thermal Pools & Spa
The most popular attraction in town, Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa is also one of the largest hot pool complexes in New Zealand. Relax in one of the many themed hot pool areas, whether it’s having a splash in the main pools or finding small pools nestled among the native plant and stone landscaping. There are kids’ pools with all sorts of playground features, as well as an array of epic waterslides. Make sure your pass includes admission to the waterslides, if you intend on using them.
Location: 42 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs town.
7. Feed the Animals at the Hanmer Springs Animal Park
An activity for young and old, the Hanmer Springs Animal Park is a must-do for families. Drop by and hand-feed the animals, including sheep, goats, pigs, ponies, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, cow, texas longhorn, ostriches, emus, wallabies, water buffalos and deers! There are light lunches and snacks available to buy (for you, not the animals) or bring a picnic and make use of the undercover picnic area of this all-weather farm park, also featuring playgrounds for the kids. Check out more all-weather activities in the 10 Things to Do in Hanmer Springs on a Rainy Day.
Location: 108 Rippingale Road, approximately 2km (1 mile) from Hanmer Springs town centre.
8. Play a Round of Mini Golf and Escape the Lost Temple
When all else fails, you can always rely on mini golf… Or two mini golf courses, as is the case in Hanmer Springs! One option is A-Maze-N-Golf, which is not just a gold rush-themed 18-hole mini golf course but also holds a fun maze experience for the whole family. Solve the puzzles of The Lost Temple maze to escape while discovering lots of surprises along the way. Your second option is the Alpine Crazy Putt mini golf course – 18 holes of fun with water features, tunnels, bridges and more to tackle in the middle of Hanmer Springs Village.
Location: A-Maze-N-Golf – 1 Fraser Close. Alpine Crazy Putt – 72 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs town.
9. Go on a Llama Trek
A unique way to experience the town and surrounding forests of Hanmer Springs is alongside your llama companion! That’s right, Hanmer Llamas offers educational and interactive llama treks with their day tour being the most suitable for families. Each family member gets to load up their belongings in their chosen llama’s backpack, leaving everyone hands-free to enjoy the walk through native and pine forest, to lookouts and to a local cafe for lunch, which is included in the rate. The recommended minimum age is seven years old but they can make exceptions.
Location: Meeting point is arranged in the town centre or at your accommodation.
10. Spend the Day in the Snow at the Hanmer Springs Ski Area
Finally, for families who visit Hanmer Springs in winter (July to September), you have the opportunity to ski in Hanmer Springs as long as the snow conditions are right. Hanmer Springs Ski Area is a family-friendly ski field with groomed runs, a learners area and three “club-style” lifts, i.e. Poma and rope tows. Enjoy affordable skiing with lessons available on weekends. Gear rental packages are available, while younger ones can enjoy the flat area for building snowmen and tobogganing. Compare this ski field with others in The 24 Ski Fields in New Zealand.
Location: Top of Clarence Valley Road, 17km (11 miles) from Hanmer Springs town. Shuttles are available from the Hanmer Adventure Centre in town.