The Hanmer Springs Food Guide
Admittedly, most travellers make the 90-minute journey from Christchurch to the alpine village of Hanmer Springs to either tackle adventure activities or do an ungodly amount of soaking in the thermal hot pools. For foodies, however, the journey there is a gastronomical experience in itself as you venture through the Waipara wine region awash in tasting rooms and cellar doors. Once you arrive in Hanmer Springs, there’s something to suit most palettes between the hearty high country cuisine of the local restaurants to the sweet treats of the village’s “lolly shops”.
Discover how to make the most of Hanmer Springs’ food scene with this complete foodie guide to Hanmer Springs.
Things to Do in Hanmer Springs for Foodie
- Embark on a guided or self-guided winery tour of the Waipara Valley
- Enjoy a wine tasting at the nearby Waiau River Estate
- Indulge on the sweet treats of Hanmer Springs’ lolly and fudge shops
- Fish for your own trout on a fly fishing experience
- Take a tour of the Greystone Winery
- Check out the Waipara Valley Farmers & Crafts Market
- Experience high country cuisine at Hanmer Springs’ cafes and restaurants.
For more details on each experience, check out the 7 Things to Do in Hanmer Springs for Foodies.
Food Tours and Activities
While the restaurants and gourmet sweet or “lolly” shops are the foodie highlights of Hanmer Springs village, on your way to the village, you have a whole lot of wineries to discover. Either visit the wineries of the Waipara Valley independently using the 10 Wonderful Wineries in the Waipara Valley or enjoy one of the wine tours from Hanmer Springs with the Hanmer Adventure Centre who curate tailor-made tours for your group and palette. Alternatively, NZSI Tours & Travel offers private wine tours from Christchurch with a trip to the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa included. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Once you reach Hanmer Springs, you’ll find yourself in sweet-tooth heaven thanks to the array of sweet/candy/lolly shops available. Try an array of creative flavours at one of the fudge shops, like The Fudge Shop or The Decadent Fudge Co. Alternatively, choose lollies/candy/sweets along with childhood favourites from all over the world at The Lolly Pot.
For a more hands-on food experience, how about sourcing your own brown or rainbow trout with a flyfishing tour? Not only will you encircle yourself in the remote river valley landscapes of Hanmer Springs, but you’ll also experience the rewarding feeling of reeling in your own fish. Fly Fish New Zealand and Riverview Fly Fishing Lodge are both based in Hanmer Springs and offer bespoke fishing packages.
For more foodie experiences, such as the local markets and winery tours, take a look at the 7 Things to Do in Hanmer Springs for Foodies.
The Best Restaurants in Hanmer Springs
What are the best restaurants in Hanmer Springs? If you’re looking for fine dining, check out our recommendations in The Luxury Guide to Hanmer Springs. If you’re looking for romantic restaurants, see The Honeymoon Guide to Hanmer Springs. And for hidden gems and cheap street eats, check out The Guide to Hanmer Springs on a Budget. Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, here are the remaining best restaurants in Hanmer Springs.
Fire & Ice Cafe, Restaurant & Bar (37 Amuri Avenue) offers family-friendly dining thanks to the on-site playground, as well as comfortable indoor and alfresco seating areas. Signature dishes include their seafood platters and “Farm on a Plate”.
Reflecting the high country environment, the Five Stags Restaurant and Bar (2 Fraser Close) offer hearty Kiwi cuisine and drinks in a bar with a hunting lodge design concept. If you like this, you might also like the Monteith’s Brewery Bar (47 Amuri Avenue) pouring beer and cider brewed on the West Coast along with platters and other Kiwi meals to enjoy beside the indoor or outdoor fireplace.
Set in a historic hydroelectric power station building, The Powerhouse Cafe (8 Jacks Pass Road) is a good go-to for breakfast and lunch offering an array of freshly-made food with plenty of vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options.
Alternative Things to Do in Hanmer Springs
It’s not all about eating and drinking in Hanmer Springs. There are some other activities here that are worth taking a pause from the dining scene. Some of the activities to enjoy include:
- Scenic walks in the Hanmer Forest
- Riding the St James Cycle Trail
- Relaxing at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa
- Quad biking with Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Hanmer Springs Attractions (also on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Doing the Hanmer Springs Bungy (Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Jumping on a thrilling jet boat tour with Amuri Jet (on Viator and Tripadvisor) or Hanmer Springs Attractions (Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Feeding the animals at the Hanmer Springs Animal Park
- Playing mini golf at A-Maze-N-Golf or Alpine Crazy Putt.