Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Weekend in Hanmer

Last weekend we packed up the car and headed to North Canterbury and the thermal spa resort of Hanmer Springs. It's a lovely 1.5 - 2hr drive from Christchurch.

Hanmer is situated in a high country basin 385m above sea level and is the International gateway to the South Island. You can sit in the thermal pools all day, different temps and water types (i.e. with or without stinky sulphur!), or take advantage of all the spa treatments. We didn't "do" the pools this time round as we forgot our togs (that's Kiwi for swimsuits!). And I didn't fancy "hiring" a swimsuit there (ewww gross!!)

We stayed in a great motel where we had a "townhouse" to ourselves. The bonus was that they allow dogs to stay too! For an extra $10 Summer could come AND stay in the property. The place was called Greenacres Motel Hanmer is one of the few forest areas in New Zealand where the Dept of Conservation (DOC) allow dogs. The Kiwi, Takehe, Weka and Kakapo are some of New Zealands flightless birds which must be protected, hence the heavy restrictions on where dogs can be walked.

Some friends had told us to wrap up warm, so we did. We arrived in Hanmer to find summer temps and people walking around in t-shirts!! We slowly stripped down to thermals and tee's as we walked around the High Street!

The view from the lounge balcony:

The view from the bedroom balcony:

Summer inspects her accommodation!

Hanmer's main street:

The result of a clear night - a frosty morning walk!!

On our way back we took a drive up through Lewis Pass. We stopped at the beginning of the St James Walkway (famous 5-day walk), but no dogs are allowed on the walk so we went for a riverside wander....

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