Fun Things to do with Children in Hanmer

  • Hanmer animal park and gallery
  • Hanmer Thermal Pools

Hanmer Springs is one of those holiday locations that is perfect for all sorts of travellers wanting to get away from it all, but is particularly great for family groups with children. A favourite holiday home location for many in Christchurch, it is also a great place for families who like to try different parts of the country and enjoy Hanmer without the bind of a holiday home.

A peaceful, safe and relaxing place to holiday, Hanmer Springs also provides plenty of day time activities to keep everyone entertained - most of them in the fresh air.

1. Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

Of course the number one activity has to be the wonderful thermal pool complex that has really given Hanmer its reputation. The complex is continually being updated with new facilities, so each holiday visit is likely to bring up a few new things to explore. 

With two large grassy picnic areas, dozens of sun loungers and shady tables, alongside large changing rooms and a locker area this is a great place for families to base themselves as they explore the complex.

The large activity pool has resort style beach access. The kids will love swimming into the cave behind the waterfall and drag Mum and Dad along too. The water is warm and you'll find plenty of adults relaxing in the shallows as they keep a close eye on the kids.

Recent additions include the Aquaplay area for younger children which includes a mini hydroslide, side by side waterslides and fountains.

If your children like to spend more time in the water than out of it, you might want to get a Return Pass (so you can go twice in one day), a Two Day Pass or  a concession card. There are plenty of different pricing options on the pools website, so have a good look before you get there and choose the best option for your family group.

If you have memories of freezing cold changing room floors (especially mid-winter), you'll be pleased to know the changing rooms now all have underfloor heating!

The onsite cafe has been completely rebuilt so check that out to quell those rumbling tummies after a few hours in the pools. The Tea Kiosk Cafe and Grill is open from 10am till around 8.30pm. If you want to eat a full meal, there are plenty of restaurants within easy walking distance.

2. Mini-golf

Mini-golf is a popular activity in Hanmer with at least three different options to keep you occupied. And of course if you prefer the longer/larger version, there is a stunning golf course in town as well.

Check out A-Maze-N-Golf which is not just mini-golf but also a separate maze with a Lost Temple theme. You can choose either option, or a good value combination entry starting from $16.00 for children and $20.00 for adults. Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor and visit their website for all the pricing options. 

Alpine Crazy Putt is another popular option right in the middle of Hanmer. The mini-golf course has recently been re-designed and is now larger than before with more challenging holes. Depending on how busy it is, this can easily keep you all occupied for at least an hour. Check out other pricing on their website here.

If you prefer an option that is more like the real thing, check out the Hanmer Pitch and Putt course. Beginners to the game can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while advanced golfers can sharpen their short game. A Par 3 with 18 holes ranging from 27 to 80 metres, combine to create an experience like no other in Hanmer Springs.

Golfers need only bring their pitching wedge (or preferred wedge), and putter to enjoy a round at the Pitch and Putt or you can hire clubs from the clubhouse. 

One of the greatest pleasures of the Pitch and Putt is that a full round of 18 holes can be easily completed in less than 2 hours. During the summer the facility remains open until dusk.

Conveniently located only 8 minutes walk from Hanmer Springs Village and for drivers, free parking is provided. Check out the prices for entry, driving range and club hire.

3. Hanmer Springs Animal Park, 108 Rippingale Road

Hanmer Springs Animal Park is an amazing children’s play area suitable for young and old set on 20 acres, amidst spectacular mountain views, 15 minutes walk from town. They have a café and 2 acres of sheltered purpose-built farm park where you can relax and wander freely among the animals in a clean and peaceful setting.

The park provides umbrellas for rainy days and also has a trampoline and outdoor picnic tables. Parents can relax with a coffee, smoothie or delicious food while the kids play. The park has wheelchair access and is a very enjoyable experience for animal lovers of all ages from toddlers to the elderly. 

Bookings are advised for groups larger than 10. Entry fees: Adults$13, Children (aged 2-14) $7, Senior/Students $10, Family $38.

SUMMER opening hours (NOVEMBER – MARCH) Wed – Sun: 10am – 5pm

WINTER opening hours (APRIL – OCTOBER) Wed - Sun: 10am – 4pm


4. Hanmer Springs Attractions - Jetboat, Bungy, Canoe, Quad Biking and more

If you have older offspring to entertain and a bigger budget to spend, check out the range of options that the Hanmer Attractions team have to offer.

You can try the bungy if you are feeling particularly adventurous, or venture into the rapids by jetboat, raft or canoe.

On the land you can hire Quad motorbikes and head off on a 2 hour expedition. Kids need to be 12 or over to ride alone, or over 5 years as a passenger. They also have paintball and claybird shooting if you have the urge.

Get details about pricing and package options on their website. Oh and if you book through these guys, they also have a discount on Pools entry.

5. Hanmer TOP 10 Holiday Park

Yep, that's right - we have great facilities for entertaining children right here at the park, and of course there's also the reserve right over our back fence.

If you are staying with us your children can enjoy the jumping pillow, fun bikes and mountain bikes for hire, plus relax in the hot tubs. We also have our Grand Tourer shared bike that enables you to venture out as a family and get some exercise at the same time as you cruise around the village. For days when its raining or cooler outside, the whole family can enjoy the indoor basketball hoop, board games and dvds. Just ask at reception.