A day we actually got to sleep in. Hanmer Springs is known for its thermal pools. At 9am we made our way over for a tour of the facility and then had time to enjoy the fourteen open air pools. Set in a natural landscape, surrounded by forests and mountains, a natural place to unwind. At 11am we went down the block and had lunch at Malabar Restaurant.
The other activity for this area is jet boating on the Waiau River. You jet through narrow gorges, white water rapids and braided shallows. Much more open river then the Shotover Jet in Queenstown but still a thrill doing the 360 degree spins made famous by the jet boat invented in New Zealand! Being Fall it was a bit cold with the wind chill but still enjoyable.
We then drove about 90 minutes towards Christchurch. We stop at the Ke Tae Maori Cultural Center. When we first arrived we walked around the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve. We then had a guided Kiwi and bird Tour. Following that we took part in an interactive Cultural Experience based in the natural surroundings of Willowbank. We moved into a concert arena and learned first hand waiata (love songs) poi & haka. Then we enjoyed the 4 course meal with a contemporary take on Hangi cooked mains.
We then continued into the city of Christchurch and checked into the Hotel Montreal. Overlooking Cramner Square and situated on the edge of the tranquil Hagley Park, this is Christchurch’s newest luxury boutique hotel.