There is something to be cherished when one soaks in a hot tub of mineral water, sharing the warmth with mates. Bubble farts rippling the surface top from the crack below don’t stink as the odd whiff of sulphur reminds you that you are in a geothermal longitude and latitude – Hanmer Springs.
The water tide mark was up with all the hordes of other patrons. Tall people, short people, thin people, fat. Kids and olds and different nationalities at that. Bathing costumes to perv at, some not so good, faces with make-up and some that should wear a hood. Tattoos were many and piercings through bits, whether male or female from ears to one’s nipples.
It had been a while since we were last there. New shops have been erected and you couldn’t help wondering if the community were trying too hard to be a micro-tourist mecca the likes of Queenstown or Wanaka.
Beyond the commercial and residential suburbia, the adventure playground traditions still wait patiently for those whom put on either lycra, sweat pants or boots to mountain bike, walk or run or hike.
It was a two-hour round hump up Jacks Pass around then blat of the back country to then free wheel down Jollies Pass and back. The old Connical Hill ascent favourite was not to be missed. It gives one a brilliant 360° panoramic view of valley, mountain range and Waiau River. The white of snow breaks the mountain brown from the sky blue.
It’s worth the 90-minute drive north of Christchurch if traveling to our neck of the woods. So too the hot pools.
Only because there were kids around!