Alpine Winter Festival Hanmer Springs

Fun for the whole family!

Alpine Winter Festival Hanmer Springs

Hanmer Springs Alpine Winter Festival

Now winter can be a tough time to get out and about with the kids, when you’d much rather snuggle up at home with a movie by the fire, BUT we have just discovered the best winter festival that will send your kids running for their jackets.  Packed with activities for the kids (and the kids at heart), you know they’ll sleep well with this on your schedule.

What makes Hanmer so great for families is that everything is walkable.  We could easily walk from our accommodation to the pools and all the activities as well as admire the light activations that were sparkling on the way home in the evening.

Here are a few of our favourite activities that we loved in the Alpine Winter Festival.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools

Something special in the winter festival is to relax amongst the glowing light activations at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools.  There’s something magical about being toasty and warm on a dark night that will help create such great family memories.

During the day, quickly nip between the fun hydroslides and warming yourself in the family pools.  We finally got to enjoy the kids splash play area for kids 8 and under, which meant my preschooler didn’t miss out on the slide experience.

Ice Skating at Paradice

This was the first time our whole family has ice skated together and it was such a blast.  After the initial fun of hitting the deck and getting a wet bum, we all finally mastered skating from one end of the rink to the other.  The rink is open well into the evening, so if you have older children, this would be a great after dinner activity.

Sled Dogs Meetup

A very special experience was meeting the sled dogs who came to Hanmer from as far as Nelson and Invercargill.  Their loving owners shared the complexities of owning sled dogs such as huskies and of being part of the sled dog racing community.

Kids Shows

A highlight for Emilia was the awesome kids show by “Music with Michal” outside the Hanmer Toy Shop.  The cutest wee store that we never knew existed, tucked behind the 4 Square hosted the lovely Michal who sung the greatest selection of songs for the kids.  I still catch the kids singing them at home in fact.

Where to eat

Parents, if you just feel like a rest from cooking, then know that Hanmer Springs has some incredible food options.  Here’s a few of our favourites:

Powerhouse Cafe:  The must visit spot for breakfast. 

I am not sure I have seen such colourful and fresh breakfasts.  My favourite meal of our trip was the avocado smash with halloumi.  The additional veges such as broccoli, mushrooms, tomato and carrot just set up such a great healthy start to the day.

Hanmer Bakery and Cafe:

Sheree is a delight at the Hanmer Bakery and you can see her smiley face from as early as 7am when it opens.  They have a delicious selection of fresh rolls and sweet treats, but if you want to try something different, ask Sheree about her cheeseburger or bacon, mac and cheese pies.

We may or may not have picked up the famous blueberry and custard slice for the drive home.

Fire and Ice:

It was great to see a range of items such as a chicken wrap and pasta on the kids menu as an alternative to the usual fried options.  But the big winner of the day was the Farm on a Plate.  So for those big meat eaters, including my farmer husband, this was heaven.  5 different meat options at full size with a fried egg and fries, it almost had him beat.  No one will go hungry here that's for sure.

Saints Cafe Restaurant and Bar:

We were told that pizza fans head to Saints, so we ordered a few large pizzas including the chicken cranberry and brie pizza which was delicious.  A great laid back atmosphere with a pool table and the game on the big screen meant everyone was entertained. 

Where to stay:

Every time we have been to Hanmer Springs we’ve stayed with Hanmer Holiday Homes.  We love that these well loved bach’s always seem to be stocked with toys and puzzles, great for cool mornings and have a kitchen filled to the brim with pots and appliances. It always feels like a home away from home and we highly recommend them.

Alpine Winter Festival Hanmer Springs hopes to back, bigger and better next year; make sure you head along and check it out! 

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Contact Us

42 Amuri Avenue
Hanmer Springs
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 315 0000
Free phone : 0800 442 663 (NZ only)