Māori legend has it that these hot springs are the result of embers from Mt Ngauruhoe on the North Island falling from the sky. Whatever their origin, visitors flock to Hanmer Springs year-round to soak in the warming waters. The main complex consists of a series of large pools of various temperatures.
There are also smaller, adult-only landscaped rock pools, a freshwater 25m lap pool, private thermal pools, a cafe and an adjacent spa. Kids of all ages will love the water slides – including the biggest in NZ, Conical Hill – and the whirl-down-the-plughole-thrill of the Superbowl ($10).