Getting to Hanmer Springs

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Getting to Hanmer Springs

Central Powder Odyssey Tour, Gunma & Aizu areas
Wagner Custome Skis

Where is Hanmer Springs Ski Field?

The Hanmer Springs ski area is located in the South Island of New Zealand, 2 ¼ hours (155km) north of Christchurch. Travel to the spa town of Hanmer Springs via Highway 7 and 7A, and then it’s another 20ish kilometres to the ski area (40 minutes).

Driving To Hanmer Springs Ski Area

We rate the road to Hanmer Springs ski field as one of the top three best ski hill roads in New Zealand. The term ‘best’ can be taken to mean different things to different people. To some, ‘best’ will mean that it was a cracking drive with spectacular views on an engineering marvel showcasing man’s constant battle against nature. To others, ‘best’ will mean that it is best avoided going on this road with your eyes open! To others still, ‘best’ will mean that the best way to deal with the road is to not go on it and stay in the thermal pools in town for the day.

It’s a cracking drive. The staff do well to keep the road open. They’ve just recently got a new tractor for the purpose, so things are looking up. The road is recommended for 4WD only and chains are absolutely essential. If you didn’t organise chains with your rental car, these can be hired from Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre. Needless to say, DO NOT take your camper van up this road.

It is a rather convoluted 20ish km drive from the town of Hanmer Springs via the Clarence Valley Road, and then through the old St James Station. Depending on the state of the signage (poor when the Powderhounds visited!) it’s relatively easy to find.
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Other Hanmer Springs Transport

If you don’t have a decent rental car, or just don’t want to drive the road, Hanmer Adventure runs a ski shuttle from the town of Hanmer Springs once a day. Hanmer Adventure is located opposite the Heritage Hanmer Springs Hotel (a fine establishment!).

Getting Around Hanmer Springs Ski Field

Hanmer Springs ski area has two buildings. Getting from one to the other isn’t a big deal and requires no further explanation!

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

Whilst the South Island is loaded with other club and commercial ski fields, the only other ski field close to Hanmer Springs is the surprisingly good Mt Lyford, which is located about an hour’s drive away along Hwy 70.

The Rainbow Ski Field is close by as the crow flies (or power lines go). The history of the Amuri Ski Club (or Hanmer Springs Ski Area as it’s now known) was associated with the builders of the road from Hanmer to Saint Arnaud to service a power line. The power lines go right past the Rainbow access road, but during winter the road is not accessible and it’s a mighty long drive to go around the long way.

The main Canterbury ski fields (Porters, Broken River, and Craigieburn etc) are a few hours’ drive to the south.
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