Hanmer Springs is in north Canterbury and part of the Alpine Pacific Touring Route. It is a particularly pretty town, lined by mature exotic pines, including sequoias and redwoods.
Over the years, commercial development has more or less stayed in keeping with an alpine feel and it seems more relaxed than some of the better known resort locations around New Zealand, being off the main tourist routes. Even the very large (but good) commercial hot pools are well-disguised by the trees.
Walking and biking around town is easy, and there is quick access to the Hanmer Forest trails. At the north end of the town is a 30 minute hike up to the top of Conical Hill, which looks over the town. Behind the hot pools, there is an unusual historic building – the Queen Mary Hospital which has an interesting history and goes back to when hot pools and fresh air were all you needed for good health.