Thursday, 18-09-2014. Day 29.
High Hills and Hot Water
As we expected we woke up inside a nearly freezing camper van. The outside temperature was 1°C, but once the sun came up, the temperature outside climbed quickly—but not so much inside the van. We fired up the largely ineffective heater and shivered as we made breakfast. We bought some Hellers (NZ's Butcher) Chunky Cheese Sausages the day before, so we managed to generate a little heat as we cooked with the gas range.
Hanmer Springs is an adventure town. It has a good number of hiking and mountain biking trails in the hills above the town. There are also whitewater rafting and bungee jumping opportunities (off one of those one-way bridges, no less) nearby.
See? Adventure. But we skipped the more thrillseeking options and went for a mild hike up the nearby Conical Hill, which, at 549 meters above sea level, offered full views of Hammer Springs below and the tall peaks around the town.
To the north, there was also a section where a section of the forest had been cleared. Jackie said, "It looks like a slice of pizza missing." And it did.
After we walked back down the hill and through town to the campsite (picking up fixings for lunch and dinner along the way), we enjoyed a little lunch before heading off to the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. We don't have many pictures here because it wasn't practical to carry a camera, but the place looks something like this:
For the next few hours, we enjoyed a variety of pool temperatures, from the 28°C Lazy River to the 33°C Rock Pools to the 37°C Hexagonal Pools to the 42°C Sulphur Springs. Frankie and I also took many runs down the various water slides (we had to pay an extra $10 for this privilege). The air, by the way, was a balmy 11°C with a brisk wind, and it rained off and on while we were there; this all made moving from pool to pool a chilly affair.
That night when we got back to the campsite, the place was packed, mostly with people we'd seen at the hot springs earlier. This was by far the busiest holiday park we'd been to yet—these hot springs are a real draw.
- Kilometers Driven: 0
- Kilometers Walked: 6
- Different pools enjoyed: 9
- Combined Water Slide runs: 22