Whilst traveling through New Zealand, lots of locals told me about the joys of visiting Hanmer Springs and said that whatever I did, I shouldn't miss out on this during my tour of South Island. So I left Christchurch and headed to Kaikoura to spend half a day wallowing in hot, thermal waters. On arriving at Hanmer Springs, the weather wasn't great but at least the springs were warmer than the air.
The complex is huge - several pools at different temperatures, a bit of greenery, some water jets and steam baths designed to attack cellulite. It was certainly an enjoyably, relaxing experience. All the same, I'm not sure that it's really worth making a detour for. It was just like being at an elaborate swimming pool complex, nothing more, nothing less.
Downtown there are a few restaurants and bars and an agency offering jetboat tours. Apart from that, I can't recall anything else being on offer.