Our Story

Where is our water from? Who is Tamatea?

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H2o Just Add Water 14

Our thermal water - 173 years in the making

Our Water Story

For decades people from all over the world have flocked to Hanmer Springs to relax and enjoy our thermal pools.
But did you know that the water you’ve been enjoying for all those years is actually 173 years old?

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Tamatea the great Maori traveller

Maori Legend of Hot Springs

Tamatea found himself at Banks Peninsula without a fire. An appeal to the North Island brought a rolling ball of flame from Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe, part of which fell off and formed the Hanmer Springs. Since the story continues with Tamatea’s journey to Nelson during which the fire kept the party warm, it is perhaps not fanciful to detect a reference to an ancient knowledge and use of the springs by Maori travellers.

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Hanmer springs 1880s

Hanmer Springs History

Our History

Travelling Maori were the first to discover the incredible thermal springs when passing through the area. There was never a permanent Maori settlement in the area and it wasn't until the 1850's that they were discovered by an early pioneer.....

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173 years

Hot Springs geology

Our Geology

The thermal water originates from rainwater that fell 173 years ago, which seeped down through fractured rock in the Hanmer Mountains to a depth of about two kilometres below the Hanmer plains.......

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