Publish date: 20/11/2018

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa has announced plans for five new thermal pools and a new aquatic thrill ride.

The development will cost $4.3 million and open in late 2019 with construction scheduled to begin in April 2019.

Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa General Manager Graeme Abbot says the new additions will make the complex even more appealing to visitors.

“We are always looking for ways to improve and these additions will add to both the bathing and fun-filled elements of our business. We’re also pretty proud to have been able to make the new additions environmentally sustainable.

“Half of the energy required to run the new pools and slide will come from a heat transfer unit that will utilise energy which is a bi-product of our electricity generator* and the pools are designed to be super water efficient with no holding tanks. We are also pioneering new construction techniques so the pools’ foundation will sit above ground and not damage tree roots below.”

The five new pools will sit among river boulder terraces and native gardens on what is currently a grassed area next to the Rainbow Pools.

“They’ll become a popular place for visitors to sit and soak in our famous mineral-filled waters, listening to the sounds of the waters cascading over rocks and waterfalls,” says Abbot.

The new 13.5 metre high slide will attach to the complex’s existing hydroslide tower and sit next to the SuperBowl, where the complex’s AquaPlay area currently is.

Abbot says the slide is yet to be named but it will be a rush. “Riders will shoot down a winding hydroslide in 2-person tubes, before going down a steep drop that propels them up a near-vertical wall for a moment of weightlessness before zooming back down and onto the slide’s finish.”

The pools complex has lodged a resource consent application for the development with the Hurunui District Council. This will be a publicly notified process so people can make submissions on the application.

Abbot says his team is looking forward to feedback from the public. “Those we have spoken to thus far are incredibly excited about this development’s potential to make Hanmer Springs even more popular with visitors and boost local businesses.”

*The new 65kw Capstone micro turbine generator converts previously wasted methane gas (from an old gas bore and a thermal deep water bore) into electricity. It is the only generator of its type in New Zealand and won the Innovation category of this year’s EECA Awards.