68 hours in Wanaka.
- April 26, 2022
After enduring a long-distance relationship while Russell was in an MIQF role in Auckland recently, the opportunity to spend a few days…Read More
Hanmer Springs is a stunning alpine resort town that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and holiday makers every year. Being a resort town, the hospitality market reflects this with their high-end retail stores and restaurant menus, ranging in price from $20-$39 for a main meal.
While it may seem too expensive for some, making a visit to Hanmer Spring unaffordable, there are many affordable options still available to those of us on a budget.
Recently, our visit to Hanmer Springs focused solely on how to explore this amazing alpine town on a budget. Before we left home, I set a meal budget of $20 per person per meal. I knew this was going to be a mission as after some extensive research I discovered that the majority of online menu items were over $20. Especially when it came to evening meals.
So how did we dine out in Hanmer Springs with a budget of $40 per meal between the two of us? After arriving around 4.30pm on Friday afternoon we unpacked and headed out for a walk to the local Four Square Supermarket where we purchased a pottle of fresh fruit, 2 small waffles, a bottle of soda and a bottle of cream.
We then headed to the Roasted Bean where you can get 2 for 1 traditional medium or large pizza every Friday night for $18/$22.50. Well under budget and so delicious too.
Breakfast the next morning was relatively easy. I had already packed some yoghurt, homemade granola and coffee to bring with us so all I needed to do for breakfast was add the fresh fruit from the Four Square to yoghurt and my breakfast was sorted for less than $4. Russell had his usual granola, yoghurt and fresh fruit so for him his breakfast was less than a few dollars as well.
We love dining out for breakfast, but we find the portion sizes are too big for what we can easily manage these days as we have reduced our portion sizes considerably. Can adults order off the children’s menu? I hope so.
There are a few cafes, all within walking distance of each other, that have items on their menu for less than $20 but none that had close to what we are used to having for breakfast.
A few days before we left, I made sure to order a delicious grazing platter from the Four Square which we could graze on throughout the day. Their platters start from $25 and are the most delicious platters in town. We have been ordering them ever since I suggested they make them for our clients a few years ago.
I also knew that all Russell needed after our walk up to the Conical Hill lookout on Saturday morning was a famous Pork Belly & Apple pie and sausage roll from PJ’s Pies, made fresh locally. These pies are a must when visiting Hanmer Springs. They are so delicious. Lunch came in under budget at $37.
At this point we had only spent $73.49 on food for three meals out of a budget of $120.
After lunch Russell headed to the Hanmer hot pools using his PoolsPlus loyalty card saving him $7 on a same day return adult pass.
As it was also our 11th Wedding Anniversary, we decided to head to a restaurant for dinner. When we dine out, we look for options on the menu that we can’t make at home. Options that have a point of difference over every other restaurant in the area.
Being a resort town, there are no dinner specials on a Saturday night, that we are aware of, so finding something under budget would have meant ordering a takeaway and dining at home. Being that it was our Anniversary and with money left over in the budget, meant that we could afford to dine out instead.
Unfortunately, the restaurant we chose, based on their amazing looking dinner menu advertised on their website, were no longer open for dinner which I only discovered 15 minutes prior to heading out so we had to come up with an alternative option rather quickly.
Of the three options chosen we ended up at one where we managed to secure a table beside the fire as the temperature had started to drop. We found the customer service was less than ideal although by the time we left, the restaurant was close to full capacity.
I’m not sure what the attraction was as the food was average with definite room for improvement on some menu items in terms of portion size, presentation, and style of recipe chosen. Is an apple pie a pie if it comes out looking like a muffin? Perhaps the popularity was due to the location of it being close to the entrance to the Hot Pools?
Back at our accommodation, we worked through the activity I had planned, to celebrate our ‘Steel’ Anniversary, which was the creation of a Stainless ‘Steel’ time capsule. We chose to set the opening date ten years from now and can’t wait to see just how much things have changed over the next ten years.
As we were heading home early the next morning, breakfast was quick and easy with Russell having the waffles and fruit from the Four Square and I had homemade granola and fruit. With a budget of $200 for all meals for the weekend, we managed to come in bang on budget. Usually, it would have cost us more than double that.
Factoring in travel, accommodation and activities, it is entirely possible to enjoy a 2 day stay in Hanmer Springs for around $700. For more information on where you can stay and dine in Hanmer Springs on a budget feel free to reach out on any of our social media platforms. Enjoy.