Our first stop for our second day in Hanmer Springs was the Queen Mary Hospital, an historic reserve in Hanmer Springs. We read in the paper this afternoon that the buildings of Queen Mary Hospital, long lain empty, are soon to be opened to leasing by businesses. The buildings are set in a gorgeous grounds, worthy of any business, as well as having been therapeutic to the previous patients of the hospital. (More photos below)
Our next stop was the A-Maze-N-Golf‘s Maze and Miniature Golf. We paid and entered the maze first and had a great lot of fun wandering throughout the walled area, finding panels on which are written word clues. Before entering, we were given pencils and a clue card on which to write the word clues. There was a LOT of backtracking, because most of the clues were in the dead end tracks. We found all but one of the words before reaching the end. But at the end, the voice of the “god” tells you the entire sentence formed by the many word clues.
Since we still had energy and time, we then decided to play the miniature golf. The owner was kind enough to give us the discounted price for the golf, even though we didn’t pay for it until after we had finished the maze. Each activity, the maze and the golf, costs $10 (about $8 US), but if you buy both activities, you receive a ten percent discount, for a total price of $18 (about $15 US). On this golf course, Andrew immediately took the lead, and despite my getting one hole in-one, I still ended up two strokes behind Andrew. (He also got a hole-in-one.) This was also great fun, and we laughed hard at the silly ways the balls rolled on the various parts of the course. (More photos below)
Upon his return, we had a small dinner of toast and soup and then headed for the thermal pools for which Hanmer Springs is named. There are a large variety of pools, with all temperatures from fresh-out-of-the-ground hot-and-sulfur-smelly to much cooler pools. We found that our favorite was about in the middle of the temperature range, but that was because it had very nice jets behind the seats set in the walls of the pool. It was very relaxing sitting there and talking for a few hours, even as the rain fell lightly. When it started pouring rain, we decided to head back home to our hostel room.
The next morning, we woke to snow on the peaks all around Hanmer Springs, an early snowfall. Rain and wind had been falling all night long, and it had been very cold.
On our way out of town, heading to Kaikoura, we stopped at the Marble Point Vineyards to sample some wines. Though I really do not like the taste of alcohol, I actually enjoyed a taste of their Riesling Classic, which has 10% alcohol content and 23 grams of sugar per litre. (The more sugar and less alcohol, the better I like it.) So yummy was it that I actually asked and received a second taste. Just a taste, though, since I was driving.