Day #80 - Water, Water Everywhere!

The weather was going to be against us today - the forecast was rather bleak until mid afternoon when the showers were predicted to stop and the sun might make an appearance. 

This however didn't stop James from having an early morning dip in the campsite pool which was heated but still wasn't inviting enough for me! 

I was so grateful not having to take down and pack a tent in the rain. It is wonderful in a campervan to be able to just unplug and go. We've both done our fair share of camping in the rain 

We left the site around 10 and headed straight to our next destination, the confusing named Hanmer Springs. Sounds like the title of a soap opera! And did you read that as Hammer or Hanmer? Due to middle aged eyes, we both have been referring to this place as Hammer Springs which only became apparent when we were trying to enter it as a destination in the sat nav. Luckily Hammer Springs doesn't exist otherwise we could have ended up miles away from our intended destination.

As we drove, the countryside was stunning as always, but sadly the rain was against us.

Many fields have cows or sheep grazing in them but one thing we weren't expecting to see was deer being farmed. Quite often we would come across fields with a hundred or so deer in them. Very cute to see.

Hanmer Springs is a geothermal wonderland and this charming town owes its existence to the discovery of its natural hot springs in 1859 by a local runholder named William Jones. While the Maori knew about the springs for centuries, Jones was the first European to document them. He described them as "boiling hot" and "bubbling up out of the ground like a pot of water on a fire." News of the springs quickly spread, and soon people from all over New Zealand were flocking to Hanmer Springs to bathe in the mineral-rich waters (a bit like Bath eh?). The town was named after Thomas Hanmer who was a surveyor. 

The reason for our visit was the town's famous hot springs. Now coming from Bath which is of course famous for its hot springs, we had to try out what this town had to offer. 

No phones in the pools, so here's an aerial shot I grabbed off the internet. 

That's the reason James and I spent a wonderful two hours or so just relaxing in various pools of varying temperatures (36°C- 42°C) all with  natural waters infused with various minerals. The sulphur pools were particularly invigorating being the hotter ones and the more fragrant ones! We definitely felt relaxed and chilled.

We then made our way to our campsite which was another two hours away which gave us the chance to see more of the South Islands countryside. 

The location of the campsite was chosen for a particular reason. If I tell you the name of its location is Spencer Beach in Spencerville, I wonder if you can guess the reason!

After pitching up and plugging in, we wondered to the aforementioned Spencer Beach (next to Spencer Park if you're curious!). Sadly, and it pains me to say, Spencer Beach wasn't much to look at although it was very long and had very good sand!

We had a relaxed evening meal - basically a van picnic, using up the bits and pieces we've accumulated in the fridge. And before we knew it, it was time to settle down for the night. Yet another wonderful day drew to a close.