Parks and Reserves
The Council has a statutory requirement under the Reserves Act 1977, to provide and maintain parks, reserves and recreation areas for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.
Our main responsibilities include ensuring accessibility for public use, and the preservation of indigenous flora and fauna, natural ecosystems and heritage.
Parks, reserves and recreation areas in the Hurunui District include:
- The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools Reserve
- The Queen Mary Hospital Historic Reserve
- 26 playgrounds
- 2 swimming pools (Amberley & Rotherham)
- 14 halls
- 14 recreation reserves developed for sporting and passive relaxation
- 18 reserves undeveloped but available for passive relaxation
- 7 plantation or forestry reserves
Other reserve areas are currently leased and will remain undeveloped until required.
District Reserves Management Plan
The District Reserves Management Plan aims to provide a consistent management approach to the districts reserves. It clarifies lines of responsibility for control and management and provides indicative development directives and priorities through until 2022.
Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools Reserve
The Council operates the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa on the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools Reserve.
The complex was recently extended to include a new water-slide, aqua play area and enlarged cold water pool. The current management plan for the reserve was adopted in November 2011.
Queen Mary Hospital Historic Reserve
In August 2010 the Council acquired 6ha of the former Queen Mary Hospital land, including the Chisholm Ward, Soldiers' Block and Nurses' Hostel historic buildings, for preservation for future generations.
The current management plan for the reserve was approved by the Minister of Conservation in December 2011.
Conical Hill Reserve
The Council has prepared a 10 year Forest Management Programme for Conical Hill Reserve.
Council has prepared a revegetation plan for an area of Conical Hill that was cleared of pine trees in 2013.
Hanmer Springs Severe Weather Closure Protocol
From time to time severe weather conditions such as high winds, heavy snow fall and heavy rain may threaten the safety of the public if they access council reserves and recreational tracks. The main threats include falling trees and branches in high winds and heavy snow, and flooding during heavy rain fall. During such severe weather events, in the interest of public safety the council may close a reserve or walking track for a period of time until it is deemed safe for the public to re-enter. The Protocol for the Temporary Closure of Hanmer Springs Reserves and Track Network During Severe Weather Conditions was developed to outline the processes and procedures that would occur for these closures to occur.
The reserves that would be affected by closure during severe weather events have been identified by high use areas with a large number of trees, and presence of waterways. The following reserves may be affected by temporary closure during a severe weather event.
- Conical Hill Reserve Walkway
- Dog Stream Reserve Walking Tracks and Brooke Dawson Park
- Amuri Ave Reserve
- Larch Reserve
- Woodlands Reserve & Walkway
Freedom camping within Council reserves is subject to the Freedom Camping Bylaw.
Freedom camping is defined as overnight camping in public areas that are in the vicinity of roads and are easily accessed. It is not intended to apply to the “back country” experience. These principles apply to all forms of camping whether in tents, cars, campervans, boats or buses.
CAMPERS ARE WELCOME provided that you:
- Respect our environment – leave the site clear of all rubbish, waste and damage.
- Understand that dumping of waste and litter is an offence and will result in instant fines or prosecution.
- Act responsibly, and respect the access and enjoyment rights of other public space users.
- Have immediate access to, or on-board, toilet, wastewater collection and rubbish disposal facilities.
- Use designated public spaces, camping areas (e.g. Department of Conservation sites) or commercial premises as available.
- Seek the local i-SITE, local council website or other camping guides if unsure of freedom camping sites in the area.
- Appreciate that some environmentally or culturally sensitive, and built-up, areas will not permit any form of freedom camping.
- Understand that freedom camping is a temporary activity, generally considered to be two days unless otherwise informed.
Note: The Freedom Camping Bylaw is currently under review. The Council intends to release a proposed Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw for public consultation later this year.
If you would like to recommend a local authority area for a permitted, restricted, or prohibited freedom camping designation, or have any questions about the review process, please contact Rachel Elliot (Policy Planner) on -
03 314 0048 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council has two 25 yard public swimming pools located at Amberley and Rotherham. They provide a focus for families, schools and communities.
The quality of the water at the pools is continuously monitored to ensure health and safety for all users. Swimming lessons help all ages to enjoy the water safely, and lane swimming is available for serious trainers.
The Amberley Swimming Pool is staffed by fully trained personnel, and open seven days a week at various session times during the summer months.
The Rotherham pool is community-run and used by the local school.
Civil Aviation Authority rules require drone operators to obtain the permission of all landowners whose properties they will fly over. This includes permission of Council when flying over Council owned land. If you are thinking of flying your drone over a Council reserve please read the Council's drone policy.