Te Waikoropupū Springs
- Landmarks & Hotspots
Te Waikoropupū Springs are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, and the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere.
The springs are recognised internationally for their spectacular colour and clarity, which is estimated at approximately 76m, close to that of optically pure water. Containing some of the clearest water ever measured, the springs are broadly comparable to that of Lake Rotomairewhenua (Blue Lake) in the Nelson Lakes National Park, which has earnt it the title of ‘the clearest lake in the world’.
To local māori, Te Waikoropupū is a taonga (treasure) and is considered wahi tapu (sacred), to be held in high cultural and spiritual regard. Legend has it that Waikoropupū is the home of Huriawa, one of three main taniwha of Aotearoa. Huriawa is a diver of land and sea and is believed to rest beneath the surface of the springs.
A short loop walk through mānuka and kānuka forest takes you to a viewing platform overlooking Te Waikoropupū. Discharging approximately 14,000 litres of water per second – enough to fill 40 bathtubs – the bubbling surface of the springs is remarkably alluring. Although you cannot swim here, or even so much as glide your finger across the surface, you’ll be able to watch as eels and native fish dart around in the crystal clear waters below.
How to get there: Te Waikoropupu Springs is located just a short distance from the Takaka township, at the end of Pupu Springs Road.
Photo credits: (1-3) www.nelsontasman.nz, (4) Wine, Art & Wilderness.