Te Waikoropupū Springs

  • Takaka
  • Walks & Hikes

Te Waikoropupū Springs contain some of the clearest water ever measured, coming second only to Lake Rotomairewhenua (Blue Lake) in the Nelson Lakes National Park.

What’s more, as the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, and the largest coldwater springs in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s easy to see why people travel from near and far to witness the unrivalled beauty of Te Waikoropupū.

The visual clarity of the springs is estimated at approximately 76m, statistically close to that of optically pure water. Discharging approximately 14,000 litres of water per second (enough to fill 40 bathtubs), the current of bubbles that emerge from the springs has earnt it the nickname ‘dancing sands’.

An easy, flat 20-minute walk under the canopy of mānuka and kanuka takes you across boardwalks and over bridges to a viewing platform overlooking the crystal clear waters of Te Waikoropupū. Looping back around through the forest and ferns, you can take the longer route to return via Fish Creek or head straight back to the carpark.

The carved pouwhenua at the entrance to the walkway represent the significance of Te Waikoropupū to Manuwhenua ki Möhua. The springs are held in high cultural and spiritual regard and are considered a taonga (treasure) by local Māori. They are closed to all forms of contact, so swimming, fishing, diving, wading, boating and any other interaction with the water is prohibited, although the remarkable clarity of the water makes it possible to easily observe what is happening below the surface.

How to get there: Te Waikoropupū Springs is located just a short distance from the Takaka township, at the end of Pupu Springs Road.

Photo credits: (1-2) www.nelsontasman.nz, (3) Wine, Art & Wilderness.

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