Te Waikoropupū Springs (AKA Pupū Springs), Golden Bay
Why visit Te Waikoropupū Springs?
The phrase “crystal clear water” gets thrown around a lot these days. One place where it’s definitely not an exaggeration is Te Waikoropupū Springs (often referred to as Pupū Springs), one of the top attractions in the Golden Bay region of New Zealand’s South Island. The water there is said to be some of the clearest ever measured — visibility reaches a staggering 63 metres!
Walking through the forest
The short loop track takes you through unspoiled New Zealand bush, following a pristine stream for most of the way. The track is in great shape and is suitable for all fitness levels. It’s a soothing little slice of nature, but the springs themselves are the real highlight.
Te Waikoropupū Springs
The first thing to note about Te Waikoropupū Springs is that they are extremely sacred to Maori and were once used for healing and ceremonial blessings. Visitors are urged not to touch the water, so definitely don’t try and swim in them or dip your toes in the water. You can see the springs from a series of wooden platforms. There are a couple of different sections but the main viewpoint gives you the best view of the water and the plants which live in it.
It’s a really cool place but the effect is somewhat dulled in bad light. We actually visited them twice, the first just before sunset when it was getting quite dark and the second on a sunny morning. It was way better on the second visit, so keep that in mind.
Getting to Te Waikoropupū Springs
Te Waikoropupū Springs are located around 6 km from Takaka. To get there drive along the main road towards Collingwood. Turn left after crossing the long bridge a short while after leaving Takaka. There’s a car park near the bridge which has become a popular place to freedom camp — apparently your vehicle is supposed to be self contained but many weren’t.
Takaka acts as a gateway to the Golden Bay region and Totaranui / Abel Tasman National Park. There are a few old buildings on the main street as well as some nice shops and galleries featuring work from local artists. If you want a cheap meal in Takaka head for Bay Takeaway– the fish and chips there are really good.
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