Te Waihou Walkway

Te Waihou Walkway


15 Rankers Reviews

8 Face-to-Face

3 Putaruru

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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10 km return | 3 hours return

A modified, but pretty river with a gorgeous gorge and Blue Spring, one of New Zealand’s most notable fresh water sources.


Te Waihou Walkway is well signposted on SH28 (Whites Road), 3 km from the junction with SH1. There are toilets here.

The parking area at the walk’s conclusion is 3.7 km along Leslie Road.


Constructed as a community project in 2000, this walkway is a fine example of a confluence among volunteers, a local government, landowners and iwi.

The metalled track has frequent marker posts with distances indicated on the design.

There are further toilets near the Blessing Point and half way.

From SH28, the track weaves through farmland, accompanied by the lapping waters of the Waihou River. At the Blessing Point is an avenue of native trees, a covered corridor and appropriate place for the opening ceremony of the track in 1999.

The grassy track then continues through native plantings, past both bridges for the loop track (which gives an alternative return route on the opposite side of the river). After the covered picnic bench and toilet, the track rounds a bend before arriving at the scenic highlight - the Gorge.

Here, the river narrows and rushes through a rocky cleft with an iron wheel perpetually in motion. Fern-filled fringes create a luxuriance to the steep sided walls. A short section of steep steps exit the gorge to a boardwalk before Blue Spring.

The pumping shed for Putaruru’s water supply and viewing platform at the springs are barricaded to prevent swimming. Human skin oils and dislodged attachments are polluting to the water and disturbing to the other life.

It’s then 10 minutes through farmland to the Leslie Road carpark.

Either arrange transport at both ends or return via the same track.


Blue Spring supplies around 60% of New Zealand’s bottled water. It takes 50 - 100 years to filter through from source up in the Mamaku Plateau. 42 cubic metres per minute (or 700 litres per second) flow from the spring, which has a constant temperature of 11 degrees Celsius. Bottling companies pay $1.05 per 1000 litres.


Many birds such as shags, paradise ducks and pukeko (Putaruru Poultry) are resident here.

Polynesian History

King Te Wherowhero Tawhiao, the second Maori King of New Zealand journeyed along the river.

European History

Mr and Mrs Addenbrooke farmed the area from 1934, as task taken up from 1938 by the Edmeades family.


Feature Value Info


South Waikato District Council

Local government organisation


North IslandWaikatoPutaruru


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 14.

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

18 September 2018. We went from the most distant car park. A nice walk, the river getting bluer as we went. Very quiet in places. Lots of birds. Good facilities. The spring was not what was expected tho. Just an area by the side of the river. No real sign of water streaming out.
Well worth while walk on a warm day.
Shame others don’t respect the place. Cans thrown into the bush and something best not described in the loo at the spring!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Daniel Faasser's avatar

Daniel Faasser


Ranking: 8/10

We made this walk after visiting Hobbiton. Great and easy walk down a nice river. Clear signs.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Ral Pritchard's avatar

Ral Pritchard

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful and pristine, clearest water, toilets dotted along the route!

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Helen Worner's avatar

Helen Worner


Ranking: 9/10

Blue spring, very beautiful, for free! Short enough walk for the kids.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Holger Worner's avatar

Holger Worner


Ranking: 10/10

Blue spring, very nice.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

James Braithwaite's avatar

James Braithwaite

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful and so worth a look.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Nic's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

This was one of the absolute best things we saw in New Zealand, it's completely stunning. The walk to get there is just heavenly and the springs themselves are beautiful.
We entered from the Leslie Rd end and the day we went, which was just an ordinary weekday in the middle of winter, we could barely find anywhere to park along the entire road. There were vast numbers of people, most of them tourists so someone somewhere is directing visitors to this place. The facilities are nowhere near able to cope with the numbers of people now visiting and it's actually looking dangerous as it's a winding road, blind bends, with frequent logging trucks coming around bends. They really need to very quickly upgrade the parking to accommodate all the people wanting to see this special place. There was even a man in a van selling ice creams, in winter! With a queue of people! But do go and see the springs, it's very well worth it. Enchanting.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Samuel Lucht's avatar

Samuel Lucht


Ranking: 6/10

Nice little walking track (easily accessible, about 2 to 3 hours) with heaps of Kiwi and tourists on it. Beautiful spring, but just way too crowded.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

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Pierre Alexandre 's avatar

Pierre Alexandre


Ranking: 8/10

The water is very clear. When the sun shines it is very beautiful and surprising to see all there is under water. A little bit cold to swim!!

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Quinn McCusker's avatar

Quinn McCusker

United States

Ranking: 8/10

Not only breathtaking both mentally and physically due to the ice cold temperature of the natural crystal clear waters of the spring, a bloody good time, great quick trip from the road. Well worth it.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

John-Jozef Proczka's avatar

John-Jozef Proczka

Ranking: 9/10

Was an amazingly cold, but wonderful swim and jump into the amazingly clear water. Very blue at the actual spring where you jump into.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Christopher's avatar



Ranking: 9/10

Nice and short walk. To avoid passing over boring farmland better park the car at the end of the track and go the reverse. Good for a swim at the water station but don't stop there because the best comes after so keep on going another 1.5km. Total time return about 2hours. Worth it.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Iwona Garczynska's avatar

Iwona Garczynska


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful! Must do! Park the car AT THE END of the walk on Leslie Road, go 1km and you will already see amazing blue river, then 1km more (really worth it). Go back when you start to see typical farmland hills. There are flyers about this walk in the information center in Tirau.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner