Te Waikoropupu Springs

Te Waikoropupu Springs



100 Rankers Reviews

93 Face-to-Face

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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Even more Magical in the mist
Up early for this one


Approx 2 km return | 30-45 minutes return

Exceptional water clarity and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest spring. Look don’t touch! These waters are so pure even the skin oils of a human hand are considered polluting.

Pupu Springs (Te Waikoropupū Springs) is a short, interactive walk past historic gold working sites and a beautiful stream.

The Pupu Springs contains some of the clearest water recorded in the world - 63 metres horizontally.

A place of healing for Maori so respect and enjoy!


From Takaka take SH60 towards Collingwood.

After about 4 km, just after crossing the Takaka River, turn left onto Pupu Valley Road.

The springs are well signposted on Pupu Springs Road, where there is a big parking area and toilets at the road end, 3.4 km from the SH 60.


The track is exceptionally well maintained with bridges, boardwalks and plenty of metal. There’s an underwater viewing area so you can see just how far the clarity permits.


In 2017-18 a new study using the latest technology found the clarity of the water to give a visibility of 75m - up from 63m given 25 years ago. Over 1 million data points were used.

From deep in the limestone karst, the groundwater which has been in underground storage for several years, is eventually released at a balmy 11.7 degrees celsius. Flow rate varies between 5.6 and 24.2 cubic metres per second.

The spring is a karst resurgence and flows through Arthur Marble and then passes a through a basal grit of Motupipi Coal measures. This outcrops on the entrance road.

The ‘Main Spring’ is around 1.5 m wide and the ‘Dancing Sand Spring’ has several vents. The springs exhibit a twice daily fluctuation relating to the tides.


Few old podocarps grow on the alluvial sands of the area. Most vegetation in the area has been modified and is now a regenerating scrub of tea trees and broadleaves.

Polynesian History

Huriawa is known as the kaitiaki (guardian) of the springs. She was summoned by the ancestor Rakaihautu to protect the spring. This taniwha is both creator of waterways and caretaker. Local iwi consider these waters as sacred. They are used for blessings and healing.

European History

Takaka….Ta Kaka….The Caca…..Greek for dung or poo. And just nearby are the ‘Pupu’ springs - the clearest water in the world! Such is the play of language!


Feature Value Info


DOC Nelson/Tasman

Central government organisation


South IslandNelson RegionGolden Bay


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 93.

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

Ranking: 10/10

08Oct18. The walk is like many others but the springs were what we went for. Last visited in 2014 and still as good. Fascinating to watch the water welling up and breaking the surface. So clear. Good viewing platform. Check out the Dancing Sand spring.
The boards at the start of the walk are interesting too.
We remember there used to be spring water on tap in the picnic area but it appears no longer the case. A pity.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Gregg Wagstaff's avatar

Gregg Wagstaff


Ranking: 10/10

Gorgeous clear spring waters. Easy access and trail. Must visit.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in March 2017

Isabel Zedelius's avatar

Isabel Zedelius


Ranking: 9/10

Largest spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Nice, easy walk (45 minutes), suitable for a buggy or wheelchair. Done it in the rain and was worth the detour. More impressive when the weather is good.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Bernd Giermann's avatar

Bernd Giermann


Ranking: 8/10

Very nice short walk, very interesting springs.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

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Danielle's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Nice and easy walk, you can see everything underneath this clear water, it is gorgeous.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Sebastian and Johanna's avatar

Sebastian and Johanna


Ranking: 9/10

New Zealand's most clear water spring. It is a beautiful place with a tranquil surrounding.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in February 2017

Kate and Dom's avatar

Kate and Dom

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Breathtakingly beautiful, the Springs are a sight not to be missed!

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in February 2017

Laia Pujol's avatar

Laia Pujol


Ranking: 10/10

Amazing!! Wonderful short walk, the colours of the water are just awesome.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

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Magdalena's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Best to see when sunny, the water is so clear, the walk is not even 20 minutes but you can stay there and take pictures for such a long time and the Maori history gives it a special feeling!

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Gerrit Misterek's avatar

Gerrit Misterek


Ranking: 9/10

It is such a nice walk through the bush; the water is so pure and clear. We would never see anything comparative to that before. It is just amazing and also for free.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Gordon Todan's avatar

Gordon Todan


Ranking: 10/10

Stunning!! Only a short walk to the Springs. We arrived in the evening on an overcast day and the Springs did not disappoint. Kids loved it as well!

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Brigitte Schneider's avatar

Brigitte Schneider


Ranking: 10/10

Nice walkway, the Springs are really impressive.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Luke's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Idyllic springs with easy access on a flat path. Good stories at the staff.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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