Te Waikoropupu Springs

Takaka

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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!

Photos

Maps

Contact

Access

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.

Track

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.

Geology

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.

Flora

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!

93 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 8.

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 😍

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 2 months ago

Gregg Wagstaff's avatar

Gregg Wagstaff

England

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2017

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Isabel Zedelius's avatar

Isabel Zedelius

Germany

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Bernd Giermann's avatar

Bernd Giermann

Switzerland

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice short walk, very interesting springs.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

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Danielle's avatar

Danielle

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Sebastian and Johanna's avatar

Sebastian and Johanna

Sweden

Ranking: 9/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year 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 over 1 year ago and experienced in February 2017

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

Laia Pujol's avatar

Laia Pujol

Spain

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Magdalena's avatar

Magdalena

Germany

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Gerrit Misterek's avatar

Gerrit Misterek

Germany

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

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Gordon Todan's avatar

Gordon Todan

Australia

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

Brigitte Schneider's avatar

Brigitte Schneider

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Nice walkway, the Springs are really impressive.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in November 2016

Luke's avatar

Luke

England

Ranking: 8/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in November 2016

93 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 8.

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 😍

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 2 months ago

Gregg Wagstaff's avatar

Gregg Wagstaff

England

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed about 1 year ago and experienced in March 2017

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 74 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Isabel Zedelius's avatar

Isabel Zedelius

Germany

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Bernd Giermann's avatar

Bernd Giermann

Switzerland

Ranking: 8/10

Very nice short walk, very interesting springs.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Danielle's avatar

Danielle

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in January 2017

Sebastian and Johanna's avatar

Sebastian and Johanna

Sweden

Ranking: 9/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year 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 over 1 year ago and experienced in February 2017

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

Laia Pujol's avatar

Laia Pujol

Spain

Ranking: 10/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Magdalena's avatar

Magdalena

Germany

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in December 2016

Gerrit Misterek's avatar

Gerrit Misterek

Germany

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Gordon Todan's avatar

Gordon Todan

Australia

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 over 1 year ago and experienced in October 2016

Brigitte Schneider's avatar

Brigitte Schneider

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Nice walkway, the Springs are really impressive.

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in November 2016

Luke's avatar

Luke

England

Ranking: 8/10

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

Reviewed over 1 year ago and experienced in November 2016