Te Waihou, a river out of a fairy tale in New Zealand

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With a tropical look thanks to the exuberant vegetation, a dazzling display of colours, and a crystal clear water purified after over 100 years travelling underground, Te Waihou river is another hidden gem that most tourists pass by without exploring.

Te Waihou Walkway and the Blue Spring are located near Putaruru, going northwest from the rotten valley of Roturua, famous for being a stinky geothermal wonderland. You can find a map at the end of the post to help you to find this nice short walk, in the north island of glorious New Zealand:

Te Waihou The water flows from the Blue Spring, considered one of the country's best swimming holes. It stays at a chilling 11 degrees temperature all year. This image by courtesy of Ugur Ozden.

The walk to the springs follows a track alongside the river, through a picturesque and rural land. A great view of clear running water and New Zealand native cabbage trees.

The walk takes 90 minutes (one way) upstream from the car park. In the upper stream, the water is extremely clear and pure, with an intense blue hue.

According to the local tourism office of Hamilton and Waikato, water from the Blue Spring flows at a rate of 42 cubic metres per minute and could fill a 6 lane (25 metre) swimming pool in around 12 minutes.

This source supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water. The water comes from the Mamaku Ranges, a long trip of over 100 years.

During this long stay in aquifers, particles and light-absorbing matter are removed from the water, leaving it with a very high clarity and characteristic blue-green colour.

View Te Waihou in a larger map


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