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

Te Waihou
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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 & 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:

Fairy tale river
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 one and all images below, courtesy of Jude and Ugur Ozden.

Te Waihou river
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.

Te Waihou New Zealand
This helicopter was filming for a TV ad.

Te Waihou Walk
The walk takes 90 minutes (one way) upstream from the car park.

Enchanted river New Zealand
In the upper stream, the water is extremely clear and pure, with an intense blue hue.

Helicopter over the river
Zoom out.

Magic New Zealand
This source supplies around 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water.

River green and blue According to the local tourism office of Hamilton & 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.

Crystal clear river
The water comes from the Mamaku Ranges, a long trip of over 100 years.

Magic River New Zealand
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.

Sunset in Waikato
Bonus track: a sunset from South Waikato.

View Te Waihou in a larger map


  1. Great site....Wish you can add WeChat, 6 billion users, link to be easily shared in Chinese community

  2. Interesting my mothers images have been illegally downloaded onto this site!

  3. Dear Natasha, your mother's images were under a Creative Commons Attribution License at the time of publishing in 2014 (you can find the credit and the link in the caption of the second image). Sorry for any inconvenience!


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