Te Waikoropupu Springs, Golden Bay. © davidwallphoto.com

Te Waikoropupū Springs Scenic Reserve: spectacular freshwater springs

View the map


Just out of Tākaka, in gorgeous Golden Bay, on the way to Farewell Spit, lie the Te Waikoropupū Springs.

These are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water on the planet. True! Why aren’t they better known, you may well ask yourself?

Crystal clear #nelsonshines 📷:@ollygreen_

A post shared by Nelson Tasman New Zealand (@ilovenelsontasman) on Mar 23, 2017 at 1:47am PDT

The water is almost too clear to be true; it has actually been scientifically measured to be among the clearest water in the world. They reckon the only water in the world that’s clearer is the Blue Lake, also in Tasman, and under the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Gonna be quite hard to prove that, eh. Got a jersey?

But these are no gentle, serene, lapping little pools.

These waters are raging, the springs discharging 14,000 litres a second.

Come for a stroll and check it out. There’s an amazing loop walk, which takes you around the lakes and bushland environs. There’s a wee and very nicely appointed whare, superb signage and plenty of interesting explanations.

The springs vent into a lake, the floor or bed of which is covered with white sand. Waters expelled from some of the smaller vents carry the sand upward. These vents are known as the ‘dancing sands’, both stunning and, to Māori, very sacred.

The translucent Waikoropupū Springs @craigparryphotography

A post shared by New Zealand (@travelnewzealand) on Dec 1, 2017 at 2:41am PST

Remember though, there’s no ‘contact’ with the water at all. It’s a look but don’t swim/snorkel/jump/dive experience. But it’s an experience you must experience!

Explore more...

Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Natural attractions

Abel Tasman National Park: a piece of paradise

Abel Tasman is probably New Zealand’s best-known and most popular national park – but it really has to be seen to be believed.  Read the story . . . 

Find out more


Tasman: a taste of everything

Consistently enjoying the highest number of sunshine hours in the country, the rays beam down on a region producing an enormous variety of food and drink. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Natural attractions

Camping in Golden Bay: a pristine paradise

Base yourself under canvas in a pristine paradise of golden beaches, alpine valleys, tranquil rivers and ocean as far as the eye can see.  Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in Golden Bay

4.5 /5
From $135
4.5 /5
Mohua Motels Visit website

LUXURIOUS, BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED, MODERN, SPACIOUS. Just what you need on your visit to Takaka and the beautiful Golden Bay. We pride ourselves in delivering the . . . More . . . 

From $135

Book now

Book now

From $28
Collingwood Camping Ground

Collingwood Camping Ground is a small, clean friendly camp located in the heart of Collingwood and right on the Estuary and Sea front with stunning . . . More . . . 

From $28
YHA Golden Bay, Annies Nirvana Lodge

Welcome to your home away from home in the heart of Takaka village. We are the closest hostel/backpackers to the i-site and town centre. . . . More . . . 

Wharariki Beach Holiday Park

WHARARIKI BEACH HOLIDAY PARK......... in the Eye of the Kiwi..........THE NORTHERNMOST HOLIDAY PARK IN THE SOUTH ISLAND, just 1 hour from Takaka and newly built . . . More . . .