Monday, 25 August 2014

Te Waikoropupu Springs

Te Waikoropupu Springs, also known as Pupu Springs, are New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs and the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere discharging approximately 14,000 litres of water per second through eight main vents on the floor of the lake.

The Pupu Springs Reserve has recently had a major make-over with new boardwalks & a very informative information kiosk at the beginning of the walk with multi interpretation panels explaining the history of the springs and the cultural significance to local Maori.

There is also a large "touchstone", a partly polished slab of beautiful pounamu (greenstone) on a plinth in the centre.
The springs contain some of the clearest water ever measured and are located at the end of a kilometre walking track, much of it on a boardwalk, which also passes over the smaller Fish Creek Springs on the way to the major attraction in the reserve.

The waters of both springs are closed to all forms of contact, including filling water bottles, to prevent the introduction of the invasive alga, didymo. Which is fair enough having seen the devastation caused by didymo in Fiordland waterways.

The aqua blue crystal clear waters of the Te Waikoropupu Springs, Pupu Valley just out of Takaka.

And once again my memory was jogged, this photo of the old viewing tower beside the springs, taken in 1961, & located on one of the information panels at the entrance, is exactly the same as the one that appears in Mum & Dads’ home movie of their trip with friends around the South Island 45+ years ago. I hadn't realised that they were visiting the springs.

In my mind, I can also see Val (their friend & still a family friend) bent over & running along the path, clutching her blouse in case you could see down the front, trying to hide from the camera behind the very narrow handrail. All in that rather erratic & jittery “olden days” movie format too!


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