Roaming Down Under

Pupu Springs

A nature reserve with gentle walks and possibly the purest spring water in the world

Places with interesting names usually draw my attention, so when I came across a sign for Pupu Springs I just had to have a look. Despite the unsanitary sounding name, it turned out to be a place of purity and beauty.

Springwater creek at Pupu Springs, New Zealand

A springwater creek, Pupu Springs

The real name is Te Waikoropupu Springs, so it's not surprising it gets abbreviated to Pupu. You'll find it in the northwest corner of New Zealand's south island, in a region referred to as Golden Bay. The springs (in the Te Waikoropupu Springs Scenic Reserve) are a short drive off the main road, not far to the west of the area's main town of Takaka. If you're exploring the area, you don't need to detour much.

What you'll find is a pleasant nature reserve containing native trees, bubbling creeks, and what some claim is the purest spring water in the world. I'm not sure how true that is - I've seen grand claims for water purity elsewhere - but when you look at it, the Pupu water is indeed remarkably crystal clear. I thought I'd seen clean creek water before, but this was in a higher class.

The great thing about the reserve at Pupu Springs - well, I liked it - is the way you can appreciate it by wandering around the gentle walk trails. The walk alone would have been good enough, but the incredibly pure spring water gurgling among the pure and natural-looking landscape made it delightful. Definitely a short sightseeing stop I didn't regret.

Looking down into pure springwater at Pupu Springs, New Zealand

Looking straight down: the creek bottom is clearly visible through the springwater

More information

Te Waikoropupu Springs (NZ Dept of Conservation)