Discovering the Spring of Youth.

Nestled in the heart of the Waikato Region is a secret known only to a select few for hundreds of years. A pristine source of life for many, beautiful and protected against man’s desire for material advancement; I bring you the Blue Spring.


What is the Blue Spring? The Waihou River is entirely spring fed, flowing from the Kaimai Ranges, where it gradually makes its way to Te Waihou, around 5 km away from a small town called Putaruru. This water takes around 50 to 100 years to flow from its source to reach there, resulting in a very high level of water clarity and purity. As the photos indicate, this stream is essentially transparent and is really blue in places. The blue colour results from a lack of light absorbing particles in the water, as they have been filtered out. The Blue Spring is therefore used to provide bottled water to people around the country and elsewhere.

The Secret is Out.

Around 3 years ago, a local news website ran an article on this ‘secret’. Since then, it became an incredibly popular attraction. Tourists went there in droves to see the magic and bathe there in summer. Unfortunately, all this swimming degraded the quality of the water such that a swimming ban has now been put in place. Since this ban, the water quality has gradually improved again.

Seeing it for yourself.

If you happen to be in the Waikato Region of NZ, I would strongly encourage you to go visit this place – just don’t swim there. If you really want to swim, there are some parts of the Waihou (away from the Blue Spring), which are apparently OK. This stream is really cold though, at a constant 11 degrees Celsius all year round. It is a cool place to do a relaxing walk, and have a picnic at the other end, and that’s what I did.

The walkway in question is called the Te Waihou Walkway. It is a one way walk with car parks at each end. If you walk from the Whites Road end, it takes around 75 – 90 minutes (one way) to reach the Blue Spring. There you can take lots of cute selfies and have a picnic on the grass or many of the tables there. This walk is easy, and follows the stream and farmland the entire way. Alternatively, if you hate walking (I pity you), or you’re a tourist stretched for time, you may walk from the Leslie Road end – you’ll reach the Blue Spring within 10 minutes.

The Waihou River as seen from the walking trail.
Another view of the ‘Blue Spring’.
The main attraction of this walk, also a good place to eat and have picnics.

In summary, I think this is an amazing place to visit, but like a shop filled with fragile goods, look but don’t touch.

9 thoughts on “Discovering the Spring of Youth.

    1. And you know every tree by name … I envy you; the photographic opportunities must be fantastic. (Dammit—that’s more trees than blades of grass in my lawn!).

      Liked by 1 person

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