The other half and I got back from our trip to Nelson yesterday and while we were there we visited Te Waikoropupu Springs
. The sign above (I think) translates to: "You are welcome, come on in, come up, come on up, you are welcome to this holy place, the source of well being of the fresh water
We had to drive quite a way to see this about 45 mins to an hour out of the city but so totally worth it. The water was crystal clear - as far as I know there is only trout and ducks that live here.
Neat to see pots of bubbles where the springs are located in various spots. These springs are culturally significant to the Maori people and there is approximately 14,000 litres of water produced per second.
The floor of the lake is covered in white sand, waters that come out from the smaller vents carry the sand upwards.
Apparently the springs have been registered as Wahi Tapu (meaning sacred place) with the Maori Heritage Council of Heritage NZ, and in Maori myth legends is the home of the female Taniwha Huriawa (beings that live in dark pools) .
The short loop is good for walkers and lasts about 30-45 minutes. Because of the purity of the water there has been a ban on swimming, boating, diving, fishing, wading and the filling of water containers.
The other half has said to me he remembers many years ago diving into some of the caves under the water before the ban came in. The waters now are known for their healing properties and were a place of ceremonial blessings at times of birth and death plus the leaving and returning of travellers.
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