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Te Waikopupu Springs - New Zealand

The Te Waikoropupu Springs ('Pupu Springs') are located in Golden Bay, on New Zealand's South Island. The springs are known for the clarity of the water, and the volume of water discharged. The springs are spiritually significant to the M?ori people.

The horizontal visibility of the constantly 11.7°C cool water in the springs has been measured at an average of 63 metres, and until 2011 was considered second only to sub-glacial water in the Antarctic. Since that year, however, the record holder for fresh water clarity is the Blue Lake (Tasman) still in New Zealand.

The Springs have been registered as Wahi Tapu with the M?ori Heritage Council of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Waikoropupu is the legendary home of the female taniwha, Huriawa, one of the three main taniwha of Aotearoa. She is a diver of land and sea, travelling deep beneath the earth to clear blocked waterways. She is brave and wise and believed to still rest in the waters of Waikoropupu, when she is not away attending to business.

At the entrance to the walkway to the springs, the Department of Conservation has placed a sign:

"Te Waikoropupu Springs are a taonga (treasure) and waahi tapu (a sacred place) for M?ori, both locally and nationally. The legends of Te Waikoropupu are told in the stories of Huriawa, its taniwha (guardian spirit). In M?ori tradition the Springs are waiora, the purest form of water which is the wairua (spiritual) and the physical source of life. The Springs provide water for healing, and in the past were a place of ceremonial blessings at times of birth and death and the leaving and returning of travellers."