Te Waikoropupu Springs, discharging 14,000 litres of water per second, are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere, and contain some of the clearest water ever measured. To local Maori, Te Waikoropupu Springs are a taonga (treasure) and wahi tapu, a place held in high cultural and spiritual regard.
The qualities of the water from Te Waikoropupu Springs are of considerable scientific interest. In 1993, The National Institute for Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) carried out optical measurements under water and found that the visibility was 63 metres. This is very close to optically pure water, with clearer water found only beneath Antarctica’s near-frozen Weddell Sea. The water clarity is a result of natural filtering prior to the water’s emergence at Te Waikoropupu Springs. (Source: Department of Conservation)
The waters of Te Waikoropupu Springs, including Fish Creek and Springs River, are closed to all forms of contact to safeguard water quality and to respect cultural values (including fishing, swimming, diving, wading, boating and drinking the water). In respect of this rule, no underwater photographs of Te Waikoropupu have been made for The Freshwater Project.
Freshwater Ecoregion of the World : #811 New Zealand
Major Habitat Type: temperate coastal rivers