Blue Springs – a Stunning Kaleidoscope
Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru, near Matamata and Hobbiton is a typical NZ treasure of a track. From the Leslie Road carpark, trudge uphill and be dazzled at the first glimpse of the blues and greens. Catching the walkway, continue downstream for 4 km, bush on one side, multi-colored prism on the other.
Not mentioned in guidebooks, a NZ Facebook post led us here. Judging by astonished emojis and comments, it is a secret spot.
The spring, a constant 55ºF, provides 60% of NZ’s bottled water. Taking 100 years to filter and bubble up, a 6 lane swimming pool could be filled in 12 minutes.
Equally stunning near Rotorua, the Hamurana Spring Nature Reserve is North Island’s deepest natural springs, under guardianship of the local iwi Ngāti Rangiwewehi since the 1300’s. The nature reserve winds amongst redwoods and is home to flocks of black swans.
Splash Down at Okere Falls
The warm water of Hamurana Springs spends 70 years underground, bubbling up at 4 million liters of water/hour to run over Okere Falls via the Kaituna River. So much fun for kayakers, commencing at Gnarly Gorge – Pari Tūkino.
Look Up, Way Up!
Whakarewarewa Forest (fah-ka-re-wah-re-wah)
The Whakarewarewa Forest and Hamurana Springs contain plantations of California Coastal Redwoods planted in 1901.
The Redwood Tree Walk: 28 swinging bridges through a canopy of 100+ year-old trees, looking down onto fern trees and silver leaf palms.
Dendrophilia – A Person Who Loves Trees
Before settlers, 85% of land was covered by forest. Today, 25% of indigenous forest remain with nearly all lowland area cleared for agriculture. Intensive clearance was undertaken by European Settlers. Source: Te Papa Museum, Wellington, NZ
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.Chinese Proverb
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