Te Waikoropupu Springs (Nelson/Marlborough)
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A Earthcache at Te Waikoropupu Springs
Information regarding the spring
Pupu Springs are one of the largest freshwater springs of the world! They are also famous for the visual clarity of the water. 62 metres of horizontal visibility make it the clearest fresh water in the Southern Hemisphere, second in the world. This value, which was verified using specialist optical instruments, approaches the theoretical maximum for optically pure water.
The water of the springs is full of fish, Brown Trout and some salmon that escaped from nearby farms.
The largest basin of the spring has more than 40 m across. But there are a number of individual springs. The floor of the basins is covered with white sand, which is thrown up by the incoming water. This dancing sands make it easy to determine, where the springs are located.
An old question, where does all this water come from, was answered in the 20th century by dying axperiments. The water comes from the Takaka River and his tributaries, which flow over karstified marble in the south of Pupu springs. The water enters swallow holes and flows through a huge cave system to this resurgence. In summer somtimes the Takaka River is swallowed completely 15km up the valley near Lindsay's Bridge. But Pupu springs is only one of several resurgences of this underground stream. The cave system continues under the sea and there are three offshore springs. The karstified marble is enclosed into water restistant rocks, and so the water is transported far into the Golden Bay. The sweet water of the submarine springs is lighter than salt water, so it flows forcefully to the surface. But the heavier salt water also enters the cave system an mixes with the sweet water in the cave. It even gets to Pupu Spring, which has an content of 0.5% sea water.
Pupu Springs is located in a beautiful bush area with very interesting walks. Several large signs explain fauna, flora, history and geology of the springs and the area. The springs are known for the clarity of the water, and the volume of water discharged. The springs are spirtually significant to the Maori People.
The Springs have been registered as Wahi Tapu with the Maori 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 Maori, both locally and nationally. The legends of Te Waikoropupu are told in the stories of Huriawa, its taniwha (guardian spirit). In Maori tradition the Springs are wairou, 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."
Please note: The photo is most important to prove your visit
To log this EarthCache, you must do the following and email us the results. You can go ahead and log your find, (ie. you don't need to wait for permission) but if we don’t think you have honestly completed the required tasks we will delete your log (after emailing you first of course):
1)Find the Info board in the car park ( S40° 50.895 E172° 46.231) and email me the maximum depth of the Spring
2)Also on the Info Board - The time the water remains underground on average - email me the answer
3)Take a photo of yourself with gps/phone on the viewing platform and post it with your log.
Please email me this info, please DO NOT post it with your log. Just post your photo.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum