all on a sunny day!

The other day, my transit day from Rotorua to Lake Taupo, was a wonderfully warm and sunny day.  A much appreciated treat for sure!  I shared a few photos on Facebook from the day, but saved the show stoppers for this blog post.  As you can see from the banner photo, unique beauty abounds.

Let’s begin with The Blue Spring and the Te Waihou River Walkway.  I had learned about this place prior to my trip and I had forgotten about it until something jarred my memory the morning I was to leave Rotorua and I’m so glad it did because otherwise, I would have missed it.  As it is, I drove about an hour out of the way to reach it and feel it was completely worth the effort.

“The Blue Spring (Te Puna) is a natural taonga (treasure) formed through the special and delicate merger of geology, ecology, freshwater biology, and geography over many hundreds of thousands of years.  

Water from the Mamaku Plateau takes anywhere from 50 to 100 years to reach the Blue Spring.  Water flows from the spring at a rate of 42 cubic meters per minute (9,240 gallons per minute).”  At this rate, it could fill an olympic sized swimming pool in just over 12 minutes.  

“The water remains at a consistent 11 degree celsius (51.8F) throughout the year.  The reason for the blue color and high visual clarity of the Waihou River and its spring source (The Blue Spring) is the high optical purity of the water.  Pure water is intrinsically blue in hue because it absorbs red light leaving only blue and some green light to be transmitted to the observer’s eye.” 

The walk along the river was beautiful, so instead of just walking to the Spring and back to the car, I decided to walk all the way from one end of the track to the other and back again.  After all, it was a rare sunny day and I wanted to take full advantage.  I’m sure you will agree once you see the photos I took along the way.

The Blue Spring.  Does anyone else see the vertical column of light connecting the spring to  that above?

It’s a little tricky to see in the photo due to the clarity of the water, but the water is quite deep in the foreground of the picture.

Spring is definitely still springing here.  You see all that on the path that looks a bit like snow?  It’s fluff of some sort and the air was full of it.  Something akin to that which comes off Cottonwood trees.

There were gorgeous green pastures on either side of the river, some with cows, some not, but all with wild flowers.  It was a truly lovely walk.

My goodness.  It looks fake, doesn’t it?

I so enjoyed this walk and it was my second of the day!  Before leaving Rotorua, I took a walk through the California Redwoods and on into the Whakarewarewa Forest. They were magnificent, as all Redwoods are and it was a very lovely walk, though the Te Waihou Walkway is something else entirely.

The water from the Blue Spring provides water for the nearby community as well being sold to three bottling companies, so be on the lookout for bottled water from The Blue Spring as I hear it is sold internationally as well as locally.

Alright.  With that bit of splendor taken care of, shall we move on to yet another bit of splendor?  I think, yes.

After leaving the Blue Spring, I headed to Lake Taupo and the town of Taupo in particular as that was the next stop for me as I continue to work my way around the North Island.  I am so grateful it was a bluebird day, so I could experience all I did in the best of conditions possible.  A treat indeed.

Huka Falls, pronounced, hooka, means foam or big foam in the Māori language and you’ll see why shortly.  I’m really hoping the videos will work since they clearly show the power and volume of the water.  Promise me you will cut and paste the link if they aren’t yet working.  K?

Okay.  I heard the falls well before I saw them because, “it’s the sound of nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupting from a natural gorge and thundering 11m into the Waikato River below.  I think I read the water coming over the falls could fill an olympic swimming pool in 11 seconds which makes The Blue Spring sound rather lethargic by comparison.  

This is caused by the Waikato River, normally 100m wide, being forced to narrow to just 15m wide as it passes through a hard volcanic canyon.  This increases the flow pressure immensely, causing the water to burst out with great force as the gorge ends”

I know I keep saying this about things, but it really is quite something.  Have a look see and tell me what you think.  In the first video you’ll see the water as it moves through the narrow canyon mentioned, just in advance of the falls and then you can watch the water coming over the falls and moving downstream in the second video.  

Well, dammit.  My guy said he was going to fix it by today, but alas, I guess not.  I feel like Charlie Brown with the football. Sigh.  

So here are the two links which are not live, so you must cut and paste, cut and paste.  Totally worth it though.  You’ll see.

A really lovely day from start to finish.  I’ll just include a photo from the Redwoods, the first walk of the day, for anyone who missed it on FB or might enjoy seeing it again and a shot I took from my AirBnB bedroom of the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park across the lake in the distance.  I was happy to catch my first glimpse of them earlier this morning before the clouds and rain moved in, not 15 minutes later.

What a great day this was, as has every day been in some form or other, rain or shine, though I’ll take more shine should it be in the cards.

Until next time.



  • Heather Smith

    December 15, 2022

    So glad to see the blue skies in your photos! I know you are a good sport in the rain but a sunny day lifts anyone’s spirit! So beautiful!

    • Margie

      December 15, 2022

      Yes it does! And the sun makes the beauty here all the more beautiful.


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