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One of New Zealand's most important water sources, the Blue Spring on the Waihou River is famous for providing up to 70% of New Zealand's bottled water.
The Spring, which flows at a rate of 42 cubic metres per minute, is renowned for being one of the purest water sources in the world. Feeding the river, the Waihou boasts crystal clear waters popular with fishermen and hikers alike.
Alas, swimming is prohibited on this stretch of the river. Thanks to the remarkable waters that flow from Blue Spring, the trail along the Waihou River is a popular one.
Well marked and beautifully maintained, the path follows the course of the river across wetlands, through fields and along small waterfalls.
It is an easy trail to follow, making it popular with walkers of all ages.
It's better to arrive early (or late) in the day to avoid the crowds. A straight out-and back hike, this suggested itinerary is circa 9km / 2-3 hours, but can be shortened or extended dependent on the group taking the journey.
Along the way are plenty of viewpoints, picnic tables and even toilet facilities.