Te Waihou Blue Spring Walk, Putaruru, and the NZMCA Motorhome Caravan & Leisure Show

I know we’ve been a bit quiet on here lately, and that’s because we’ve temporarily re-located to Putaruru in South Waikato to look after friend’s property while they’re away for a few weeks.

A little history about Putaruru first –

A settlement first appeared about 1886 when the railway line to Rotorua was being constructed, but it was in 1905 that a township was surveyed, when the Crown acquired some land surrounding this settlement.

The Taupo Totara Timber Company had a mill here to process timber from it’s Taupo forests, using a tramway for transportation, and in the 1920s construction of the Arapuni dam on the Waikato River also boosted the population.

In 1947 it became a borough, with a population of 1160 people.

Through the 1940s to 1970s timber milling saw the town thrive, but changes in the industry by the 1980s caused a decline in the population which continued through the following decades. In 2008 the main company at the time, Carter Holt Harvey, closed it’s mill. Farming has also played a big part in the district’s economy, and still does.

These old buildings represent the old thriving Putaruru – Putaruru Hotel on the left, and the old Post Office in the main street, now a food hall.

Pride in Putaruru is a local initiative to boost business and promote the town, and because of it’s ideal location in the centre of the Waikato district, travel distances to major centres like Rotorua, Hamilton and Tauranga are all under an hour.

Street art by Mr G (Graham Hoete) on the Farmlands building depicts the town’s timber origins and name, and an innovatively named butcher shop in town I’m told sells great local product. Other attractions include some great cafes, and a cheese shop which hosts cheese making classes, called Over the Moon.


Te Waihou Blue Spring Walk is just out of town, and it’s not just a walk in the park.


This is a beautiful walk alongside the Waihou River to the Blue Spring. It can be accessed from either Whites Rd or Leslie Rd. The walk to the actual spring is longer from the Whites Rd end, the total distance is 4.8 kms one way and takes about 1 1/2 hours each way. It’s an easy walk, with board walks, and some farm land.


And yes, there are a couple of these along the way.

Pukeko are plentiful which was good to see. I love pukeko.

At the bridge you can choose a high path or a low path, and it joins up further along. We took the high path for the views.

Further on we came across a water wheel. The water is quite fast flowing.

We notice the colour of the water is changing. The blue appearance is due to it’s high optical clarity. The water has spent a long time in underground aquifers causing light absorbing particles to be removed. Pure water absorbs red light leaving only blue and green light to be transmitted to the observer’s eye. The water here comes from the Mamaku Plateau and takes between 50 and 100 years to reach the Blue Spring. It’s a constant 11 degrees centigrade  all year round.

It’s quite breathtaking seeing this natural phenomenon.

A pump station further on pumps water to Putaruru for the local supply. It’s interesting to note that 70% of New Zealand’s bottled water comes from this spring.

Don’t forget to click on individual photos to enlarge

John was waiting for us in the car park at the Leslie Rd end, and we had taken quite a bit longer than anticipated because of stopping to take photos and enjoying the spectacular scenery, so at this point he telephoned to see where we were!

Not just a walk in the park…so much more! Putaruru’s secret weapon.

My brother and sister-in-law had come up from Taupo in their Triumph Spitfire to do the walk with me, and it was time for them to head home before it got too cold.


It’s been about 4 years since we went to the Covi show in Auckland. It was before we bought our Mitsubishi Canter and we were just considering buying a motorhome then, so we thought now we’ve had some experience, it’s definitely time to go again.

The vintage section was fun. A real trip down memory lane.

The pavilion was busy, and look, there’s our NZMCA CEO Bruce Lochore.

Outside, the food and entertainment area was buzzing too. We thoroughly enjoyed the day. We arrived about 9.30am and the queue for tickets was longish, but moved along fairly fast and wasn’t a problem. Good parking and a well planned event once again.


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