The walkway is a distance of 4.7 kilometres, with an average walking time of 1.5 hours (3 hours return). The terrain varies from easy walking to backcountry trekking with stile crossings. In some areas the track has been benched and steps constructed through the gorge area. Hazards such as waterfalls, electric fences and livestock may be encountered along the way.
The Waihou Stream is totally spring fed. Water from the Mamaku Plateau takes anywhere from 50-100 years to reach the Blue Spring. Water flows from the spring at a rate of 42 cubic metres per minute (9240 gallons per minute). The water temperature of the Blue Spring is a constant 11 degrees celsius throughout the year.
The reason for the blue colour (and high visual clarity) of the Waihou River and its spring source 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. Pure natural waters are blue to blue-green in colour because they lack light absorbing constituents and particles. Both particles and light-absorbing matter are efficiently removed during the long settlement time of spring water while in aquifers. Experience and Enjoy Te Waihou Take a visit to the internationally acclaimed Blue Spring. 九寨沟小NZ Experience the coolness of water that has been underground between 50 - 100 years. Walk through the areas of restoration and regeneration of wetland and native plantings. Learn about the history and heritage of Te Waihou. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the waterfalls. Watch as the water flow changes from tranquil to pumping action in the gorge area. Be amazed at the intensity of the water colour. Catch or view one of the many trout. Gentle easy walking through rolling pastoral land. Mix fitness with pleasure by walking one of New Zealand's community based millennium projects in the South Waikato.
How do I get there?
Linking State Highways 1 and 5 in the South Waikato District is Whites Road. Te Waihou Walkway is situated off Whites Road with upstream access from Leslie Road, Putaruru.