Whirinaki Forest - A National Icon
The Whirinaki Forest is the best example of lowland podocarp forest left on earth. Having developed over millions of years, it is often described as a dinosaur forest. With an abundance of native birdlife and a rich bio-diversity, it’s easy to imagine dinosaurs walking past as you stand among the awe-inspiring trees.
An amazing way to experience the Whirinaki Forest is with Te Urewera Treks who provide guided tours that incorporate knowledge of traditional and contemporary Maori culture with fascinating stories about the region’s histories and mysteries.
Foris Eco Tours is another fantastic option for professionally guided Whirinaki tours. Owner operator Tom Lynch is a nationally regarded conservationist and can offer white water rafting tour combinations and specialised bird watching adventures.
Fly above the Forest Canopy
New Zealand’s largest native forest zipline canopy tour is right here in Rotorua. Deep in the forest and high up in the trees, you’ll have three hours of magic as the marvels of the Mamaku Forest spread out beneath you. With a 1.2km network of ziplines, swingbridges and treetop platforms, the down-to-earth guides will share their unique knowledge of the forest and inspire you with their passion for conservation. With a portion of every ticket contributing to preservation and rehabilitation, the dream is to restore this precious eco system back to the one that James Cook discovered on arrival to New Zealand all those years ago. With 10% of the forest now free from introduced predators, it’s clear that the team are on the right track.
Motor Bike Madness
If you are more petrol head than pedal power, some of the motorbike trips with Pure Dirt Tours take you deep into lush native rainforest. With a great fleet of current model Yamaha and Kawasaki dirt bikes, the right bike will be matched to your skill level. Strap on full body safety gear and you’re ready to go on an action packed dirt biking adventure.
4x4 Bush Safari
Pure Dirt Tours and Off Road NZ offer visitors the experience of a lifetime with their 4 wheel drive bush tours. Buckle up and hold on tight as their experienced guides blast you through native forest trails, powering up and down near vertical slopes. If you’re brave enough, get behind the wheel of a Suzuki Jimney at Off Road NZ and get the adrenaline pumping. With steep climbs and descents; tight, twisting bends; deep, muddy holes and some gut wrenching obstacles, it’s a fun way to go bush this spring in Rotorua.
Mountain Biking Mecca
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or haven’t ridden a bike in years, Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest - known as the Redwoods - has the trails for you. This 145km network of trails wind their way through spectacular scenery. Having wowed visitors for years, it’s no wonder these trails were declared by Red Bull as the best in the Southern Hemisphere or that they have been voted NZs favourite place to cycle for two years running. Visit Planet Bike for quality equipment rentals, expert guides and courtesy transport. They’ll ensure you make the most of your Whakarewarewa experience.
HOT TIP: The Redwoods also have stunning walks! Everything from a 20 minute casual stroll to a challenging 8 hour tramping route...
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