1 / 5
Known to locals simply as ‘The Redwoods’, the 55,000ha Whakarewarewa Forest is a playground for mountain bikers, walkers, hikers and horse riders set amongst magnificent stands of towering native and exotic trees. The forest's most impressive feature is its local namesake - the grove of giant coastal Californian Redwoods, which tower 60 metres into the sky.
Rotorua is New Zealand’s mountain biking mecca with Red Bull rating the Whakarewarewa trails in the top eight in the world, and Australian Mountain Bike Magazine claiming them to be the best. Find out for yourself why by exploring the 145km labyrinth of over 60 trails which cater for everyone from beginners to experts alike. Created in partnership with experienced mountain bikers, the trails have names like Check It Out, Gunna Gotta, North Face, The Tickler and Be Rude Not To.
The trails weave through native ferns beneath soaring forest canopies of Redwood, Radiata, Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus and Larch trees. Once above the canopy, riders get to appreciate panoramic views of Rotorua’s beautiful lakes, geothermal activity and brooding Mt. Tarawera. Bikes can be hired in town, and guided cycling tours of the trails are available.
For those on foot, there is an array of hiking and running trails on offer. Choose from easy circuits to full day hikes; many of which start off in the majestic Redwood Grove. Going further afield will take hikers through a diverse range of native plants and exotic trees, before being rewarded with spectacular views of Rotorua.
With tracks this good, bikers are not tempted to stray onto the many hiking and running trails, so there is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy this magnificent forest in their own way.