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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 Californian Redwoords, lush native forest and exotic trees.
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. The forest offers over 160km of world class mountain biking trails catering 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 or at the trailhead off Waipa State Mill Road, guided tours are also 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 with the longer trails offering spectacular views of Rotorua.
For more information, maps and guide books, visit the Redwoods Visitor Centre on Long Mile Road.