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An outdoor lover’s paradise, the stunning Whakarewarewa Forest is a one of Rotorua’s most spectacular natural locations and draws many visitors to Rotorua every year. Inside the forest, you’ll find it’s famous coastal Redwoods, walking tracks and some of the best mountain bike trails in the world.
The Whakarewarewa Forest or ‘The Redwoods’ as it is known to the locals offers an abundance of outdoor activities to keep you occupied and entry into the forest and visitor centre is FREE!
Check out our top picks for the best adventures you can have with the family in the Redwoods Forest!
Explore the mountain biking trails
Possibly the most famous aspect of the forest is the world-renowned mountain bike trails. With a huge mix of trails there is something for every ability from the seasoned rider to first timers.
Trails for beginners and those who are after an easy ride are located around the Waipa Mountain Bike Hub. All the best tracks are easily accessible from this point also. To get here take the first left off State Highway 5 to Taupo after the Hemo road roundabout & Whakarewarewa thermal area.
Having a solid plan of action is always a good idea, so check out the trail maps or arrange bike hire.
Explore the trails on foot from the Redwoods visitor centre
Prefer to be on two feet instead of two wheels? Then you are in luck! The Redwoods have a range of magnificent walking trails that will weave you through the towering giants and natural New Zealand flora. To plan your walk and find out more information visit the Redwoods i-SITE – it’s the best place to start your walking journey.
The visitor centre is located on Long Mile Road off Tarawera road – pick up a map before you head off.
Experience the forest nightlife and Redwoods Treewalk Nightlights
Experience the Whakarewarewa Forest in a whole different light after dusk. The Redwoods Treewalk consists of 21 suspension bridges set high above the ground and is surrounded by multi-coloured lanterns designed by David Trubridge. Arrive from dusk and you’ll witness the forest light up in magnificent fashion.
You can immerse yourself in the full experience from the tree tops or check out the view from the ground. The Treewalk itself is a paid experience, however the ground viewing is free to the public. Visit the Redwoods Treewalk website to view prices and opening times. Find the Redwoods Treewalk next to the Redwoods i-SITE.
Orienteering through the Redwoods Forest
Fancy yourself a great navigator? For a bit of an adventuring challenge, Orienteering Bay of Plenty have set up orienteering courses that cater to beginners through to advanced orienteers. This is a great way to challenge yourself and fun to do with the family or a group of friends.
You won’t need anything special for the orienteering, just your observation skills. Grab a map from the Redwoods i-SITE to help you get around.
Visiting Rotorua to enjoy the Redwoods?
If you’re from out of town we recommend exploring the Redwoods over a couple of days at least. If you’re looking for a great place to stay the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park is popular with mountain bikers and families. They are the closest holiday park to the mountain biking trails in the Whakarewarewa forest. Check out their range of affordable accommodation options including campsites, cabins, dorms & motel units.
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park also offer onsite free hot mineral pools, perfect for a relaxing soak after a long day.