Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa
Whether you’re wanting to go for a walk or a jog in the forest, hit the mountain biking trails, or ride a horse, there are facilities to meet your needs at the Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa. There are dozens of walking, biking, and horse riding trails throughout the forest, all of which are kept separate. There’s also a Redwoods Treewalk, a series of boardwalks in the forest canopy. As well as being a recreational forest, parts are also a productive plantation forest, so visitors may see forestry operations underway.
Many travelers visit the Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa independently. Some guided tours of the Rotorua area include a stop at the forest and the Redwoods Treewalk, along with other activities like visiting a geothermal park and Maori cultural shows. Unless you have your own horse, you’ll need to join a guided tour to do horse trekking.
Things to know before you go
- Entrance to the forest is free, although the Redwoods Treewalk is a ticketed attraction. Maintenance and upgrades can sometimes affect track conditions. Pay attention to warning signs.
- There’s no road access into the forest for the general public, so leave your car at one of the two main parking lots.
- Bicycle rentals are not available at the forest itself, although there are many places in Rotorua where you can rent bikes.
How to get there
Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southeast of central Rotorua. This takes about 5 minutes by car or 20 minutes by bike. A public bus also passes nearby, although you’ll need to walk the last half-mile or so.
When to get there
While the Redwoods Visitor Centre is open during normal business hours, the forest is open 24 hours per day. However, it’s recommended to only enter the main forest during daylight, for your safety. The gates to the main parking lots open early in the morning. The Redwoods Treewalk offers evening walks, which are lit up.
Dansey Road Scenic Reserve
For a different type of forest experience in Rotorua, check out the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. This area has never been logged, so many of the trees here are around 1,000 years old. It’s home to a number of rare native birds and animals, and ongoing work is underway to clear the area of pests and predators.
- Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)
- Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake)
- Lake Okareka
- Buried Village of Te Wairoa
- Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia)
- Te Puia
- Polynesian Spa
- Blue Baths
- Rotorua Museum (Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa)
- Government Gardens Rotorua
- Sulphur Point
- Te Pā Tū (Tamaki Māori Village)
- Lake Rotorua