Whakarewarewa Forest - Redwood Forest Rotorua

Prepare to surrender to the beauty of unspoiled wilderness when you visit Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand. Located on the south side of Lake Rotorua is the Whakarewarewa Forest, one of the city’s most spectacular natural assets. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the Redwoods are a 55,000ha wonderland for nature lovers, set amongst magnificent stands of towering Californian Redwoods.

Entry to the park is free, so come and explore this ancient forest filled with native and exotic trees via walking and biking trails, zip lines, suspension bridges, and treetop platforms in the day time. Or, join the spectacular nighttime guided tours.

Discover our guide to the Redwoods - an experience like no other and only found in Rotorua, New Zealand:

How to Get to Whakarewarewa Forest (Redwoods)

A lady stands in front of towering Redwoods in the magical Whakarewarewa forest in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Image credit: @the_wanderer_photographer


The drive will take around five minutes.

  • Follow the signposts towards the Rotorua airport along Te Ngae Road.
  • At the intersection of the Redwoods Shopping Centre, turn right onto Tarawera Road.
  • Turn right onto Titokorangi Drive (Long Mile Road).
  • Turn into the second street on your right and look for the big black and white “The Redwoods” sign on the corner.

Walking or Biking:

To walk takes an hour from the city, while you can bike in just 20 minutes. The trails begin on Amohau Street, just outside the Sudima Hotel.

  • Follow the Te Ara Ahi (NZ Cycle Trail) symbols across Sulphur Bay and under Te Ngae Road.
  • Once under the bridge, turn back and travel across the bridge to connect with the forest link track.
  • You will emerge onto Titokorangi Drive, then turn into the second street on your right and look for The Redwoods sign.

By Public Transport:

  • Take the Cityride bus route three (Owhata) from the main bus stop on Arawa street in the city centre.
  • Hop off at the bus stop on Tarawera Road near the corner of Titokorangi Drive.
  • Follow the signs on the roadside path.

Whakarewarewa Forest Activities

Zoom Ziplines

Two Friends Ziplining Next To Each Other With Arms Out Stretched
Image credit: @skylinerotorua

Looking for some adrenaline-inducing zipline action? What better way to experience New Zealand than soaring across the forest canopy! Enjoy panoramic views as you fly through the sky amongst 120-year-old Redwood trees with Skyline’s Zoom Ziplines. See if your friends and family are up for the challenge on the 400-metre dual zip lines which reach speeds of up to 60km/h.

Redwoods Forest Treewalk and Nightlights

A suspension bridge links two towering Redwoods trees on a visit to the Redwood Treewalk in Rotorua.
Image credit: @treewalknz

The Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua is a must-do for Rotorua visitors. Walk high above the forest floor amongst 75m tall redwood trees. The award-winning, eco-tourism tree walk is 700 metres long, 20 metres above ground level, and takes around 30 to 40 minutes to complete. You’ll cross 28 eco-suspended bridges and 27 platforms intricately designed to respect and highlight the stunning natural environment.

Enjoy a leisurely day walk or visit at night after sunset to view the glowing lights illuminating your path on a magical Redwoods Nightlights tour. The Redwoods Treewalk experience is a perfect wet weather activity with the magnificent hues of nature coming to life in the rain.

Mountain Biking

A mountain biker rides around a corner with geothermal vents erupting in the background.
Image credit: @graememurraynz

Whakarewarewa Forest is an epic adventure playground for mountain bikers, with over 180km of hero dirt and heart-pumping trails. You can pick up trail maps from i-SITE or any mountain bike rental companies in town.

The main access point for mountain bikers starts at the Waipa parking lot. From there, you can access the low-impact trails, the Kids’ Loop, and the Whakarewarewa Forest Loop - a scenic grade 2 track circling the entire forest.

Want more mountain biking action? Visit Skyline Rotorua’s Gondola assisted MTB bike lift park to access world-class downhill mountain biking. Traverse the 12km trail network with varying terrain for all ability levels. Find out more!

Walking Trails

A lady stops at the base of a Redwood tree in the Whakarewarewa forest to appreciate the size of it.
Image credit: @forisecotours

The Whakarewarewa Forest walking trails begin at the Redwood Memorial Grove. Some paths lead you underneath the Redwoods Treewalk swing bridges suspended high above you. You’ll also pass the spiral staircase to enter the Redwoods Altitude course.

Horse Riding

A child smiles atop a horse ready to go for a trek through the Whakarewarewa forest.
Image credit: @rotoruanz

At the Whakarewarewa Forest, you’ll find four marked horse trails at the Long Mile Road entrance, and float parking is available. Enjoy a steady climb to 500 metres above sea level, or head to the lower Pohaturoa lookout for incredible views of Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua, and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve.

Discover More Amazing Things to See and Do around Rotorua

Are you ready to explore more hidden gems in and around Rotorua, NZ? We’ve got plenty of ideas for activities around Lake Rotorua, too. Check out the Skyline blog for more exciting New Zealand attractions and activities, like the iconic Queenstown skiing and snowboarding scene. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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