One of the most spectacular places on our North Island Roadtrip for me was the Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest) in Rotorua – also the finish line for the Tawarewa Ultra Marathon.
Over 5,600 hectares of containing a mix of exotic trees, native undergrowth and the impresstive California Coast Redwoods trees the forest has a comprehensive network of routes for mountain biking, trail running, horse riding and walking. Stunning view points and close to lakes, in my opinion they are not to be missed.
There is also a tree walk activity that operates both during the day and after dusk that can be enjoyed the whole family.
When we went we only tried out the walking/trail running tracks, which there are several all different distances and difficulty – ranging from 2km to 11.5km with a longer tramp of 34km (estimated to take approx. 8 hours). All tracks were superbly marked with clear indications, they also highlight the importance to keep to your own type of track – there are specific ones to run/walk, bike or go horse riding for everyone’s safety.
By car/foot/bike: The entrance to the visitor centre is along Long Mile Road. You will see a sign indicating to turn for the entrance about 1km before – refer to the map for further information on how to drive from the city center information site.
By bus: Cityride bus services is in operation everyday except public holidays. You need to get bus number 3 and hop off at the stop “Tarawera Road – Fronting No. 66” and then walk along Long Mile Road until you get to the entrence of the park. For more information: click here
The Visitor center with free maps and information around all the different activities is open everyday except for Christmas. Summer 8.30am to 6pm and Winter 8.30am to 5pm.
Forest entry fee: FREE
As mentioned before, there is also a 600-meter long tree walk that has been constructed between 6m and 20m above ground. It goes around 22 Redwood Trees and is made of 23 suspension bridges. We went at night as there are a series of lights that light up the walk, however, from the pictures I have seen it is just as stunning during the day. Click here for all the information