There are 6 marked walking tracks starting from the Redwoods Gift Shop & Visitor Centre that cater for beginners & leisure walkers through to hikers looking for an extra challenge.
These tracks are also suitable for off road running. Those new to the sport can start on the easier tracks and work their way up to longer distances incorporating hill work and steps. This forest has been a popular training ground for local athletes since the late 1960’s!
All the walks start off through the beautiful Redwood Grove under magnificent towering Californian Coast Redwoods. Hiking further afield will take you through a diverse range of native plants and exotic trees and lead you to spectacular views of Rotorua city, lakes and surrounding countryside.
The Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest Recreation Guide is available to purchase from the Redwoods Gift Shop & Visitor Centre, Rotorua i-site and various other outlets in Rotorua.
The Guide is a comprehensive booklet with lots of forest information including details on mountain biking, horse trekking and walking of course!
The walking pages are separated into short and long walks, tramping and lake walks. This should help you identify which tracks are most suitable for you dependant on general terrain and fitness levels required. Each section has enlarged forest maps and track descriptions. The booklet also has a full fold out forest map.
You may not need the Guide for some of the shorter walks, as they are well sign posted, but it is a fantastic reminder of your visit with beautiful full colour images of the forest. Remember walking in the forest is free so by purchasing this Guide you are supporting maintenance of the tracks and facilities in the forest.
If you'd like to purchase a map to plan your trip to the forest please click here. If you do this please be sure to call in to The Redwoods Gift Shop & Visitor Centre and check track/safety details before you head out.
The forest is a popular venue for sports events. Whether you would like to take part in or avoid them, click here to see what’s happening in the forest when you would like to visit. Most tracks are open to the public even when an event is taking place.
Suitable for all fitness levels and
Redwood Memorial Grove track - 2.0km
On this popular track you can meander through the breathtaking Californian Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) which were planted in 1901. These towering trees stand at approximately 219 feet (67 metres) tall and create a wonderful shelter, along with the under planted European Larch, for a diverse range of native plants and birds. Another feature of this track is the board walk, which takes you across the old thermal pond, home to a variety of exotic aquatic plant life. Admire these magnificent trees which are dedicated to the memory of the men of the New Zealand Forest Service who died in the two World Wars.
Waitawa Walk - 3.4km
This track takes you on an extension of the Redwood Track through the breathtaking Redwoods into a magnificent stand of Douglas fir. Discover the famous New Zealand Silver fern and the giant Mamaku ferns. Join the nature trail where many of the trees and plants are identified along the way.
Requires a reasonable level of
Quarry lookout track - 4.8km
The Quarry Lookout Track is a variation on the Waitawa Track and ventures a bit further into the forest. A stroll through the Redwoods leads you to a short climb through mature Douglas fir, European Larch and Walnut and various species of Eucalypts. The look out point above the old rhyolite quarry gives a wonderful view over the Redwood Grove and out to Lake Rotorua and the main city.
Pohaturoa track - 7.5km
Setting off towards the western side of Whakarewarewa, this track is quite open. Initially passing through the Redwoods and then through stands of mature Radiata pine, Mexican pine, Japanese larch and Douglas fir. A steep climb will reward you with superb views of Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua, the Waipa Sawmill and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. If you are lucky you may even sight the Pohutu Geyser erupting.
Tokorangi Pa track - 11.5km
The Tokorangi Pa Track takes you through the tranquil Redwoods before a steady climb eastward to 500 metres above sea level. This is a very beautiful walk with views of Mt Ngongotaha, Rotorua City, the lake, airport and countryside. The trip through Douglas fir, European Larch and Walnut and various Eucalypts leads to the site of an ancient Maori Pa (fortified village). This was once a small Maori village although nothing noticeable remains today.
Whakarewarewa circuit - 34km
A full day’s walk on both forestry roads and tracks, the Whakarewarewa Circuit gives you the opportunity to discover all the beauty and wonders of the Whakarewarewa Forest. See spectacular panoramic views of Rotorua and walk the shores of the beautiful Blue and Green Lakes. Check in at the Redwoods Gift Shop and Visitor Centre for the latest information on this walk as parts of the route may be closed for forestry operations.
Blue lake (Tikitapu) track - 5.3km
It is a short drive from The Redwoods to the Blue Lake. The circuit around the lake winds through native & exotic trees, bush, along the road edge and beach. There is also a lookout over both the Blue & Green Lakes. You can swim or have a picnic at any one of the attractive bays along the way. This lake is a popular spot for activities and events in the summer.
Green lake (Rotokakahi) tracks - 1.5km
The Green Lake can be found about 10km south of Rotorua, turning left off the main highway onto Waipa South Rd and directly into Green Lake Rd. A short drive into the forest will bring you into the picnic area. There are two short tracks which allow you remarkable views of this sacred lake. NO boating, fishing or swimming is permitted, as the Green Lake is sacred to the local Maori people.
Last Updated : Dec 2, 2013
Contacting the Redwoods
If you would like to find out more about The Redwoods or Rotorua and what it has to offer please click here.