Rotorua is a place of geysers, mud pools, Maori villages, and lakes, but it’s also rung by Redwood forests that house some of the world’s best mountain biking. Here in the Whakarewarewa Forest, just minutes from the center of town, visitors will find a network of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding that weave through towering Redwoods. Though the area was planted for commercial forestry, it’s also become a favorite spot for outdoor recreation, where mountain bikers fly thousands of miles for the chance to experience the trails.
You don’t have to be a pro biker, however, to enjoy Whakarewarewa Forest; the network of trails has options that cater to all different levels of riders, and one of the best ways to experience the forest is on a guided mountain bike tour. You can also just simply stroll through the forest, enjoying the sights and smells. At just 1.5 miles, the Redwood Grove Memorial track has the largest collection of Redwoods, and can be extended to over 2 miles by following the Waitawa Walk Loop.
Insider's Tip: The trails are often nicest in the morning, and you’ll likely stay longer than expected.
All trails are well signposted and designated for certain use, and keep an eye out for logging trucks when biking along the service roads. The Redwoods Visitor Center is open from 8:30am-5pm daily and can provide info on trail conditions as well as maps of the forest. For hiking, all trails begin from the Visitor Center, whereas mountain biking begins off of Waipa State Mill Road.