Whirinaki Forest: A Slice of Paradise

Image: HeliBike Rotorua offers shuttle service to and from Rotorua to their helicopter base just past Murupara.

Whirinaki Forest is one of my most favourite places in New Zealand. I have been countless times but I never get sick of it.

Also called Dinosaur Forest, the Whirinaki is absolutely stunning with its vast biodiversity from tiny ground cover to giant podocarps making the perfect home for Whio (Blue Duck), Kaka, Toutouwai (North Island Robin) and many other native birds.

There is a network of walking tracks to explore, from short walks to multi-day hikes. Te Urewera Treks offer multi-day guided walks or combine your experience with a whitewater rafting trip with Foris Eco-tours' River & Rainforest tour.

For mountain bikers, there is one main trail to enjoy, called Moerangi Track. This epic trail is 35km long with 1100m of elevation. The track is shared by mountain bikers, hikers and hunters, with three Department of Conservation Huts along the way for overnight shelter. 

The Moerangi Track offers an honest adventure experience - achievable for most people. I still find the riding exciting and guaranteed rewarding, even after numerous visits. The track offers fun flowing downhill sections, climbs that vary from gentle to challenging and rolling terrain along crystal clear rivers. Anyone who is into nature will love this adventure!

And there is now a new way to explore this astonishing place... get flown in by helicopter with your bike and overnight bag! A flight with HeliBike Rotorua allows you to soak in the stunning views while flying above the immense forest covered in morning mist.

Explore the forest from the ground while riding to your overnight hut. Relax in the pristine stream next to native whio, go to sleep listening to the sound of the forest and ride back out to civilisation the next day ... or so. It’s guaranteed a trip to remember!