Whirinaki Forest Footsteps

Eco-tours / South

A majestic, ancient and spiritual realm. Whirinaki Forest Footsteps is a guided cultural walking tour into the heart of a vast, Jurassic, podocarp native rain forest less than an hour from Rotorua. Hear stories from our Māori guides, as you embark on a healing journey full of discovery.

Board the bus at the Rotorua isite Visitor Information Centre at Fenton Street and meet your Māori guides and hosts for the day. Upon arriving at the forest, your experience begins with mihi whakatau (welcome) and karakia (prayer) to keep you safe on your journey. Meet Ngā Rakau Rangatira, the chiefly trees of the forest, see 1,000 year old totara, learn about the rakau rongoa (natural medicine plants), hear and hopefully see native and endangered birds in their natural habitat. Learn history along the way, as you walk in the shadows of giants, and tread where dinosaurs once walked.
Enjoy forest bathing, the concept of connecting with nature and enjoying the health benefits of simply just being at one with the forest. During this quiet time, you will hear traditional Māori chants and hear wind instruments, as you truly disconnect from the world you know, and connect in to our world, te ao Māori. Enjoy a packed picnic lunch. During lunch, your guides will share with you all that you want to know and more!
The tour concludes with hot kawakawa tea in the forest carpark, before you journey back to Rotorua. Māori revered the forest for its beauty, spiritual presence, bountiful supply of food, medicines, building and weaving materials. Follow the Whirinaki Forest Footsteps; hear the stories as you’re taken on a journey of discovery.
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