Whakarewarewa Forest (the Redwoods) Walking Trails

Family Fun / South

The Whakarewarewa Forest or Redwoods walking trails all start at the Redwoods isite, where you can pick up a map before heading to explore the forest walks.

The trails start through the Redwood Memorial Grove and then branch off in different directions, well-marked by colour-coded arrow signage. 

Redwood Memorial Grove Track (Red track) 2km

The Redwood Memorial Grove was planted in 1901, dedicated to the memory of the men of the New Zealand Forest Service who dies in the two World Wars. These iconic trees tower above you at approximately 67 metres (219 feet) tall providing incredible photo opportunities. This easy short walk also features a boardwalk over an old thermal pond, home to unique aquatic plant life. 

Waitawa Walk (Blue track) 3.4km

The Waitawa Walk extends from the Memorial Grove Track, taking you through the Redwoods and over the boardwalk and then out into a stand of Douglas Fir. You’ll see the Redwoods Treewalk bridges above you and the spiral staircase entry to the Redwoods Altitude course.

Quarry Lookout Track (Green track) 4.8km 

An extension of the Waitawa Walk, this track climbs up the Tokorangi face of the forest to a lookout point over the old quarry. From here you are rewarded with a beautiful view of the Redwood Grove and out to the city and Lake Rotorua. The track then descends and rejoins the Waitawa Walk or you can follow Quarry Road back to the carpark. 

Pohaturoa Track (Yellow track) 7.5km

The Pohaturoa Track climbs up Nursery Road after the Memorial Grove and heads out to skirt the western side of the forest, climbing up to a panoramic lookout over the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley and Te Puia across the city and to Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. 

The Pohaturoa Track can also be accessed from the Waipa car park. Join the track up some steps to your right once you pass the entrance to the Kids Loop and Tahi mountain bike trails. 

For a shorter option from Waipa, head left shortly after the entrance to the forest to walk the trail in reverse for the climb straight up to the lookout. Come back the same way or join Mudpool Link and Trig Road to make a loop.

Tokorangi Pa Track (Purple track) 11.5km

A more challenging walk, this 11.5km trail takes you deeper into the Whakarewarewa Forest. Starting through Memorial Grove, it them climbs up the Quarry Lookout track before branching off up to the site of an ancient Māori pā (fortified village), although nothing remains today. From here It heads into the forest, and loops around passing a number of the Whakarewarewa mountain bike trails before returning back to Nursey Road and the Visitor Centre. 

Whakarewarewa Circuit (Black track) 34km

The Whakarewarewa Circuit is a full day hike around the forest, featuring a variety of different forest landscapes, and views of lakes Rotorua, Tikitapu and Rotokakahi. Taking approximately 8 hours to complete, with a number of sustained hills, it is an enjoyable day out for walkers with moderate fitness. 

Mokopuna Trail 3.6km (dual use walking & biking)

The Mokopuna Trail was designed for easy family walking and biking. A great introduction to biking in the forest before hitting the main mountain bike trails, it is also popular with walkers and runners. 

Puarenga Stream 1.7km

A hidden gem in the forest, the Puarenga Stream track weaves under ponga trees alongside and over the stream on several short bridge crossings. This picturesque walk is family friendly with a scenic picnic area beside the stream. This is a dual use trail, so you may also see mountain bikes along the way. 

Access from the car park at Planet Bike, where you can enjoy a refreshment from the coffee cart at an outdoor seating area. For a longer walk, you could also start at Waipa Car Park and use the Verry Safe Trail alongside Waipa Mill Road. For more walks around Rotorua check out 10 wonderful walks in Rotorua.
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