Rotorua Redwoods Walks
Walking the trails among Redwoods and the Whakarewarewa ForestOn the outskirts of Rotorua, is a must-visit natural attraction that all ages can enjoy. The Redwoods Forest features a number of walking trails, mountain biking trails, the Treewalk attraction and of course the incredible Californian Coastal Redwoods.
The main walking trails include:
- Redwood Memorial Grove Walk = 30 mins / 2km
- Waitawa Walk = 1 hour / 3.4km
- Quarry Track = 90 mins / 4.8km
- Pohaturoa Track = 2 hours / 7.5km
- Tokorangi Pa Track = 3 Hours 30 mins / 11.5km
- Mokopuna Trail (shared bike trail) = 1 hour / 3.6km
This article is going to focus on a couple of easy short walks that can be done is less than 90 minutes, so perfect for visitors short on time or who don’t like long walks.
Both trails leave from the Redwoods Visitor Centre which is directly opposite the car park on Long Mile Road. The longer Quarry Track follows the first part (and best part) of the Memorial Grove Trail before turning off right and upwards. There are also some convenient and well designed ‘art’ restrooms next to the Visitor Centre.
Redwood Memorial Grove Walk - 30 mins / 2km
The visitor centre is the starting point and a great place to learn more about the forest and the surrounding area and to collect a trail map. You can also grab a takeaway coffee and end your visit by picking up a souvenir which include natural skin care products, native wooden gifts and jewellery.
The walking trails are very well marked and colour coded, so you’ll see the ‘Red’ Redwood Memorial Grove marked as you enter the forest.
The first section walks through the towering Redwoods. These towering trees stand at around 219 feet (67 metres) and create a wonderful shelter, along with the European Larch and native plants.
It’s then onto a short boardwalk over an old thermal pond and continuing around to the left where you’ll get another viewpoint of the water feature.
From here, as you continue on you’ll reach a main sign where the Quarry Track leads off (read further on for details). The Memorial Grove track continues straight on until you reach a wider cleared pathway back down to Long Mile Road (where you drove along to get to the Visitor Centre). You then turn left until you end up back at the Visitor Centre.
Quarry Track Walk - 90 mins / 4.8km
Turning off the Memorial Grove Track (where the main signpost is) the ‘Green’ marked Quarry Lookout Track ventures a bit further into the forest.
You’ll pass through mature Douglas fir, European Larch, Walnut and various species of Eucalypts. The track is fairly steep in parts but there are steps to assist in the steeper parts.
At the summit, there is a small lookout point above the old rhyolite quarry that offers a wonderful view over the Redwood Grove, out to Lake Rotorua and the main city centre.
You then descend the steps passing under a couple of fallen trees into the Quarry basin where there is a picnic table if you want to take a break.
The trail then leads to Quarry Road. Here, you can choose to shorten the walk and head back down to the Redwoods car par. Or, keep following the green arrows to continue for the full walk. On the way you’ll pas under a section of the Treewalk Attraction - just look up.
The entry to the Redwoods is free. For more photos of these walks, click on the gallery below.
For more on the Redwoods, check our travel writer's experience.
For more information on more great walks, check our Rotorua Walks guide.