Redwood forest, Rotorua © Matteo Colombo

The Redwoods: 5500 hectares of glorious trees

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While we love to celebrate our amazing native trees in Aotearoa — been to see Tane Mahuta, the massive kauri yet? — we’re OK with imports, too.

Especially when they are as uniquely amazing as these long-limbed Californians.

Over 5500 hectares (count ‘em) of trees, glorious trees make for one of the most amazing experiences in Rotorua, or any other region, frankly. And that experience is dominated by the straight-backed wonder of the magnificent Californian redwoods.

You turn in off that main road and are instantly transported into a different space, a cooling, reflective atmosphere that catches your breath. No mean trick that.

Some of the country’s best mountain bike trails wend their way through the Whakarewarewa Forest, as the area is also known, as well as amazing walking and horse-riding tracks, if you’ve remembered to pack Black Beauty.

If you’re in need of elevation, The Redwoods Treewalk is a must. It’s a rare and unique experience where you get to clamber across suspension bridges hung from, and deeply within, these stands of colossal trees.

It’s an all-enveloping yet strangely freeing experience, really easy to navigate and outrageously rewarding, which kind of sums up the whole forest.

Whether you’re looking up from a forest-scented, pine-needled trail, jumping a tree root on your two-wheeled Trigger, or looking down from the happy safety of the tree walk, the Redwood experience surrounds, uplifts and excites in equal measure.

And — added bonus — most of it won’t cost you a nickel, dime, penny or pfennig. Get into it!

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