Rotorua Trails Trust

Running, Walking, Tramping

 

Rotorua is fortunate to have a wide range of superb trails. Walkers, runners, and trampers can choose from a ten-minute stroll through giant Redwoods, running the Tarawera 100km ultra marathon or tramping in some of New Zealand's best native podocarp forest in the Whirinaki Valley.

 

Rotorua Trails Trust is committed to further developing Rotorua's trail network, especially linking up some of the existing trails.

 

Download the Rotorua Trail Running Club's Guide


We value public input, so if you have any ideas about possible new trails or existing trails that could be improved please contact us. If you come across any issues while out in the forest, such as trees down on trails, let us know so we can get it sorted. Email us or message us on social media. Also, please let us know about any hazards or accidents, on our hazards report.

 

For more information, and maps of the trails, see The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest.

 

The Walking Trails

Short Walks:
Redwood Memorial Grove track 2.0km, 30 minutes, Red track
On this popular track, you can meander through the breath-taking Californian Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) which were planted in 1901. These towering trees stand at approximately 219 feet (67 metres) tall and create a wonderful shelter, along with the underplanted European Larch, for a diverse range of native plants and birds. Another feature of this track is the boardwalk, which takes you across the old thermal pond, home to a variety of exotic aquatic plant life. Admire these magnificent trees which are dedicated to the memory of the men of the New Zealand Forest Service who died in the two World Wars.

 

Waitawa Walk 3.4km, 1 Hour, Blue track
This track takes you on an extension of the Redwood Track through the breathtaking Redwoods into a magnificent stand of Douglas fir. Discover the famous New Zealand Silver fern and the giant Mamaku ferns. Join the nature trail where many of the trees and plants are identified along the way.

 

Long Walks:
Quarry lookout track 4.8km, 1 hour and 30mins, Green track
The Quarry Lookout Track is a variation on the Waitawa walk and ventures a bit further into the forest. A stroll through the Redwoods leads you to a short climb through mature Douglas fir, European Larch, Walnut and various species of Eucalypts. The lookout point above the old rhyolite quarry gives a wonderful view over the Redwood Grove, out to Lake Rotorua and the main city centre. Once you have descended the steps into the Quarry basin you can follow Quarry Rd back down to the Redwoods car park to shorten the walk to about one hour or keep following the green arrows to continue for the full walk.

 

Tokorangi Pa track 11.5km, 3 hours and 30 minutes, Purple track
The Tokorangi Pa Track takes you through the tranquil Redwoods before a steady climb eastward to 500 metres above sea level. This is a very beautiful walk with views of Mt Ngongotaha, Rotorua City, the lake, airport and countryside. The trip through Douglas fir, European Larch, Walnut and various Eucalypts leads to the site of an ancient Maori pa (fortified village). This was once a small Maori village although nothing remains today. The track then continues down to the valley floor along ‘The Wash’. Watch for bikes on the Water Reservoir and Lynmore Link sections as these are dual-use tracks. ‘Cardiac Steps’ brings you back up past the wastewater treatment ponds to return via Katore and Nursery Roads.

 

Pohaturoa track 7.5km, 2 hours, Yellow track
Setting off towards the western side of Whakarewarewa, this track goes over quite varied terrain and takes in different aspects of the forest, initially passing through The Redwoods and then through stands of mature Radiata pine, Mexican pine, Japanese larch and Douglas fir. Once through the Redwood Grove, you will take a short, sealed road section up Nursery Hill before heading back into the forest.

 

Tramping route:
Whakarewarewa Circuit 34km, 8 hours, Black track
A full day’s walk on both forestry roads and tracks, the Whakarewarewa circuit gives you the opportunity to discover all the beauty and wonders of the Whakarewarewa Forest. See spectacular panoramic views of Rotorua and walk the shores of the beautiful lakes Tikitapu and Rotokakahi.
Take the time to check in at The Redwoods Gift Shop and Visitor Centre for the latest information on this walk as parts of the route may be closed for forestry operations.

 

Lake walks:
Tikitapu/Blue Lake Walk 5.5km, 1 hour and 30 minutes
Going clockwise, the circuit around the lake winds through the bush along the road edge, exotic and native trees and beach. There is also a lookout over both lakes Tikitapu and Rotokakahi. You can swim or have a picnic at any one of the attractive bays along the way. This lake is a popular spot for activities and events in the summer.

 

Rotokakahi/Green Lake Walk 11km, 2 hours and 30 minutes return
The Green Lake can be found about 10km south of Rotorua. The easiest way to see the lake is by parking at the lookout carpark on the South side of Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and following the Blue Lake track for few hundred meters until you reach the Lake Front Road junction. At this point follow Lake Front Rd to the Green Lake picnic area and back (signposted). This return section is about 11km and allows remarkable views of this sacred lake and Motutawa Island, the larger of the two islands in the lake. There is also a lovely view from the lookout point at the car park. Swimming is not permitted in this lake.

 
Please ride within your limits. Be aware that trails will change with weather and heavy use from race events affecting their difficulty. Rotorua Trails Trust and its partners, sponsors or advertisers will not be held responsible for any injury or damages arising from riding any of the trails. Riding the trails or any other route mentioned on this site is done so at your own risk. Please understand the grading system and choose trails within your skill range. If you are in doubt about your abilities on a particular section, get off your bike or horse and walk.