The Redwoods MTB Park Rotorua
Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.
About the Trail
This forest is home to some of the best singletrack in the world
It’s known by a few names: The Redwoods, The Whaka Forest, or it’s full name the Whakarewarewa. It is a mountain biking mecca on south side of Rotorua. The trails are world famous and it’s commonly known include the best singletrack in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly the world! Needless to say there are lots of beautiful Redwood trees in the forest, but is is also a working commercial forest. When areas are logged new trails are rebuilt even better than they before.
Accessing the trails
The mountain bike trails in the Redwoods aka The Whaka Forest are best accessed from the Waipa Mountain Bike Car Park where there is large paved car park, a small cafe, bike rental, toilets and showers. The Waipa Mountain Bike Car Park is just 10mins drive from Rotorua CBD or 1hr from Taupo.
Getting to Rotorua
Rotorua has an airport, otherwise the next nearest airports are Taupo and Auckland. Rotorua is a 1 hour drive from Taupo and 3 hours drive from Auckland.
If you are based in Taupo we provide a shuttles service to and from the Whaka Forest if it’s combined with any of our other services such as bike hire and/or guiding. Minimum numbers apply.
Most major coach bus services also stop in Rotorua, but you must check their policies about carrying bikes as luggage.
The best place to park is at the main Waipa Mountain Bike Car Park.
It is about 300m off SH5, just South of Rotorua itself. There is large paved car park, a small cafe, bike rental, toilets and showers.
The other common car parking location is:
The Redwoods Visitors Centre on Long Mile Road. There is also a number of walking only trails here, a coffee cart, and a gift shop.
Once you have found your way to Waipa Mountain Bike Car Park and have a coffee in hand, study the trail map on a large signpost. Alternatively you can buy a ‘MankyMap’ – a cloth trail map that you can stuff in your pocket and conveniently don’t rip or fall apart in the wet. The trail maps shows the mountain bike trails and the forestry roads that you can use to quickly access areas of the forest. Be aware of a few roads that are closed to bikes.
You can make up a huge number of different loops from the car park. The possibilities are endless and if you know where to go and which exits to take you can piece together loops that flow seamlessly and include a huge variety of trails.
Many of the singletrack trails in the forest have multiple exits and entrances. This can make navigation difficult the first couple of time yout ride in the forest. Many of these multiple trail exits are not indicated on the map (because of the map scale) so pay special attention to what roads and tracks link together. If you are on a holiday and want to make the most of your time, we strongly advise you hire a guide. Contact us for details.
All the mountain bike trails are Graded from 1-6 on the map as well as on signposts at the entrance to each trail. Generally speaking the trails are well signposted. All the mountain bike only trails are one way, and there is a sign at the end that advises riders not to go up the trail the wrong way. There are a small number of trails that are dual use (walking & cycling) and two way, please be aware of which trails these are and be courteous to other users.
Here is a great intermediate loop for riders that are confident on Grade 3 to 4 trails:
- Creek Track
- Nursrey Road
- Mad If You Don’t
- Hill Rd
- Spring Roll
- Sweet & Sour
- Dragons Tail
- Lion Trail
- Katore Rd
- Turkish Delight
This loop is about 25km and will take intermediate to advanced riders about 3hrs to complete as a casual pace. You will need this list of trail names as well as a trail map and some common sense to be able to navigate this fun loop.
Obey all signage, be aware of possible trail and road closures, respect other forest users, and expect the unexpected.
There is a shuttle service within the forest itself. It is operated by Southstar Shuttles.
The shuttle pick up points are:
Waipa MTB Car Park
The junction of Hill Rd & Pipeline Rd
The shuttle drop off point is:
The top of Tawa Rd, where a number of downhill tracks begin.
You can pay in cash on the bus, or buy passes in advance at the car park where you can pay by card. One uplift (shuttle seat) costs $10 or you can buy passes that include multiple uplifts (up to about 60), this brings the price down to just a few dollars per uplift.
If you to ride in Whaka Forest as part of our Singletrack Tour, your shuttle tickets are included in the tour price.
If you are going to ride in the Whaka Forest own your own check out shuttle times and prices on Southstar Shuttles website.
Hard tail (front suspension only): Specialized Rockhopper Expert ($1600 retail value)
- $70 for one day
High-end full suspension mountain bikes: Specialized Camber Comp ($4000 retail value)
- $120 for one day
E-bikes (electric mountain bikes) are available in hard tail and full suspension models. Ask us for more details and prices. Limited quantities available.
Our hire bikes come with a helmet, spare inner tube, tire levers, pump, and multi tool. The bikes come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request.
For your enjoyment, it is important that you hire the right size bike, so we are here to help. When you contact us to make your booking, we will gather the correct information to get you on the right size bike. Our hire bikes are high quality and you can be sure to have a great ride because they are cleaned, checked, and serviced between every use.
NOTE: Bike hire only (without transport or guiding) for the Whaka Forest trails requires a higher minimum number. Ask us for details.
Bike hire is usually paired with transport services or guiding. However, we can provide bike hire only if you are looking for hire a full suspension bike for 2 or more days.
If you are booking a shuttle and bike hire, your bike will be on the shuttle ready to go at the time of pick up. You do not pick up your bike beforehand.
Rotorua is a destination city packed with accommodation options and price points.
In Rotorua any accommodation on (or in very close proximity to) Fenton St will allow you ride to and from the Waipa MTB Car Park easily as well as having quick easy access to the CBD for restaurants, cafes, bike shops etc.
If you plan to ride a number of trails around the Central North Island, seriously consider basing yourself in Taupo because it has a larger range of rides within an hours drive including Redwoods which is on South (Taupo side) of Rotorua. Just one hour south of Taupo is the Tongariro National Park. Taupo is smaller than Rotorua but is packed with accommodation options, restaurants, cafes, bike shops, and has trails accessible directly from the CBD.
Having a guide is a great way to maximise the enjoyment of your ride.
Our experienced guides will show you the best trails and get you onto them quickly. We know that mountain bike parks can very confusing the first time you ride them. Although the trails in the Redwoods are signposted this forest in particular is especially challenging the first few times you ride it because many of the trail have multiple entrances and exits.
We will introduce you to the trail network in the Redwoods Forest and take you on trails that suit your skill level. Our expert guides will not only show you way and provide insight into our land, but can also teach you some bike skills as we go. With our guided experience, you can be assured that you are in the best of care while in the forest.