Bantry Bay (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Bruce Ridge (Canberra)
Bungarra Alpine Centre (Snowy Mountains)
Currumbin Border Track (NSW/QLD Border)
Daisy Hill (South Brisbane)
East Kowen (Kowen Pine Forest, Canberra)
Forest Pipeline (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Fred Caterson Reserve (Castle Hill)
Golden Jubilee Field MTB Park (North Shore, Sydney)
Hassans Walls (Lithgow)
Hinze Dam (Gold Coast)
Jindabyne (Snowy Mountains)
Kiwarrak State Forest (Tarree)
Majura Pines (Majura, Canberra)
Manly Dam (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Mt Joyce (Gold Coast Hinterland)
Mt Kosciuszko (Snowy Mountains)
Nerang State Forest (Gold Coast)
Old Man's Valley (Hornsby, Sydney)
Ourimbah (Central Coast)
Oxford Falls (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Pilot Wilderness (Snowy Mountains)
Red Hill (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
Rotorua Redwoods (New Zealand)
Singleton (Hunter Valley)
Sparrow Hill (Kowen Pine Forest, Canberra)
St Ives and Belrose (North Shore, Sydney)
Stromlo Forest Park (Canberra)
Terrey Hills (Northern Beaches, Sydney)
The Oaks (Blue Mountains)
Thredbo Resort (Snowy Mountains)
Thredbo Valley Trail (Snowy Mountains)
Wingello (Southern Highlands)
Wylde MTB Trail (Cecil Park - Western Sydney)
Rotorua RedwoodsLast Update: 15/11/2015
For full information, including maps, photos and detailed info on trail sections use the links on the right
The Rotorua Redwoods aka Whakarewarewa Forest, Whaka Forest, The Redwoods or simply “The Forest”, are the most amazing set of MTB Trails I’ve ever ridden. While some trail centers are starting to produce trails of the same quality nothing comes close to the scale of the Redwoods.
It takes a certain level of Maori linguistic skill to correctly pronounce Whaka as it sounds dangerously close to “F#!%er”. Most MTBers anglify it to the “Wokka Forest” or “The Redwoods”. Interestingly there are only a few trails that go through Redwood groves most are pine trees.
As of October 2015 I’ve spent 18 days in the Redwoods and there are trails I still need to ride, there's also a pretty good chance there will be a whole set of new trails as well. The Redwoods is a commercial forest and therefore trails are destroyed as areas are logged, however this provides and opportunity to create new and even better trails, some of which I've been lucky enough to ride.
My first trip to the Redwoods was in January 2014 where I spent my time in the shuttle zone. My return trip in November 2014 saw me ride from one side of the forest to the other and most of the trails in between. 2 trips to Rotorua in one year? Yes it’s really that good! But it didn't end there, I went back in October 2015 where I rode every day for 9 days straight and to make you feel really bad I'm scheduled to return in January 16 for a further week. Yes .. it's really *THAT* good!
For more detailed information on these MTB trips please read the blog post links at the bottom of this page and for trail notes and videos click on the trail links on the right (desktop) or below (on mobile).
Regardless of your skill level and the bike you ride you are going to have fun riding in the Redwoods however do your homework prior to getting on the trails. In that regard I have 3 tips:
Tip 1 – Trail Grading System
Understand the grading system and be sure you are capable of riding to that level. The Grading Numbers are a little inconsistent between the app and trail signage, however I've found the most reliable measurement is the colour scheme.
- Green (usually Grade 3) trails - Generally flowing single track with some roots, rollers, optional jumps and the occasional rut.
- Blue with White (usually Grade 4 or listed as Intermediate) trails - Have a reasonable level of technical challenges, contain a mix of steeps, roots, ruts, big berms and tight moderately steep turns.
- Solid Blue (usually Grade 5 or listed as Advanced) - Should only be attempted by riders who can ride Grade 4 trails with confidence and speed with minimal braking, not only for their own safety but the safety of other riders who will be travelling at high speed. Expect the unexpected, unavoidable objects, steep and very rough terrain.
- Black (Grade 6 and up) trails - If you need an explanation then you DEFINITELY shouldn't be riding them. These are Pro-Level trails designed for people who can do the stuff that average riders only dream of.
Tip 2 – Download the TrailMap App
If you’re just visiting then the official trail map app for Android or iOS is an absolute must, all other printed maps, including those at the major trail intersections, are out of date as of November 2014 and don’t include some of the best trails in the forest. I've personally found the printed trails to be unreadable on the trail due to their fine printing.
I’ve decided not to do maps for the Redwoods as the official trail app is far more comprehensive, however I’ve tried to provide greater detail in the trail descriptions as well as tips on how to get in and out of some trails including many of the key access roads.
The Redwoods Forest is huge and while the trail signage is improving all the time it is easy to get lost and end up way out of your way, so again I recommend downloading the trail app.
Tip 3 - Plan your route
If you only have limited time in the forest I would recommend studying the trails carefully so not to be wasting valuable time riding up kilometers of forestry roads. When you know where you are going it is easy to link up quality single track to create an epic ride without slogging it up hills.
Need to know more?
Please don’t hesitate to contact me about riding in the Redwoods, I would be only too happy to send through some really great loops based on your skill level and the types of trails you ride not to mention any tips on travelling to or staying in Rotorua.
Favourite Trails (in no particular order)
Must do experiences
- Shuttle and Corners (Corners will be logged in Oct 2016 so don't miss out)
- Climb Katore Rd and descend Tokorangi, Turkish Delight and Exit Trail
- Shuttle to Eagle vs Shark, then Redtank Rd / Pipeline Rd to Be Rude Not To 2 and finish with Mad If You Don't
- Shuttle then climb up Tawa Rd to Te Tihi-O-Tawa & Billy T, then climb Moerangi and Loop Rds to Split Enz, descend Pondy DH to Pondy New, XC through to Roller Coaster and back via Reservoir Rd (or Old Chevy if you have the legs)
- Definitely duck down into Puarenga trail at the 8 Mile Gate Rd end for the most beautiful natural location I've ever seen. It's straight out of a brochure!
- The Lookout on Bush Rd on the way to Kung Fu Walrus, even if you don't ride Kung Fu Walrus take a detour on your way to Split Enz and checkout the view over Green Lake
Blog articles that mention this trail
- 20/5/2017 - Fantasy Enduro - Enduro World Series Fantasy Game
- 17/9/2016 - Is the Thredbo AM Trail the best descent in Australia?
- 25/7/2016 - MTB Trail Videos - Trail Centre Upgrade Program
- 17/6/2016 - VIDEO: The Fourth 365 Days of Reign - My 4th year of Mountain Biking
- 27/2/2016 - VIDEO: Top XC Rides of 2014/2015
- 1/1/2016 - VIDEO: 2015 The FAIL Awakens
- 22/11/2015 - VIDEO: Nine Days in the Rotorua Redwoods
- 28/6/2015 - VIDEO: 365 Days of Reign - The Third (year of serious mountain biking)
- 26/4/2015 - Travelling tips for Mountain Bikers
- 26/1/2015 - VIDEO: 2014 FAILS - Will Ride, Will Fail
- 1/1/2015 - VIDEO: Wrapping up the Redwoods with a Whak-en Outrageous Ride
- 1/1/2015 - VIDEO: The Opening of the Alpine Epic Trail - Mt Buller
- 1/1/2015 - VIDEO: MTB-TVs TOP 10 Descents of 2014
- 17/12/2014 - VIDEO: Return to the Redwoods Part IV - Eagle vs Shark
- 15/12/2014 - VIDEO: Return to the Redwoods Part III - XC Lower Mountain Pedally Days
- 12/12/2014 - VIDEO: Return to the Redwoods Part II - Heavily Rooted
- 10/12/2014 - VIDEO: Return to the Redwoods Part I - We're Going To The Redwoods
- 8/11/2014 - Video: Return to Rotorua ... ok to go!
- 26/10/2014 - Video: Return to Rotorua .. maybe?
- 7/9/2014 - Broken Bone on Breakout
- 17/6/2014 - 365 Days of Reign - My 2nd Year on a real mountain bike
- 22/2/2014 - VIDEO: Rotorua Redwoods - Create Breathing Space