This magical park of forest giants is 5km southeast of town. From 1899, 170 tree species were planted here to see which could be grown successfully for timber. Mighty Californian redwoods (up to 72m high) give the park its grandeur today. Walking tracks range from a half-hour wander through the Redwood Memorial Grove to the all-day (34km) Whakarewarewa Track, which loops past the Blue and Green Lakes. Several walks start from the Redwoods i-SITE, where you'll also find the spectacular Redwoods Treewalk.
Aside from walking, the forest is great for picnics, and is acclaimed for its mountain biking. There's around 130km of tracks to keep riders of all skill levels happy for days. Note that not all tracks in the forest are designated for bikers, so adhere to the signposts. Pick up a trail map at the i-SITE. Mountain Bike Rotorua and Planet Bike offer bike hire across the park, off Waipa State Mill Rd, where there are also toilets and a shower. Southstar Shuttles operates bike shuttles from the main car park to the top of the trail network.