Rotorua Trails Trust



The Whakarewarewa Forest is a beautiful environment for horse-riding, with many forestry roads creating a variety of trails. You can ride for half an hour or a whole day, without having to open a gate once.


There are four specifically marked horse trails at the Long Mile Road entrance to the forest, and float-parking is available there.


The forest can also be accessed at other points, and we are working on developing more marked trails.


Horses are very welcome in the forest, and we greatly appreciate input from riders regarding how to maintain and enhance the forest for your use.


Please read the 'Horse Riding Responsibility' advice from Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa, the Outdoor Access Commission.


Trail network and map:


Bridle Trail 30 mins (Dark blue track)
This is a very short loop that winds through the main Redwood Grove and a stand of Eucalypts. It is suitable for new riders to the Redwoods wanting to get a feel for riding in the forest.


Tokorangi Pa Lookout Trail 1 - 1.5 hours (Yellow track)
This trail takes you through the tranquil Redwoods before a steady climb eastward to 500 metres above sea level. This is a very beautiful trail with views of Mt Ngongotaha, Rotorua City, the lake, airport and countryside.
The main lookout is near the site of an ancient Maori pa (fortified village). This was once a small Maori village although nothing remains today.


Katore Wash Trail 2 - 2.5 hours (Orange track)
This trail starts off similar to the Tokorangi Lookout trail but brings you quickly back into the forest instead of following the ridgeline. This trail will take you down to the valley floor following ‘The Wash’ and then Nursery Road to link back to the main entry.


Radio Hut Lookout Trail 1 - 1.5 hours (Light Blue/Teal track)
Once through the Redwoods, this trail heads west taking you to the lower Pohaturoa lookout where you get superb views of Rotorua City, Lake Rotorua and the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve. If you are lucky you may even see the Pohutu Geyser erupting. You then double back and either follow the arrows back to the start or look for the markers to head to the upper lookout. Once you have descended from the lookout continuing on this trail will bring you past a small pool of bubbling mud called ‘Whanga-pipiro’.


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.

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.