Enriching the Forest Experience

The iconic Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forests are places much-loved by many. They are of significance to iwi (Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao and Ngāti Whakaue respectively), and a popular playground for local and visiting mountain bikers, runners and walkers. They are recognised as important recreational areas for the Rotorua community and as assets that attract events and tourism.

While this area is commonly referred to as the Whakarewarewa Forest or ‘The Redwoods’, it is made up of both the Tokorangi Forest and the Whakarewarewa Forest. Tokorangi Forest is The Redwoods area and the Whakarewarewa Forest is the commercial forest that grows beyond this.

As part of Rotorua Lakes Council’s Vision 2030 – The Rotorua Way, the Whakarewarewa Forest Development received a $7.09 million investment through Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit, which has been used alongside $7.5 million from Rotorua Lakes Council, to enhance the forest amenity and improve the experience for all. 

The redevelopment of the forest has aimed to create significant opportunities for the city, as well as benefits for tourism. It also aims to spark commercial investment and create new jobs in the area.