Whaka Forest - The Redwoods

4.50 out of 5
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↑ 300 m
↓ 300 m
elevation (m)

Trail Description
About this trail
The Whaka (more correctly Whakarewarewa) Forest, also know as The Redwoods, is huge. There are over 160km (100 miles) of trails, most of them purpose-built singletrack through pine trees or native forest. There is plenty here to keep you smiling for weeks. You won't find a better network of trails in New Zealand.

The network is like a board of Snakes and Ladders. The ladders are the forest roads. Usually they go up. The Snakes are the narrow bike trails through that weave through the forest and they normally go down.

On your first visit or two you'll need the $5 map that's available from bike shops and the visitor centre. Even with the map, which is pretty horrible, you could waste a lot of time on the forest roads getting oriented and trying to find the good singletrack. While the network of trails is densely packed near the car park, they are VERY spread out in the hills behind.

All the singletrack is one way with signs at the beginning giving the grade and distance. They also have an exit sign.

There is a large car park at the Waipa State Mill Road entrance, along with bike shop, bike hire, cafe, toilets, shower and bike wash.

1. Beginners, easy riders...
If you're new to mountain biking, swallow your pride and take the Kids Loop. It starts just in from the Waipa car park and is clearly marked. You'll love it. Then try the Dipper - the best grade 2 trail on the planet. ---

2. Intermediate riders...
Head straight up to the trail called Challenge Roadside. Its a new style flow trail - machine made, wide, down-sloping, swooping corners, gentle jumps . Next head up to Red-Dot-Six on your map and try Dragon's Tail and Be Rude Not 2. They are narrower trails weaving through trees in the older style of most of the trails in the forest. The ultimate intermediate trail in the network is Split Enz. You can take the shuttle to avoid much of the long ride up to it. ---

3. Advanced riders...
Don't hesitate, get on the shuttle! Then try Billy T, Corners, Huckleberry Hound, Rock Drop, Eagle vs Shark and so on. ---

Several stunning trails start at Red-Dot-Nine on your map, near the top of the forest. Nearly all the best trails are accessible from here. The more often you come up here the more often you'll feel the magic of the forest. A multi-day, multi-person ticket for 20 rides will set you back $100. Their website has other options: www.southstaradventures.com. The shuttle runs from Red-Dot-Seven on you map to Red-Dot-Nine, an altitude gain of 300 metres or 1000 feet. The timetable varies by season and day of the week. Check their website or Facebook feed for today's run times. Search for southstar shuttle.

The Whaka Forest trails are very spread out and there is a lot of down time riding on the forestry roads...
Very few new-school machine made flow trails...
There is a derth of good climbing singletrack...
Not much in the way of good table-top jumps or similar...
But who's complaining - Whaka Forest has it's own unique style and quality that you won't find anywhere else on the planet.
added by Gregg_BrownBunny Hop
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
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System Trails (3)
System Trails (3)
Fern Drive
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (140 total check-ins)
  gksnewfy   on Aug 8, 2019
  gksnewfy   on Aug 7, 2019
  Pulinski   on Aug 2, 2019
  gksnewfy   on Jul 6, 2019
  gksnewfy   on Jun 11, 2019
Photo & Video Gallery (41)
Trail Photos & Videos (41)
Reviews (11)


January 7, 2019
kiwi_mtb Gramcounter  
Review: Great place to ride...a maze of trail


August 3, 2018
gksnewfy Gramcounter  
Review: I'm so lucky to live 10km away from the carpark. The core network which is close to the carpark gets very busy at holiday times. But get out into the outer network and it will be quiet.


March 1, 2018
Desperado Trailblazer  
Review: Now I don't want to be negative - Whaka Forest is still the best bike park in New Zealand and it's world class but it's is starting to get a little dated! There is not much in the way of quality new-school machine made flow trails. And it's like they've never heard of climbing singletrack. You nearly always climb up forestry roads. The other thing is that it's very spread out so there is a lot of down-time spent on forestry roads. But I still love it - it does have a unique magic!

Granny Gear

January 1, 2018
Review: Best trail centre in New Zealand.

Granny Gear

July 27, 2017
Review: This is my favorite place that I've ridden in the world. So many to quality trails to choose from with different styles and soft crashes (mostly).


September 9, 2016
fergnago Gramcounter  
Review: World class and for good reason! 140km of riding heaven. Put it on your bucket list now!

Bunny Hop

December 8, 2015
Review: Amazing network of trails with something for everyone here

World Champ

December 2, 2014
Review: Still New Zealand's premier mountain bike park with lots for everyone.

Similar Trail: Seven Mile MTB area, Queenstown


May 27, 2014
olimoo Doubletrack  
Review: Best "trail centre" type riding on the North Island. So many options you can spend days doing loops in the forest and not get bored. Twisty climbs, long runs with flowing berms, rocky, rooty switch back decsents. If i'm ever back on this side of the planet again it will be the first place i go with my bike.

September 9, 2013
Review: IMHO, the trails in this system are world class, everything from 'flat nature walks with grand-ma' which are perfect for the kids through to highly developed downhill with shuttling services. For the most part you are under evergreen canopy on flowy earthen trails so I wouldn't regard them as very technical. If it rains (winter) you will get pretty muddy and the trails get pretty slick and can get a little rutted. If you have fine weather or just a nice day you will be left wondering how your life managed to get so good. I think there is a local club of bike guys and gals that are pretty hands on with trail maintenance. Either that or bike-minded forest elves.

The trails are a true network so you can very easily connect one to another and extend or reduce your ride as you see fit as you are popping back out onto the double track forestry access roads on a regular basis. More often than not you will find yourself saying "Ok, just one more" because they are so much fun.

The local services are great with a couple of cafes/bike rental and service shops at the trail system parking areas who are always good for advice. During summer holidays/Xmas period etc it will get busy so if you were renting for the day I would suggest booking in advance or you may well be out of luck. Because the single tracks are only ridden in one direction you rarely come across other riders out there although there are most likely multiple groups on the trails at one time.

It's easy access from the city (10 mins drive) which is even ride-able if you wanted a warm up or didn't have a car.

I am sure someone will get around to reviewing all the trails at some point but a couple of personal favourites are 1. Split Enz and 2. a Yellow Brick Road, Pondy New, Rollercoaster, Old Chevy loop.

Similar Trail: Bend, Oregon

Whaka Forest - The Redwoods MTB Trail 4.50 out of 5 based on 11 ratings. 11 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed