You’ve probably heard that California has some amazing Redwood trees, but did you know there’s a gorgeous Redwood forest on the North Island of New Zealand? Hidden in Rotorua, there is a beautiful place where you can explore the redwoods, both from up high, and down on the lush forest floor.
Fork over $25NZD Redwoods Treewalk and you can explore and learn about the redwood forest from dizzying heights, walking from one redwood to the other over suspension bridges and board walks. The first thing you notice (and I mean the very first thing as you open your car door) is the green, clean, refreshing smell of TREES. It’s glorious! I gave myself a head spin trying to breath it all in. Once you reach the first platform after climbing up a surprisingly acceptable amount of steps, you still need to crane your head back quite far to see the tops of the trees. They’re really quite impressively tall.
The walk itself, whilst short, is really quite nice. If you wanted to, you could spend hours up there; listening to the birds and the breeze flow through the leaves. Bonus round: for an extra 10 bucks you can come back at night. The walk is surrounded by suspended lanterns, which when lit up, I’m sure look spectacular.
Lunch in the Redwoods
Perks of #vanlife! Dad and I set up our table and chairs, cooked some venison and whipped up a salad, poured a glass of New Zealand white wine and enjoyed our lunch amongst the redwoods. This is livin’, Barry. Absolutely no complaints here.
Walking the Redwood Trails
If you’re a bit short on cash, or just haven’t had enough redwoods yet, you can hike the forest for free! That’s right folks, the best things in life can still be free. Walking along the trails, you really get some perspective from down below. These things are freaking huge. I don’t know if I achieved the “hug a redwood” challenge, cos there was no way my arms would fit around the things.
The trails were well marked and well kept, so there was never any fear of getting lost. And besides, crazy people were running through there for fun (!!!). I suppose if you had to run somewhere, this would be the ideal place to do it. My lungs might even cope with air this fresh!
Just as a side note: google did it to me again. We tried to find this place following google maps from Rotorua city center, and it kept taking us to a business center. Pro tip: head towards the airport, and then plug in your directions from there.
So tell me; have you ever managed to hug a redwood?