Whakarewarewa Forest Access & Closures

Whakarewarewa Forest is a commercial forest and therefore all persons wishing to access this forest must comply with the
Whakarewarewa General Forest Access Rules and Safety Behaviour Regulations.

All access by vehicle requires a permit. Refer to RECREATIONAL ACCESS PERMITS or BUSINESS/CONTRACTOR ACCESS PERMITS for more information. People who do not follow these rules and requirements could be trespassed.

'Safety Message' for all Recreational Users

  • Please refer to Safety & Risk section for latest 'Safety Warnings'.
  • When entering a commercial forest  please adhere to all road and track closure signs, tapes and instructions and give way to all trucks and machinery at all times.
  • Beware of LOGGING TRUCKS OPERATING - Please give way to, and move to the side of the road for, all heavy vehicles, especially on hills, for your own safety and the safety of trucks and drivers.
  • MTB Tracks in recently logged areas may be passable but please check with the Redwoods Visitor Information Centre or Ride Rotorua Mountain Bike Club for clarification.

Whakrewarewa Forest Information & Safety Maps


Whakarewarewa Commercial Forest Operations & Closures

Forestry operations are underway as described below.
Please take extreme care, OBEY ALL SIGNAGE, INTRUCTIONS, RESTRICTIONS & ROAD CONTROLS, and respect security officers, they are there for your safety.


  • TIMBERLANDS Limited has commenced thinning operations in various areas of the Whakarewarewa forest between the hours of 7am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday. Please see themap for details (Map still to come). The following MTB tracks and roads will be affected:
    • Katore Road/Katore Hill
    • Radio Hut Road
    • Nursery Road
    • Pohaturoa Road
    • Red Tank Road
    • Pipeline Road
    • Challenge (& climb trail)/Roadside/Down the Guts/Boulderdash
    • Lion Trail
    • Gunna Gotta
    • Corridor
    • Tokorangi
    • Tickler
    • Be Rude Not To


  • TIMBERLANDS Limited has commenced the 2020/2021 Whakarewarewa Harvesting Program.
    Please see themap for details (Updated 15/3/21)
  • Clearfell harvesting in the 8 Mile Gate/Green Lake Road area will commence on 27 January 2021
    • Harvesting and trucking will be active between the hours of 4am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.
  • The following ROADS, MTB and Walking tracks will be affected: Please refer to the map above for further details 
    • 8 Mile Gate Road
    • Green Lake Road
    • SH5 / Te Ara Ahi Cycleway
    • Forest Loop
    • Baja
    • Black Walking Track

land prep OPERATIONS

  • TIMBERLANDS Limited has commenced Land Prep operations in the Moerangi/Chestnut Road and Sandy Skid/Ring Road areas. Operations will be active from 5am - 4pm week days and Saturdays, until approximately Wednesday, 31 March.  Please see themap for details (Updated 15/3/21). The following tracks/roads will be briefly affected from time to time by this operation:
    • G-Rock
    • Split Enz (exit)
    • Pondy Elevator (Entry)

Whakarewarewa Recreational Forest Access & Closures

  • NO HUNTING is permitted at any time.
  • Recreational access by foot, horse or bike does not require an access permit. For further road and track information refer to The Redwoods Visitor Centre or Ride Rotorua.
    WARNING: At times there will be commercial forest activities carried out within the forest and for your safety, access into these areas will be prohibited. This will be indicated by signage and hazard tape. Please ensure all signage and instructions are adhered to. On rare occasions, all access to Whakarewarewa Forest may be closed for safety and asset protection reasons. Please respect the forest closure decision an stay out until the forest is reopened. Please refer to the "Timberlands Notice Board" on this page for up to date information on commercial forest activities.
  • For any other activity or access by motorised vehicle an access permit and key is required. Refer to Business/Contractor Access Permits.
  • Refer to The Redwoods for all recreational track management and events.

Unauthorised Activities

  • It has been brought to the attention of TIMBERLANDS Limited (TL) that several unauthorised mountain bike tracks have recently been constructed in Whakarewarewa Forest. The construction of tracks or any other land or vegetation-disturbing activity within Whakarewarewa Forest requires the approval of both the forest manager (TL) and land owner (Central North Island Iwi Holdings Limited).  Presently this can only be obtained through a formal application submitted by the Rotorua Trails Trust. Anyone found undertaking these activities without authority will be trespassed and may face prosecution for willful damage.  Continued unauthorised track construction may jeopardise future track authorisations and ultimately the future of mountain biking in the forest. Please refrain from this activity.

General Information

  • Timberlands Limited is working to minimise the inconvenience for public use of the Whakarewarewa Forest during harvest operations and wishes to thank the public for their patience and cooperation.
  • All harvested areas will be replanted, if possible, in the next planting season.

Whakarewarea Forest Management Plan

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