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Daily Daydream: Whakarewarewa Forest, New Zealand

Just five minutes by car from the center of Rotorua city lies the Whakarewarewa Forest, world-renowned for its free hiking and mountain biking trails. There’s walking paths for every fitness level, a self-guided nature trail, and panoramic views of Rotorua City and Lake.

Bikers will be in heaven here, as the forest is home to one of New Zealand’s oldest mountain biking trail networks. There’s over 90 kilometers of carefully maintained trails that offer fantastic lake and mountain views. (Mt. Tarawera is a nearby volcano.)

Horse-riding trails are also available, but you’ll have to BYOH (bring your own horse) or arrange for a horse riding tour.

Where is it? Rotorua, New Zealand. The closest major international airport is in Auckland, although Rotorua has a domestic and trans-Tasman airport with daily air service to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown (check prices).


Where to Stay? At the pricey but so worth it Treetops Lodge, set in 2,500 acres of secluded forest and game reserve.

What Else Should I Know? Entrance to the forest and trails is free!

Who’s it for? Hikers, bikers, environmentalists, nature-lovers.

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