Redwoods Forest

Coming from Australia I had only dreamed of standing in a forest of Californian Coastal Redwoods. These tall magnificent trees have fascinated me for decades. The first one I saw was as a child on television—I couldn’t believe my eyes. A tree so big you could drive through it. As an adult I know it as The Chandelier Drive Through Tree in Leggett, California. It is 2400 years old, 315 feet (96.1 metres) tall and has a diametre of 21 feet (6.4 metres).

On arrival in Rotorua, New Zealand imagine my surprise to discover there was a  forest that included Californian Coastal Redwoods. My dream had come true. This forest had a different energy to any other I had ever walked in. My husband agreed. It was inspirational. The forest gave me the feeling I could do anything while I was with them. The largest trees stand 67 metres (219 feet) tall and are 169 centimetres (66.5 inches) wide. They are the tallest trees that I had seen. They are part of The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest—a 55,000 hectare forest originally planted from 1899 to discover which of 170 species of trees from around the world would grow in the area.

Redwood Forest

Redwood Forest

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Today, The Redwood Whakarewarewa Forest has an international reputation for its walks and trails. Entry is free and it is used by mountain bikes, walkers, hikers and horse riders. A growing concern, the forest regularly opens new trails. Unfortunately our time in the Redwoods forest was short due to the impending park closing time. For me, the experience exceeded my dream and I look forward to spending more time with these magnificent trees during my future travels.

Sculptures at Forest Entrance

Sculptures at Forest Entrance

What are your favourite trees? How did you feel if you were fortunate enough to stand in a forest of them?


Thrill A Minute

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Have you ever been white water rafting? My husband and I went on the Tongariro River, New Zealand, to celebrate my 50th birthday.  It was amazing. We were feeling brave, so we tackled the No.3 rapids—higher up the river.

I loved:

  • The exhilaration
  • Unpredictability
  • The rivers natural beauty
  • Silence—except our screams of course
  • Unknown challenge—would we fall out as we rode the waves
  • The twists and turns

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Our guide told us the river is different everyday. He can never take the rapids for granted. They change constantly and if he isn’t focusing on the rapids, everyone’s life could be in danger—heads and rocks don’t mix well.

The mighty Tonangiro River

The mighty Tongariro River

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All eight passengers on our boat were from different countries, so during our quiet times on the river, we were able to learn more about the world.

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If ever you get the chance to go white water rafting—take the risk. It will change how you think about life. You have absolutely no control over what happens and it is the best. Handing over trust to the boat’s guide allows you to enjoy the ride and take notice of your surroundings.

Lower Tonangiro River

Lower Tongariro River

Thanks for the experience!