Redwoods has ranked number 2 in Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s best forest canopy walkways, which includes experiences such as monkeys and toucans on Costa Rica’s Monteverde Sky Walk, or a suspended trampoline in Nebraska’s Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure. It’s stiff competition out there, but aside from epic heights and views, the Redwoods Nightlights experience has a few tricks of its own that would have catapulted it onto this incredible list amongst the world’s best: read on below.
1. Daytime and night-time
The Redwoods Treewalks allow for two completely different experiences – daytime for nature vs night-time for magic. On the Daytime Treewalk you can gaze around, below and above at the magnificent tree trunks of the tallest species of tree in the world (Sequioa sempervirens), with a bird’s eye view of the native New Zealand forest below. In full daylight you can also appreciate just how high 20 metres above the forest floor feels. Redwoods Altitude takes this nature-viewing next level: it is the most adrenaline-pumping experience of the lot, with bridges as high as 25 metres above the ground – harness and carabiners provided! The daytime experiences are great even in the rain, because it brings the forest colours to life. And finally, the Redwoods Nightlights brings the magic of light-play in a dark and mysterious forest.
2. The bridges are kind to the trees
The 700m of walkway has been designed and built to safeguard the trees and plants that it winds its way through – a special sling is used, suspended from the Redwoods trees.
3. Designer lanterns
We’re very lucky to have collaborated with celebrated New Zealand designer David Trubridge, who is world-famous for his statement lampshades of thin plywood that are beautiful in their own right, but also transform rooms when illuminated. On the tree walk, the 30 sustainably-made lanterns hang beautifully above. During the daytime walk, you can appreciate their intricate designs and massive size. During the night they illuminate and cast incredible light patterns down onto the forest floor.
4. Biodiversity holograms and glowing ferns at night
The darkness of the Nightlights experience and the sheer width of the biggest redwood tree trunks lend themselves perfectly to becoming projector screens to showcase native biodiversity! At one point on the trail, holograms of native species such as whales or ruru (morepork) gaze intensely and eerily out at the adventurers from high on the tree trunks.
Looking from the platforms and suspension bridges down to the forest floor, the native ferns and trees in certain areas are lit with orange, pink and blue lights, transforming the place into an otherworldly scene. Other areas have ferns and trees dotted with thousands of tiny green moving laser lights, appearing as if they’re crawling with busy glowing insect life.
5. Entertainment in the queue
Sometimes, it’s the little things. Redwoods Nightlights can get busy, and waiting in a queue at a late hour with small children can be a challenge even scarier than a fear of heights. In the busy season, Nightlights has a movie playing on a projector screen fixed to a nearby tree, and a popcorn cart with free popcorn to keep little bellies happy until they can enter the Treewalk.
The Redwood Treewalks are certainly unique among tree walks – we’re honoured to be mentioned near the top of the list of tree walks worldwide, and hope to see you here on your next trip to Rotorua.