Revel in bird's eye view of Redwood Forest (+video)


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More than 10,000 people have enjoyed Rotorua's Redwood Forest with one of the region's newest tourism attractions: the Redwoods Treewalk.

The attraction officially opened on December 23.

Redwoods Treewalk general manager Alex Schmid said after a slow start the business had taken off. Eight people were employed to manage the site.

"We've had a few school groups come though at a special rate. We've even had a wedding party come through for photos after getting married under the sails in the forest," Mr Schmid said.

He's also had his first corporate event saying "there's a lot of scope for all sorts of activities, even things like wine tasting events on the larger platforms".

"We have about 60 per cent local and domestic visitors and around 40 per cent international, with a good mix of nationalities," Mr Schmid said.

His next target would be larger tour operators: "It's been a great start, more then we expected, so we are very keen to get to the next stage."

Plans are in the pipeline to develop a guided treetop canopy walk more than 25m high, and if both walks were successful, to build tree canopy sleeping pods where people could stay overnight.

Mr Schmid said he was also thinking of other activities, "so watch this space".

The Redwoods Treewalk takes people up to 12m off the ground as they amble through the forest. The 553m walk takes in 21 suspension bridges and 12 decks. Not one nail, screw or bolt has been used to attach the bridges and platforms to the trees.

Tomorrow, the attraction will offer a special rate for locals with identification, which knocks $10 off the standard price for an adult ticket of $25. Kids under 5 years old are not charged.

"We promised to offer locals a reduced rate when we started out, so here it is. We've already had great support from the Rotorua community and we'd like to see more of them up here."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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