If you've been down Long Mile Rd lately you may have noticed new street lamps along the shared path - or maybe not.
The new lamps, part of the Long Mild Rd upgrade, are designed to blend into the natural environment and their colour mimics that of the redwood bark.
The lamps have been installed to improve safety and visibility for people using the shared path and road at night and are a lower height and dimmer than a standard street lamp.
The lamps illuminate the path and the road below them while not taking away from the beauty of the night time forest.
Redwoods Treewalk co-founder Bruce Thomasen said the new lamps were already benefiting people visiting the forest at night.
"The new Long Mile Rd pathway and lighting is fantastic and adds a sense of arrival. Previously visitors and local users of the walking trails, mountain bike tracks, dog park and of course our Treewalk visitors had to navigate a dark forest road from around 5.30pm in winter.
"The lighting poles themselves blend in with the environment and at night beautifully illuminate the pathway, the ferns and the trees extending down Long Mile Rd," he said.
In total, 34 new street lamps will be installed down Long Mile Rd between Tarawera Rd and Nursery Rd.
They will be connected to the Unison network and turn on as daylight fades.
This work is part of the Whakarewarewa Forest development, a collaborative project between Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao, CNI Iwi Holdings and Rotorua Lakes Council.
The council is managing an investment of $14.5 million to enhance the forest amenity and improve the experience for all users. The council allocated $7.5m to the project in its 2018–2028 Long-term Plan with $7m to be contributed by central government from its Provincial Growth Fund to enable the project to be completed over the next three years.
The project includes the Long Mile Rd upgrade, the construction of a new visitor centre at the Redwoods and a new forest hub on Tarawera Rd.