Whirinaki Forest

Ngati Whare shares Whirinaki, one
of the world's most precious rainforests
at Te Whaiti, Te Urew
era, Aotearoa, NZ



Find more treasure

Find us







Getting here

Short walks




Keep safe




Te Urewera

Videoclip Index

Our welcome

- Canyon walk

- Maungamate waterfall

- Mountain biking

*Te Urewera park

- Our leadership model

Marae visits

Guided walks

Historical tour

Summer program

Arts & crafts

Te Reo



Hunting trips

Fishing trips





School camps



Free Calendar

Birds eye view

Whirinaki forest

Kaitiakitanga Program

Ngati Whare Iwi

Our Businesses

Our school

Tipu Ake leadership

Historical Te Whaiti

Minginui our village

Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi

Our Tuhoe cousins

Ngati Manawa links


Whirinaki: Te Pua a Tane, an experience for all to treasure

Our patron David Bellamy's Our World video from 1984 - Whirinaki Forest; The World's Best Kept Secret

Caring for all in the Whirinaki - a visual example of integrated catchment leadership- Kaitiakitanga in Action

Read our learnings about the global cooling role of rainforests in regulating the world's climate

Here you will rediscover the miracle of life, the tranquility of being embraced by tall mountains, the crystal clear Whirinaki river, waterfalls, forest, bush tracks, bird life, nature, people and relationships in balance.

We the Ngati Whare Iwi, are kaitiaki (guardians) of the Whirinaki and all its treasure, welcome you. Our ancestors have lived in this rich valley for around one thousand years. The forest and its resources have always been both our food source and our medicine cupboard.

We have much richness to share. Kaitiakitanga is a sustainability program that our school is running in partnership with our community, the Department of Conservation and many others. We are determined to ensure that our forest, our river, our language, our culture and all our wisdom is protected and passed on to future generations in a better state than we received it.

The Be our Guest tab at the top of each page shows what our community offers to make your experience in Whirinaki an unforgettable one. If you cannot visit us in our home in Te Whaiti / Minginui (just one hours drive from Rotorua), we invite you to accompany us on a videoclip tour via the web.

The Whirinaki Forest is described as a 'dinosaur forest, due to its many tall trees which began life hundreds of years ago. It contains species unique to NZ that developed over millions of years.

Whirinaki was one of New Zealand's most famous conservation battlegrounds. We realize now that for a period our economic survival instincts caused us to lose touch with our traditional values. We thank those dedicated "Greenies" who fought so hard to protect the remaining forest from milling by the Government Forestry programmes at the time. A painful lesson for all is being healed by knowing that together we can safeguard this treasure for the future.

We have a new battle on to save the forest - against the pests like possums, rats, stoats, cats, weeds, people and activities that destroy the natural balance of the forest. We invite you to join the army of conservation and other volunteers who support us in ensuring the sustainability of the precious ecosystem we enjoy. See what we are doing with the Whirinaki Environmental Protection Zone (WEMZ) project

To all the trampers, walkers, nature lovers, mountainbike riders, hunters, fishermen, photographers, artists, (including less mobile visitors and elderly), we promise that after time with us in Whirinaki you will return a different person.

We are on the Te Urewera Rainforest Route - see website for a collection of local tourism operators and activities that can connect you to the rich spirit of our region, Download the manual with all information

DANGER DIDYMO Help us keep Whirinaki clear of this dangerous invader and all other pests Clean all your water gear, bikes vehicles and boots and clothes before you enter Whirinaki - information here




Learn what Kaitiakitanga means to us


Guided Tours - Local guides will share their treasure with you
Mountainbiking - ride the spectacular Whirinaki MTB track
Tramping in Whirinaki. - Experience our place
Camping at Mangamate Waterfall - upgraded for your next hols
Disabled or impaired - Local support and guides are available
Accommodation - to make your Whirinaki experience

WEMZ Project - The Whirinaki Ecological Management Zone
Our Right Royal Kiwi, Princess Beatrice adopted by Prince Andrew
Other species recovery projects - Kiwi, Weka and Kaka

Powhiri - our formal welcome to visitors (see marae visits)
What we and our school are up to download videoclips

David Bellamy "Moa's Ark Revisited" Whirinaki 25 report, Sept 09 Dialoque in our rainforest with Hunter Lovins - US environmentalist

Information - menus at the top of every page access our local services


Download our free Matariki Calendar


Whirinaki weather / webcam on line
c) 2001 onwards Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi. All intellectual property protected under the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Adopted by General Assembly 13 Sept 2007) - details www.tewhaiti-nui-a-toi.maori.nz


This site is under constant development thanks to assistance from teams at AUT.  An * in a menu is used to show a function that is not yet available. We are working to establish a multimedia organisation in our community to carry out ongoing development. (Our students at Te Kura Toitu o Te Whaiti Nui-a-Toi were awarded third place in the 2003 NZ school web challenge).  Feedback please to temporary webmaster.

Get help Park info Be our guest eVisit us eResources Weather