Waitomo is a place that receives all kinds of visitors. Because of this, the area features an array of affordable accommodation options for budget-conscious travellers ranging from campsites and backpacker hostels, as well as from campgrounds to self-catering motels and cabin units. If you’re wanting to save money during your stay, here are some of the best options at your disposal.
Affordable, scenic and convenient – it’s fair to say Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park has got all the right bases covered. The holiday park is right next door to Waitomo’s popular Huhu cafe, and the famous glowworm caves are also within a short walking distance. Accommodation options range from scenic non-powered campgrounds to powered campervan sites, self-contained four- or six-berth motel cabins, deluxe cabins and ensuite units. A children’s playground, BBQ area, communal kitchen and shared lounge are some additional bonuses.
Making its mark in the budget accommodation business since 2002, Kiwi Paka Waitomo is a backpacker hostel that sits right in the midst of all the local action. Along with having a licensed pizzeria and cafe on-site, the accommodation is only a few minutes’ walk from Waitomo’s iconic Curly’s Bar; the glowworm caves are also within a couple of minutes’ walking distance. Guests ready to tuck in for the night will have a choice of a one-bed lodge, two- and four-bed chalets, as well as shared dorms and seven-bed bunk suites.
Set on a working farm right outside of Waitomo Village, Juno Hall is the ideal choice for thrifty travellers eager to experience rural New Zealand life for themselves – you can even feed the resident farm animals if you want to. The 40-bed hostel, which is currently operated by YHA New Zealand and is part of the local BBH Network, boasts a wide-ranging selection of dorms, double and triple rooms, as well as double, triple and quad ensuites; plus a selection of tent and powered campervan sites for those keen to spend some time outdoors.
Located just north of Otorohanga, the closest town to the Waitomo Caves outside of Waitomo Village, this motel is not just convenient for visiting our favourite glowworms – it also offers a good base for those wanting to explore various attractions in the wider Waikato region. Rooms at the Otorohanga and Waitomo Motels are completely self-contained and equipped with their own kitchens, bathrooms and entertainment facilities like a flat screen TV and DVD player. The motel is also quite child-friendly: cots and highchairs are available upon request and there’s a children’s play area and swimming pool on-site as well.
Waitomo Lodge Motel is located in Te Kuiti, a town within a 15-minute drive from the Waitomo Caves and approximately an hour’s drive from the city of Hamilton. The accommodation features 14 studio and six one-bedroom units, each equipped with Super King size beds, TVs and WiFi access. Cooked breakfasts are available at an extra charge; the popular Bosco Cafe is also located across the street and is open from 8 a.m. daily.
The Glow Worm Motel is a small accommodation provider situated within a six-minute drive from the Waitomo Caves. It comprises nine self-contained units that are serviced daily; this includes two family units, a three-bedroom cottage, four double-bed studio units and two queen-bed studio units. Other notable amenities include a large swimming pool, a children’s play area with swings, and a BBQ area – all of which make the most of the area’s lovely garden grounds.
Caves Motor Inn sits right in between the towns of Otorohanga and Te Kuiti on State Highway 3, within an easy 10-minute drive from the Waitomo Caves. The motel features a wide range of accommodation options to suit all travel group sizes and budgets. This includes a selection affordable units, studio rooms and self-catering family rooms – the latter are self-catering and can sleep up to five people. There’s also a licensed restaurant and bar on the premises that is open for breakfast and dinner.
This one is for the adventurers wanting to try something quirky and unique. Woodlyn Park takes a creative approach to its affordable accommodation options: guests are invited to choose between staying in one of two Hobbit hotel units, one of the five suites inside its Waitanic Ship, the Waitanic Express train cabin or one of the two units inside its Bristol Freighter airplane. All units have been built with recycled materials and come with their own kitchens, private ensuite bathrooms, non-smoking rooms and housekeeping services.