IMG_0205Why is Tongariro River Motel the best place to stay?

Thank you to recent guests who responded:

2016 reviews:

Latest Email received 3 April:  Hi Ross

Tongariro RainbowYou may recall my wife Nicky and I stayed 3 nights at your motel in February and you kindly loaned me all the gear for fishing the river. We had a great time and I just wanted to thank you and Pip for making us so welcome and of course for lending me the tackle. The river was in flood and unfishable after heavy rain when we arrived but after a couple of days it was OK to fish with a slow sinker. You had introduced me to JP who kindly took me to the Judges Pool where I managed to catch a couple of decent rainbows and a nice brown. I was over the moon and cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to fish this iconic river. Unfortunately conditions weren’t suitable for fishing the dry cicada you gave me, but I have it displayed at my tying desk!……

We had a great time in your wonderful country and made the long journey back to the UK with many happy memories.

It’s pretty chilly over here at the moment but I caught a couple of rainbows on my local lake yesterday before hypothermia set in!

I’d love to re-visit NZ and rest assured if we do, I’ll be giving you a call.

All the best,

Colin Stroud
York, UK

very informative owners.. – guests from UK

Plates14Yes the Motel is dated, and close to the road but arent most motels? Spacious & handy for shops and walking distance to many eateries. But the star is the lady proprietor (Go SWMBO) who spent an hour, would have spent longer, helping us plan our walks for that afternoon & following day.

Dated but comfortable and great for self-catering holiday

Guest from Australia

Spent two nights at the motel and it was very comfortable. The decor is dated, but very clean and functional. We had a suite, so a kitchen/lounge/dining room with separate bathroom and bedroom. The kitchen provided electric stove/oven, microwave, fridge and cook utensils, pots and pans. For a self-catering holiday it was perfect. The rooms were also quite large, only two of us but the room slept three and could accommodate a family.

The hosts were very helpful. We were walking the Alpine Crossing and they provided helpful tips that made it a better walk for us. They also provided free bikes to ride around town which was nice. The hosts showed us photos of the walk from magazines and then provided some info on other places to visit, and let us see photos from their own trips around the region.

The motel is far enough from the highway that we didn’t hear road noise. The motel is short walk from the town centre including supermarket and pharmacy.

I mentioned the room is dated, it’s not an issue but it’s not a modern facility, but well maintained.

Room Tip: Take the dog for walk 🙂

27 December 2015

IMG_1670Hi Ross,

Greetings from California  Jeanette and I hope that you and Pip are doing well and had a nice Christmas. We sure had an unforgettable time touring New Zealand in  November! We got back home in time for some real winter weather. In fact, we got a light snowfall on Christmas Eve!  I haven’t been fishing since I got back, but hope to get out soon.

I told you I’d send you a copy of the next newsletter from our club so here it is (attached). Our club is very active and there are many places to fish in our area. If you ever get to California, I’d be glad to take you fishing for a day or two.

Pinched from “Gold Country Fly Fishers” Club Newsletter, California:

Have you ever heard of New Zealand hospitality?…Well, Jeanette and I experienced it first hand while we were on a driving trip there in November. I was having a problem driving by great fishing rivers and lakes without having the time to wet a line (I had decided not to carry my fly fishing gear on the trip because we would be very limited in time to fish). Then we happened to stay at the Tongariro River Motel in Turangi, on the North Island. The proprietors, Ross and Pip Baker went out of their way to not only educate me on the fly-fishing opportunities in their area, but they made sure I had all the gear necessary to sample a day on the river. And what a day it was! I had always heard that New Zealand has big Rainbows that require stealth and skill (and a good guide) to be successful at all. NOT! I’ve never seen so many good-sized fish in a place that has easy access and hardly any other anglers. I practically had the Tongariro River to myself and had a great time! If I were going back to New Zealand for a fly-fishing trip, I would make a bee-line to Ross and Pip’s place and spend a month! David Bear, Ed.

IMG_1335SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages everything at TRM) presenting a TRM lucky hat to David & Jeanette Bear from Nevada City.

David is a fly fishing fanatic – according to his card.  He is a keen member of the Gold Country Fly Fishers in Northern California.

The tenuous connection is that he fishes in Grass Valley where the local river is the Yuba RIver.  The Yuba is a tributary of the Feather River which then flows into the Sacramento River which ends up in San Francisco Harbour where Taupo’s Rainbow trout originated from…

So he immediately felt at home on the Tongariro and as he managed to land a Rainbow on his first visit he qualified for his lucky TRM hat.

David left a lasting impression in a ‘thank-you’ card:  “Your generosity and advice has turned my visit to the Taupo – Turangi area into an experience I will never forget.  I was faced with the prospect of sight-seeing only and now I can say that I fished the great Tongariro river.  Thank you so much!  Look out for a copy of the ‘Gold Country Flyfishers” newsletter next month.”  

And Jeanette wrote:  “Thank you for your warm hospitality.  I was able to rest, knit, and re-coup before continuing on our wonderful adventure in your most beautiful country.”

IMG_1347What wonderful tourists.

15 November

We stopped at the Tongariro Motor Hotel for two nights to rest up before continuing our 30 day motor tour of New Zealand and we got a dose of outstanding New Zealand hospitality. Hosts Pip and Ross could not have been more helpful and welcoming. The room was very roomy and comfortable, and we felt right at home the minute we arrived. Ross is very knowledgeable about fly fishing and provided the information I needed to turn a non-fly-fishing trip into a memorable fish-catching experience.

Like many other tourists, they were fascinated with TRM’s pumice fence constructed of ‘floating rocks’.  A few days ago I took another overseas guest up river to show him all the trout.  Instead he asked why there were so many potatoes floating down the river…

IMG_1949-1-1024x768“Another fab visit to TRM”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 15 November 2015

Ross & Pip are so welcoming and accommodating. Bikes for riding are free. If you sweet talk Ross, you can squeeze fishing tips out of him. Pumpkin is always happy for extra walkies. It’s s fab, relaxing place to stay when on the Central Plateau.

  • Stayed October 2015, travelled solo

“Birthday trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 September 2015

1st experience as our whole family and it was really great..thank you..for the comfort and our warm welcome we received even though it was the middle of winter. I have recommended Tongariro River Motel to family and friends.

IMG_1516(TRM’s Spring flower photos – 17 October)

“Friendly hosts, clean and tidy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 August 2015
The hosts are great at this motel, really helpful and went out of their way to make our stay easy and fun. Place is clean, close to the river and walks. We were able to leave our bags there when we went skiing even though we had checked out, nice service.

4 of 5 stars Reviewed 29 July 2015

IMG_1514A good fishing motel with friendly staff who are very helpful in fishing matters and local knowledge,it is ideally located for the Tongariro river within walking distance of some good pools.local town is nearby and has good amenities situated there.


“Shocking fishing”

Reviewed 29 July    5/5 stars *****

I couldn’t catch a fish for love or money, but it didn’t matter as the owners more than made up for my shocking angling skills.  The rooms are so comfortable you could be in your own home.  TRM ticks all the boxes.

I’ve been staying here for many years and keep coming back. Sure, the units are old and have seen better days, but at a place like Turangi you don’t come for luxury.

IMG_6063 (1)This motel caters for anglers who come to fish for rainbow and brown trout in the Tongaririo River, but they still get overnighters and others who come to enjoy the tourist attractions in the general area. The furnishings are plain and simple, but everything is kept spotlessly clean. The beds are comfortable plus there are kitchens with full sized stoves, refrigerators, plus satellite TV, free wifi, bicycles for hire (free to guests),and heaters and/or fans depending on the season. For anglers there are rod hooks, hooks for waders, a fish cleaning area, and even a large smoker to smoke your catch.

For non-anglers there are bike trails, river walks, national park walks, thermal pools in nearby Tokaanu, raft trips, snow skiing 30 minutes drive away.

Whilst the motel is retro chic, the service is anything but retro. Ross and Pip go out of there way to ensure guests comfort and to help them with any activities. My overall rating is 4 stars but this is 5 star accommodation for service, comfort and friendliness.

Room Tip: You can book directly with them by telephone and email
Stayed June for 13 days.
Reviewed 1 week ago

I had an entertaining enjoyable stay .ross & pip are very helpful & friendly .as a rep who spends a lot of time on the road it’s nice to check in to a well appointed warm room at the end of the day. Round the table with fishos and others is always entertaining if you get the chance to join in

  • Stayed May 2015, travelled on business
Reviewed 1 week ago


Plates12I have stayed at the TRM around 4 times over the last year and a bit. My visits were for one very important reason, being close to trout fishing in one of the world’s best trout fisheries.
The TRM’s units hark back a good few years but they are very comfortable and well kept, with everything you need for your stay.
On top of the close proximity to the fishing, Ross the host has an enormous pool of knowledge about the fishery which is invaluable to us anglers.


The owners of Tongariro River Motel, Ross and Pip, are sensational hosts. Welcoming, helpful, knowledgeable and incredibly friendly. Ross knows the Tongariro and surrounding waters like the back of his hand … offers great advice and tips and is always extremely interested in “fishy” stories. The motel units are homely and very comfortable making for an enjoyable stay. Highly recommended.

Stayed May 2015, travelled solo

TRM Aerial image“Clean, friendly and close to the river”We enjoyed our stay despite the weather. The motel was a bit dated but neat and clean and just as described on the website.  Ross was very welcoming and helpful throughout our stay.  Close to the Tongariro for fishing and walking.

Would definitely recommend.
Reviewed 21 April
Stayed April 2015, travelled with family“Our stay was a last minute decision and we were glad to find TRM.”
Friendly, helpful and enjoyable. My husband and I enjoyed our stay in the unit. It was clean and comfortable and more room than we needed but it was really lovely.TRM was close to the Turangi township and even though the main road was close our unit was nice and quiet. We would definitely stay here again.
Reviewed 19 April  Stayed April 2015, travelled as a couple
“Delightful stay in a fishing lodge”
5 of 5 stars
IMG_1512We spent 2 nights here and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The gardens at the motel are very pretty. The laundry was available at no charge. The staff are very helpful and friendly. There are delightful walks along the Tongariro River and we saw an angler with a 4 lb trout – neat!
Reviewed 17 April  Stayed March 2015, travelled as a couple
(That is TRM’s gardening team – Pip & Wendy – with TRM’s guard dog, Pumpkin – always available for walkies.  And did you notice the pumice fence behind them.  Quite stunning…)
“Perfect Fishing Base”
5 of 5 stars
We have just returned from three fantastic weeks fishing around Taupo where we used TRM as our base. Ross and Pip and Pumpkin are fantastic hosts and made every effort in ensuring our stay was as comfortable as possible. Ross has a vast amount of knowledge when it comes to advice on fishing the local river, Tongariro. anybody looking to base themselves in this area should look no further.
Dave and Darren
Stayed March 2015,

Following is the description from THE ROUGH GUIDE to New Zealand:

“Homely comfortable motel that is hugely popular with anglers partly for its rod racks and smoker, but mainly because of its “manager”, a lovable boxer named Boof.  The friendly owner runs a lively website on everything to do with Turangi and trout fishing in particular.”

IMG_0246(Note: TRM is their ‘chosen preferred selected’ Turangi accommodation confirmed by the “star” rating)

OK?  Convinced yet?  What else do you need to know?  More incentive?

RaftingNZ have generously again offered TRM a free raft fishing trip to give away to some lucky fishy inmate(s) this 2015-16 summer season.  (Value $800)  The usual rigorous qualifying standards apply – to qualify they have to be seen fishing the Tongariro River wearing a TRM lucky hat.  SWMBO will do the draw in February 2016.

Daily Fishing Reports:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGet your daily fix from Tongariro River Motel’s (“TRM”) Daily Reports:

Always absolutely true, so enlightening, entertaining and occasionally even informative…

Eleven relaxed comfy fully-self-contained units with every facility – full size ovens, microwaves, fridges, covered parking, 50 sky TV channels, full range of fishing guide maps & books & info & facilities include free smoker, bikes, updated Tongariro Alpine Crossing forecasts, even rod racks…

Special room rates for anglers, trampers, bikers, tourists wanting longer term occupancy.

TRM is the original anglers’ motel in Turangi catering primarily for fly fishermen offering the BEST VALUE AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION on the Tongariro River.