Room Rates from $75/night
Tongariro River Motel has eleven self contained units with varying bed configurations as follows:
|Studio – Unit 9||Sleeps 1-3: Queen double + single bed in same room||$75||$90|
|Studio – Unit 10||Sleeps 1-3: Queen double + single bed in same room||$85||$100|
|2 One bedroom – Units 1 & 2||Sleep 1-3: Double Queen and single in bedroom||$95||$105|
|2 One bedroom - Units 7 & 8||Sleep 2-4: Double Queen and single in bedroom, single in living room||$100||$110|
|1 two bedroom – Unit 11||Sleep 2-4: Double Queen in bedroom, 2 singles in rear bedroom||$115
$15 each extra person
|1 two bedroom – Unit 3
||Sleeps 2-5: Double and single in main bedroom, 2 singles in rear bedroom||$120
$15 each extra person
|1 two bedroom – Unit 6
||Sleeps 2-5: Double Queen in bedroom, 2 singles in rear bedroom, single in living room||$120
$15 each extra person
|1 two bedroom – Unit 4
||Sleeps 2-6: Double Queen in front bedroom, 3 singles in rear bedroom, single bed in back of living room||$120
$15 each extra person
|1 two bedroom – Unit 5
||Sleeps up to 7: Double Queen in front, three singles in rear bedroom, fold down double couch in back of living area||$120
$15 each extra person
Basic rates above for one night stays,
for 2 nights LESS 10%,
for 3 nights LESS 20%.
Seniors: LESS 10%.
(All units self contained and fully equipped with linen and towels, etc. with full sized ovens, microwaves, fridges, sky TV, broadband, free laundry washing machine and drier, etc.
Additional fittings in larger two bedroom family units include second sky TV in bedroom, DVD Player, full size Fridge/freezers, special anglers’ features include rod racks, commercial smoker, maps, books, heaps of info (and even bikes, etc.)
(Copied from Daily Report for 9 May 2012)
Thanks also for the encouraging response from the subtle advertorial Daily Report on Tuesday (before the Major). TRM received the best sort of response we could have hoped for. SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed – image on right in working uniform – is manager at TRM) hates it when all these trout are sneaking up the river without any TRM fishos there to ambush them. One immediate email was for seven fishos booking for five week-nights. Wonderful – thank you. But TRM still need to expand on the issues a little more to answer some of the other emails received. We advised them all we would cover the individual questions in more detail in TRM’s Daily Report – below.
The usual question – ditto with all other local accommodation suppliers and tackle shops and fishing guides – which we have to try to explain or bluff our way around regularly is: “When is the best time to fish the Tongariro?” Coupled with this of course, in disguise, is “Where is the best (aka cheapest?) place to stay?” OK?
(This is a biggie so make a cup of tea and get comfortable first….)
We have already covered the first question about “When?”. As many of these questions come from West Islanders across the ditch, their caution is understandable.
There are still some unbelievers who doubt our claims (or the claims of others about the Tongariro in particular) until they have tested them.
Many regulars have confirmed that on reflection their package ends up cheaper and far better value than our main competition (You thought I was going to say Rotorua or the South Island didn’t you…) – Tasmania.
We reiterate – the best time for Aussies to fish the Tongariro is whenever you can get cheap Air NZ flights (or whenever the All Blacks play the Wallabies). Then you can redirect the savings into a longer stay.
We are being deadly serious here – after all we are talking about fly fishing.
To add to that, hire the cheapest Jap import car you can find and add those savings to the accommodation too. You hardly need a car once you get here.
Timing may be important to get in on cheap air fares, cheap cars, (i.e. outside of school holidays) but is not important for fishing as the Tongariro is open all year round. There are always trout in the river. Certain locations are timing sensitive. i.e. Lake Otamangakau closes at the end of May to 1 October, Lake Rotoaira closes end of June to 1 September. (Lake Taupo and Tongariro River never close.) Obviously at peak times it is more difficult wherever you go due to angler pressure. Fly fishing is not supposed to be a team event but some anglers enjoy a competitive environment. Others demand more seclusion and a pool to themselves. The main determinant to control fly fishing is the weather, not the month. Every river has hot periods and dull periods. Nobody can predict when. But we realise you know all that.
Because the longer you stay the better your fishing experience will be. It is all rather obvious really.
It is so frustrating to see so many just start to relax and adapt to our grubby habits (i.e. huge flies, heavy bombs, woolly indicators, feeding Boof, etc.) when it is time to return. They just get to know where the best pools are when their time runs out. More time also allows some flexibility to be a tourist too. (What? You didn’t go to Waitomo Caves? Unbelievable!)
More time allows for more flexibility to combat our erratic weather. Note: wet weather here nearly always improves the fishing. More time allows you to sneak away for a change of style to try over 30 other lakes and rivers within a day’s drive from Turangi. etc. OK?
Now some more info about fishing accommodation options. Turangi has everything on offer to satisfy any fishos’ requirements. Turangi can offer superb B&B’s to superior 5 star lodge to budget back-packers accommodation – i.e. B&B: Tongariro Riverside B&B, 5 Star: The Birches Homestay, Budget: Riverstone Backpackers, etc. Go to TRM LINKS for more. Turangi has eight motels, four back-packers and so many lodges, B&B’s, time shares, holiday homes, etc. that I have lost count. The grand combined total is over 60. With that amount of competition you really will struggle to find a crook one. Then there is the other ancillary stuff which should not be under-rated. We often claim that Turangi is the only village in the world with one supermarket and four tackle shops. I have no idea if that is true but you get the message. In addition there are even back door fishing tackle businesses. Then there are so many fishing guides we have lost count of them too. So how do you choose your accommodation? So simple! Ask yourself: Why are you coming here? To fish? If you answered positive to that key question (?) then go to whoever is going to enhance that experience the most. Fly fishos do not usually travel to Turangi (Trout Fishing Capital of the World) expecting to sleep in a dormitory?. At the other end of the scale, anglers do not come all this way just to dine in 5 star style every night? Horses for courses.
Everyone has different requirements and standards of what they want to enhance their fishing experience. So how can you believe which is the best for your budget. The best reference is obviously personal recommendations from friends. Alternatively peruse all the “guest comments” on the websites from other anglers (i.e. not tourists!). Make sure they are dated. Some guides’ fishing reports are so out of date they are not relevant to a river environment that is always changing. If you are still concerned, request dated references providing guests’ names and addresses. Then contact them to check the references. Why not? In the end it is not the number of (questionable ?) stars rating the motel/lodge/hotel/B&B has, but the overall fishing experience. What freebie extras will they supply i.e. TRM carry spare rods, waders, wading jackets, nets, etc. to provide for unfortunate incidents – which happen regularly. TRM have custom designed bikes set up for anglers, personal ‘water-strider’ rafts for lake fishos, free wifi, free commercial smoker, free laundry, free info, free fishing library, the best up-to-date fishing magazines like NZ Troutfisher, Target Taupo, local maps of other rivers (TRM have even produced their own Tongariro River map identifying 50 pools – the Tongariro Bucket List), extraordinary daily reports, free guide (Boof), etc. If they cannot offer the above ‘extras’ then they are not really targeting anglers’ requirements. Some are more focused on the tourist trade or the conference market. That is fine but anglers need and deserve specialist accommodation. Why? They need to stay longer and keep on coming back. Quite simple really.
Then there are professional fishing guides?. Touchy subject this – perhaps even more than accommodation – and usually costs more. In our experience the investment in a good guide to start your fishing holiday off on a positive note is one of the best decisions you can make. (Convert the savings from cheap air fares and rental cars into guiding fees?) There are plenty of experienced guides locally, (but apply the dictum: “horses for courses”). Again seek recent clients’ references. A recent accommodation request suggested to us that he understood we have to be neutral in recommending guides but could we assist? We quickly corrected his assumption. We cannot afford to be neutral. If we recommend a guide and the guest’s experience is less than ‘fantastic’ then we are at fault. We cannot afford to upset or lose guests because of a guides’ complacency so we are very picky about any such recommendations. It is obvious to readers of these Daily Reports who TRM usually use… Other guides are listed on LINKS heading above.
(PS We know what you are thinking (?) but you are wrong – TRM never look for any kick-backs or commissions from guides.)
Often overlooked in the pre-holiday analysis yet it is impossible to emphasise the importance of this enough. i.e. We just had two regulars return for their first time in 2012. They have fished here for the last six years so knew exactly where they were going. On their first morning they rang the reception bell at 7 am asking where the Braids had gone? The Braids was their reason for fishing the Tongariro. The river beyond the Braids was all knew. The Tongariro is subject to continual changes and accommodation hosts have to know where to be able to advise their guests. So we strongly recommend anglers to make sure their hosts are anglers who keep up to date with everything happening on the river. Soooooo critical to improve your fishing chances and make your holiday more memorable for the right reasons. This brings us on to a more sensitive personal matter. Make absolutely sure your hosts are genuinely knowledgeable and keen to help i.e. not just mechanically going through the motions. Again the guests comments should confirm.
Apart from TRM (of course) website raves are usually expected to be over the top so look beneath and beyond the glossy veneer of PR hype. Compare the quality of the info.
Some websites look really cool but what do they really tell you? Others may look a little dated (I wonder who?) but are stuffed full of relevant up-to-date fishy info.
We suggest you compare the headings above and drag through the info on such fishy stuff like the Tongariro pool reports – then compare to other websites.
Which other accommodation suppliers – claiming to cater for anglers – provide anything remotely similar.
Where else can you get a daily fishing fix? OK?
This has proved a problem sometimes in the past as Turangi is a small village – 3000 population – which cannot support too many restaurants. While the fitout at TRM is designed for long term guests with full size ovens, full sized fridge freezer units, microwaves, etc., anglers still usually need to have a night out. Again it is a matter of taste and budget. We have four local restaurants within easy level walking distance which we can safely recommend – tell them we sent you!
1 – Bridge Lodge – since Kent took it over it has improved considerably, great chef, friendly ambience, and has a good bar as well – open every night within 4 minute easy level walking distance.
2 – RSA – restaurant open Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays only (In Australian it is the RSL). The club is 5 minute walking distance from TRM.
3 – Valentinos – Italian restaurant is in the town centre – 6 minutes walking distance. Note it is closed Tuesdays. A bit more expensive but good Italian style meals.
4 – Hong Kong Restaurant – For those in more of a hurry you cannot go past the local Chinese take-aways.
Others are listed on LINKS.
Congratulations if you have lasted this long. You are obviously keen to discover the best value accommodation for fishing the Tongariro River.
If you are still in doubt, take SWMBO’s recommendation. She is not even biased…
Like comfy old shoes…
(Photos of some of Pip’s hanging baskets)
We often receive emails from prospective guests seeking information on Tongariro River Motel (“TRM”). Usually they have seen the website and even endured some daily reports so are naturally suspicious - it can’t be that good?
Visitors don’t want PR hype or how many stars are claimed. What they hope to capture is the “feeling” of the place. So the following is our version of a description.
What started this is the description given recently by an inmate. He suggested TRM is like a comfortable pair of old leather brogues. We agreed of course. We might have preferred waders or warm slippers (or the warmth from a thirty year old malt?) but the customer is always right at TRM.
So how to describe TRM?. It is not the sleek new Lexus but TRM is more like a trusty old reliable Rover. It is not the fanciest in the Taupo region. It is not a flash shiny new plastic motel. Whilst the shine might have faded guests tell us the all important “feeling” has never been more “comfy” and welcoming.
TRM caters for those preferring the clean, comfortable, spacious, relaxed, cosy, affordable, mature model.
There are advantages for guests in this. i.e. All units have full size ovens – you don’t find them in the new places. Why? Because our inmates cook for themselves as a rule. Why? Because they stay much longer. Why? Because the family units have big fridges and freezers and microwaves like a real spacious holiday home. We hope you understand…
Unlike the shiny new models TRM can afford to offer heaps of free perks. Like a free guest laundry – washer and drier and soap powder. That is free, gratis, and costs nothing at all as well. Free parking. Free library. Free wi-fi. For anglers – there is a free fish smoker – a flash commercial model in 1960 – limited to only 20 trout at a time. Free fish cleaning facility. Free freezers – also limited to only 20 trout. Free fishing magazines and books – by far the most comprehensive in any other motel. Free irons. Free hair dryers. Free advice. Free maps. Etc. You get the picture…
TRM’s guests fall into two main categories. Guests stay so long and return so often they are usually referred to as inmates.
TRM targets fly fishos – that’s them what don’t cast bait. Most of them are like the motel too – mature, relaxed, salt of the earth blokes and blokesses.
Secondly they comprise all those others using the Tongariro River and Tongariro National Park – a world heritage area – for any other recreation. Trampers, walkers, bikers, outdoor folk love it. Perhaps their choice of recreation pursuit says it all – people who value and enjoy the natural heritage are always good reliable people.
Still, fly fishos are a canny lot. One thing for sure is that they demand good value for money. So first TRM has to be very affordable to survive. Turangi has 8 motels, the Taupo region has 75 motels. TRM survives proudly as the oldest by many years. But being older means it has stood the true test of time too. Like TRM’s Manager, SWMBO (“She Who Must Be Obeyed”), it has a certain comfortable maturity about it.
The first thing that usually strikes visitors on arrival are the many pot plants and flowers. SWMBO is the gardener. The other old bloke, Ross – the scribe, is supposed to assist in the laundry but is usually missing – Gone Fishin’.
We cannot forget the only other permanent staff – Boof. TRM’s famous tourist guide dog. Boof is usually seen leading inmates around the Tongariro River. He is so popular you need to book him for walkies. He got more Christmas cards and presents last year than Ross.
TRM is the place most people stayed in the last fifty years when they came to Turangi to catch their first trout. TRM even faces backwards because 45 years ago Taupahi Road – at the back – was the main road. So the little office is still on Taupahi Road too. This position is closer to the Tongariro River too, so it has not been shifted (yet?).
TRM is simply the best place to stay in if you appreciate genuine old fashioned service and hospitality and values where guests are still treated individually with respect, as confirmed by the guest comments!
Finally that brings us to the two rules you need to be aware of at TRM.
First is the compulsory recreational walk along the river.
Second you need to know that at TRM, fly fishing is not about catching fish. It is more of a spiritual experience…(That’s how Stuart Nicol described it!) So to summarise, TRM is the furthest thing from a five star Qualmark endorsed lodge hotel accommodation that you will ever have the joy to stay in.
Services: All linen is supplied. Towels etc. are changed on a daily basis. Guests are expected to leave units much as they find it with dishes cleaned and dried. If you require full servicing, this must be booked with SWMBO.
Special Services: Boof, the motel’s friendly Boxer, loves to take you for walkies whenever you like.
Office Hours: Office open from 8 am to 7 pm. Usual booking out time is 10′ish. Please advise Pip if you require a late check out. Office has library books and magazines for guests, local maps and touring information, etc.
Phones: Wireless broadband internet access is available to all units.
Thank you for choosing Tongariro River Motel.
(Please link to “Guest Comments“ to see what other anglers and tourists think of Tongariro River Motel.)
Advertorial – (Taken from Daily Report – Wednesday 13 February 2008)
Today the elderly TRM Manager went off shopping to Taupo – nurseries again – and even returned the same day! Hence I didn’t get out on the river. So you will have to endure a “Commercial” instead – prepared yesterday. For the last three years we have been slowly refurbishing all units and are now nearing completion.
TRM recently had an enquiry from some prospective guests – why don’t we feature any photos of the individual units on our web site? Pip’s pitiable excuse was that all our fishy guests want to know is “warm comfortable accommodation with a clean pillow and latest info on which pools are performing”. So the following are some indicative photos and descriptions which will be stored on the Link “Tariff” so they can be referred to at any time. The difficulty today is that all units are occupied – again – so I had to pop in between guests. That can also be interpreted as confirmation that “the fishing is pretty good”. Naturally the moment I decided to take photos it turned gloomy and rained. If I knew what I was doing I would have put the interior lights on.
UNIT 10 So here are some photos of our low cost budget studio – Unit 10 – under the car port. I hope they all get better from here. You may imagine the exteriors look rather plain and functional but this is a disguise so we can keep room rates very competitive.
We prefer (in motel PR speak) “clean, warm, comfortable and well equipped”. The diagonal interior sarking looks very colonial 1970’s retro style but Pip’s age group just love it. Pip tries to jazz up their external appearance with her pot plants and flowers as first impressions are still important – even for Fishos.
We find these studios are mainly occupied by tourists for overnight stops and are not really suitable or used for longer stays by anglers, unless there is nothing else available. But even then they have a fully equipped kitchen with full size oven, microwave and beer fridge. The small bathroom has a shower box. Most importantly they have wall mounted electric thermostat controlled fan heating plus a portable electric oil heater – which is quieter. For warmer summer temperatures you have an electric fan, or open the ranch sliders!. I hope you noticed the new wall to wall carpets too. The double queen size bed and single bed share the same room as the Sky TV and small dining table and two seater couch. They have a warm northerly aspect with concrete terrace and have a large carport over the entry into the kitchen.
Room rates – these usually let for (as at 2012) $105/night for couples, $15 for an extra person, $95 for two nights, $85 for three nights. But anglers will be delighted to know they are usually upgraded anyway at the same room rates as they need more time and space for tying flies and telling lies.
You will be relieved to know the four x one bedroom and five x two bedroom units are all occupied by fishos at the moment – all here to get into the early brown runs and boating at Lake O. – we will get back to those later…
UNIT 3 Next, the only vacant unit available for photos – Unit 3 – is a basic larger two bedroom unit with a double and single bed in the main bedroom plus two single beds in the second bedroom. This is much more spacious and suitable for longer term tenancies. When bookings allow, we often upgrade guests from studios to the one or two bedroom units. The living area has two couches and larger dining table for four or five, and Sky TV.
If bookings permit we often have only two anglers in a two bedroom unit so they have their own sleeping space as some have been known to zzzzzzzzz… Then the cost is reduced to the same as a one bedroom unit at $105/night for one night or $95/night for longer stays.(It is now the next day so I have popped into Unit 8 before new guests move in. Yes, we are booked out again. So please note that today, 13 February, we have had to reluctantly move two parties who arrived expecting a one bedroom unit – again – Hwang, a regular Tongariro angler from Korea and David, regular fishos from Australia. Both arrived assuming we would have vacancies. So the message is that you must book ahead. Even when we phoned around on their behalf it was difficulty finding them similar accommodation for two nights. Since preparing the above TRM have been booked out for eleven consecutive nights so you need to book ahead)
UNIT 8 is at the western end where it enjoys good late afternoon sun. Anglers will note the Didymo bottles hanging outside each unit. If you want one feel free. As seen it has a wide carport and is popular with boaties as they can park their boat next to the unit. The ranchslider entry opens directly into the open living space with fully equipped kitchen having a full size oven, microwave and fridge (see image). The living space has Sky TV with a large couch plus a day bed. The bedroom has a double queen size bed and a single bed. That is a lot of bed space to provide for various configurations. Unit 7 is identical. Ditto – similar electric wall fan heaters plus portable oil storage heaters and fans for summer.
The larger one bedroom unit room rate is $120/night for two persons, $15 for each extra person, LESS 10% for 2 nights, LESS 20% for 3 nights. That should be enough to give you an impression of what to expect in the meantime. The best units are still to come. We will save those for a sunny day.