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Kiwipaka Waitomo

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Hostelz.com's Review
Kiwipaka Waitomo is located on the bus route of Kiwi Experience -- we don't have to tell you what this does to the atmosphere. The hostel consists of a few separate buildings -- the reception/restaurant/meeting room building, the dorm building, and several self-contained apartments.

The Location

The location is pretty neat -- it's set back from the main road directly next to some woods and some nice walking paths. It's really easy to find if you're traveling on your own wheels and there is plenty of parking space available. If you're more of a bus-tour person, you can catch the Kiwi Experience at the daily stop here. It is also convenient enough for some of the attractions -- the glowworm caves can be reached on foot as well as some of the tour providers. The further-flung tour operators can arrange transport to and from their facilities at generally no extra cost if you have booked a tour. It's also easy enough to walk into the village if you don't want to rely on the hostel's restaurant. Bear in mind, though, that the village itself doesn't have much to offer but a tiny general store and a handful of generally pricey cafes and restaurants, so bringing your own supplies wouldn't hurt.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The nicest thing about the hostel is its rooms -- they are bunk-free! Each room has four single beds and decent space to spread your stuff. Rooms are clean and well insulated, which is a good thing, as temperatures drop steeply at night. Unfortunately there are no security lockers, but overall security provided through key cards seems to be ok. All rooms have big windows, some allowing nice views of the surrounding nature.

Bathrooms are shared and separated into male and female and cleanliness can be dependent on whom Kiwi Experience has dropped off that day. Apparently bathrooms only get cleaned once a day, which isn't a lot considering the number of people that stay in the hostel.

Common Spaces

The common area reminds us of the youth hostels from school trips -- they are designed to fit in a lot of people and make cleaning easy, which means no frills at all and all stainless steel or polished wood. There is no actual chill-out area with couches -- only the dining area and kitchen, which feels rather like a canteen. The kitchen has big fridges to store food and utensils for cooking. Cutlery and plates, glasses, and cups have to be collected for a deposit at the reception.

The kitchen suffers the same problem as the bathroom -- cleaning once a day, which is not enough! You wouldn't want to be the last person to cook dinner at night there! The dining area is not as bad. There is also a terrace with some outdoor seating right next to the dining area. Internet computers are available inside. In the building with the reception, there is a restaurant and yet more outdoor seating, but the style is the same uninviting sterility.

Summary

It surely is a good place to sleep, thanks to good single beds and quiet surroundings, but doesn't have a nice atmosphere.

by gagalichen
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
September 2011

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is Kiwipaka Waitomo rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
78%
78%
76%
92%
66%
78%
HostelBookers  
81%
77%
82%
91%
78%
88%
Hostels.com  
No reviews yet.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
80%
78%
79%
92%
72%
83%
Kiwipaka Waitomo Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Nice room, good food! Right behind the information centre, this is a great place to stay. Clean rooms, bar and a cafe/restaurant that makes great pizza!  , age 38, Uk ()
4   Great Staff and Facilities Staff were friendly and helpful. During my stay, it was either dead quiet, or full of groups that were there for one night. Rooms were warm and clean ... This is a really quiet area, so don't expect a party atmosphere (perfect for what I was looking for).  , USA ()
4   Great Was a great place to spend a night in Waitomo, the pizzas are incredible, and the big breakfast wasn't only big, it was HUGE. Must say the staff in the cafe were awesome. Definitely worth a visit.  , NZL ()
2   Noisy and over busy The facilities are good, and the rooms are clean, with helpful staff. But unless you want to share with noisy drunken Kiwi Experience people then this is a good place to avoid. I presume they sleep on the bus because they sure as hell don't sleep during the night. As well as the KE bus there was another coach load of happy travelers there the night we stayed. We finally got to sleep about 3 am, only to be woken up a few hours later when they all rose and made preparations for departure. To their credit the hostel staff were apologetic, and gave us a refund for the nights we decided not to stay. And I do understand its not easy to keep a hundred backpackers quiet. We moved a mile up the road to a quieter Hostel.  , Scottish/Kiwi ()
2  This is a large hostel and is used by several tour bus companies. The night I stayed three tour buses were also staying which made it very noisy both in the night and in the morning. The reception was helpful and the bathroom was fine, I didn't use the kitchen. There is not much to do in Waitomo beside the black-water rafting so I doubt people stay here longer than a night, which would explain why the hostel had no atmosphere.  , Belfast ()
4  I dont know what is meant by "be warned kiwi experience uses it"! i was on kiwi experience and we caused no problems. This hostel is one of my favourites because of the location, there is this amazing walk through the forest and local farms you can do if you walk down to the park at the end of the road -- breathtaking. The rooms are nice, the bathrooms not so nice. the view from the room makes up for this though. The pizza place is awesome but quite expensive! about $28 for a large pizza, i mean we are backpackers!  , Australian ()
5  Wonderful place! We had a twin room. Quiet, relaxed among the countryside. Clean toilets, great kitchen and outdoor/indoor dining area. The restaurant has nice pizzas.  , Hong Kong, China ()
2  Fleas! had to get a refund for the night as was eaten by fleas!  ()

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