Rainbow Lodge Backpackers, Taupo

749 Reviews
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Rainbow Lodge Backpackers Reviews

Rainbow Lodge Backpackers is located fifteen minutes away from Taupo i-Site, which also is a bus stop for intercity connections. It is five minutes away from Pak'n'Save, one of the cheapest New Zealand supermarkets. It is also five minutes' walk from the Great Lake. There is no free Wi-Fi, however they provide cheap bike rental, free luggage storage, and discounted bookings for activities in Taupo.

The Location

The hostel is placed on the outside of the city centre; however, as Taupo is small, it is still a short walk to all city spots from the hostel. When arriving in Taupo, go to the i-Site and ask for directions to get to the hostel. If you have a lot of luggage with you (or are just feeling lazy), you can also call the hostel and ask for a free pickup from the bus station. The hostel is placed in a residential area, very pretty and peaceful. It is quite an old wooden building, however it does have its charm.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are medium to small size and are well kept. There are big windows in the rooms, letting in a lot of sunlight. There are not too many sockets, so charging devices can be a problem. Every bed has its own night lamp, which is very convenient. There are no lockers in the rooms. The rooms are warm, with the heating turned on automatically every night, and you can ask the reception to turn it on during the day if you feel too cold.

Toilets, however, are not heated at all and so spending even one minute there can be quite challenging during the colder days. There are not too many showers, so it can get busy at times. There are hangers in the showers, soap dispensers, racks for toiletries, and floor towels. The hostel also boasts a free sauna, which you can access any time of the day.

Common Spaces

The kitchen and lounge area are very spacious. There are enough cook tops even for busy times and many pans and pots. There is also a good range of free spices, which is great. Free tea and coffee is available from the reception, so make sure you get it before it closes at 10 p.m. There are big tables and benches where you can eat your food and there are also sofas to chill. There is even a piano so if you feel like it, you can give it a go. A TV room and computers are also available in a separate building -- you can ask the reception for free DVDs and chill in there.

The atmosphere in the hostel is great, there are loads of other backpackers and every evening there is something happening that the staff will let you know about. They even have two cute dogs in the reception, so it all just feels like being in a cosy home.


Rainbow Lodge is a clean, well-kept hostel with a good location. It has few flaws -- like the paid-for Wi-Fi and cold toilets -- however, it is a good spot if you are looking for something cosy and friendly. They probably have the cheapest bike rental in the entire town, which is great if you're up for a bike trek around Taupo. Also, you can book a cheap Maori carvings cruise and other activities with them and get some advice on what to do every night.

Marta Maria
The outside The reception and the veranda The kitchen and dining area The chill zone The 9 bed mixed dorm The beds The toilet The bathroom The TV room Very helpful!

Enjoyed my 2 days there.

Helpful staff. Secure parking, very clean all round. Felt at home. My room was comfortable clean and well lit with plenty of hotpoints and windows. Nice colourful drapes. As an oldie I would tell my friends to stay there.

Age 62 | New Zealand

Clean and friendly

Stayed in Taupo while doing the Tongariro Crossing. Boy did I luck out -- the crossing had been closed for 5 days due to the rain, I arrived and was able to hike it the very next day. And if you use the Tongariro crossing bus service, they picked up right behind Rainbow Lodge. Stayed in the large dorm, everything was clean, my biggest problem was the person snoring on the bunk below mine. What can you do -- that's traveling on the cheap. Great place if you are traveling solo -- I was able to find hiking companions on the bus ride to the Crossing. Since the market is so close we ended up cooking up a post-hike feast and then soaking in the hot springs.

Age 22 | USA

Clean and friendly

My husband and I stayed for 2 nights in a 1 bedroom. Nice and clean with its own en suite. Kitchen was well equipped and clean. Friendly atmosphere with helpful staff.

Age 37 | Australia

Great atmosphere

This is an excellent hostel to stay in. The location is great for getting to town centre or heading out to spa & waterfall. The staff are more than ready to help you find what you're looking for and there are always other travelers around to chat to and share stories. This has a great atmosphere and trapped me way longer than my proposed 1 night in Taupo!


Rainbow Lodge is a small hostel close to the heart of Taupo. It is a rather old, wooden building and the rooms are small. The rooms are heated in winter, but the heating is not turned on before 6 or 7 p.m., so it can get pretty cold during the day.

The Location

The hostel is located close to the city center of Taupo. If you arrive by bus, it is approximately a fifteen-minute walk from the bus depot to get there. They are also happy to pick you up if you give them a call upon arrival. If you have a map of Taupo it should be no problem to find the Rainbow Lodge; if not just grab one at the bus depot. A supermarket is just five minutes away from the hostel. All major attractions within the city can be reached by foot.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms and bathroom facilities are medium clean, they seem to be cleaned regularly but it varies every day. The rooms all have door locks and there are both dorms and private rooms available.

Common Spaces

The kitchen is also medium clean, sometimes it is clean and sometimes not so much. The kitchen is a huge open space next to the common area, so if somebody cooks a smelly meal, the smell will spread everywhere. There are several huge fridges which can be used by the guests. Free coffee is provided. There is a large common room with a pool table. The highlight is the sauna, which is open twenty-four hours and can be used at no charge. Wireless LAN is also available throughout the building. The atmosphere is friendly and very social, there are always travelers hanging out in the common areas. The staff are very nice and happy to help you with anything. Room rates are very reasonable and weekly rates are available for long-term guests.


Generally, the hostel is reasonably priced and ideally located. It is certainly not a luxury hotel, but you get what you pay for and the sauna is definitely a plus.


Wonderful Place to Stay

I stayed here for three nights and loved it. The staff were most wonderful. After checking in, they even showed us around and walked us to our room! The kitchen was great and they have a bbq for us to use. It has such a good vibe and everyone seems to be having fun! They have a nice book collection to trade books. I also loved the TV room for rainy days.


This is a good hostel, and the managers were friendly and helpful, booking my sky-dive and giving me advice about the Tongarrio Crossing. There is no TV, which made for a good atmosphere and I enjoyed the choice of music played. There are individual reading lights by the beds and the main light has a dimmer switch which is inspired! Most people do the Tongarrio Crossing from here so there are always some people going to bed early.


More reviews...


Hi welcome to Taupo's original and favourite backpackers. Rainbow lodge was purpose designed & built for the needs of travellers by Mark Dumble (fishing expert??) and Sue Mrozinski themselves seasoned travellers. They had spent several years on the world's highways and by-ways and having accommodation experiences that are sometimes described as "Character Building" they settled in Taupo famous for its Rainbow Trout and beautiful scenery. Having had my own character building experiences I came to rest at Rainbow lodge and worked closely with them for a year before they handed me the reigns.

The hostel opened in 1984 and I took over in 2002 and I have been quietly refining Rainbow Lodge to meet the needs of today's travellers!

I'd like to invite you to take a stroll through my place and see the reason why I fell in love with it and Lake Taupo!

Location and Contact




Address: 99 Titiraupenga Street, Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand

Rainbow Lodge Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Rainbow Lodge Backpackers Taupo www.rainbowlodge.co.nz
Phone Number: (07)378-5754
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Solo Traveller



Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Bike Rental

City Tours

Luggage Storage


Air Conditioning

BBQ Grill

Board Games

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Pool Table

Wheelchair Accessible


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