If you’re a traveller who prefers or needs to spend less money on where you’re sleeping so that you can spend more money on creating amazing memories, then Rotorua has you sorted.
Whether you’re with your partner, family, a group or solo, there are loads of budget-friendly accommodation providers in Rotorua. Here are three options that are located right in town, making getting around faster from this central location – and even more cost-effective if you enjoy getting around by bike.
Rock Solid Backpackers is about as central as you can get. A variety of room styles are available, all with cheery, colourful linens provided, and stylish and thoughtful touches. Private rooms with and without ensuites are available, as well as dorm rooms, family rooms, and female-only dorms.
Bike storage, laundry room, and a large, well-equipped kitchen are on site, and if the weather isn’t playing ball, take advantage of the pool table or table tennis, or chill out in the lounge with fantastic views of The Wall, a 20-metre-high indoor climbing wall next door with 56 different climbs. The Basement Cinema is also located next door, so order a wine, beer or coffee, tuck into some wedges, and watch a new a new or indie release in the cosy cinema.
Being just a few doors down from Te Manawa, the heart of the city, shops, cafés and restaurants are practically right outside your door.
Between the two
You can feel great about staying at YHA while you’re here because the organisation cares about the environment. In Qualmark’s Backpacker category, only 13 backpackers have been awarded a Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award in New Zealand; 11 of these are YHA hostels, including YHA Rotorua which earned a 5-star Gold rating. In addition to that great achievement, all YHA managed hostels are also proudly Toitū carbonzeroTM certified.
Amenities here include a large, sunny communal kitchen that’s modern and well-equipped, with adjacent spacious dining room. A comfortable lounge with pool table, plus an outdoor area offer spaces to relax. Private rooms with and without ensuites are available, as well as dorm rooms, multi-bed rooms, and female-only dorms. All bed linen is provided, and free bike storage, and onsite parking are available as well.
YHA is across the street from picturesque Kuirau Park, a perfect place to stretch your legs and snap some great photos. You can also snap up some great kai at the Saturday farmers market, and top up your produce selection for meals at homebase.
Exploring RotoruaAll three of these accommodation options provide easy access to inner city offerings, both by bike or on foot.
Top 10 guests can hire the park’s bikes to get to the city centre in less than five minutes.
On Saturdays, call in at the market at Kuirau Park (basically next door to the Top 10!) (7am-1pm, free entry) to grab freshly made breakfast or lunch from the food stalls, and to stock up on fresh produce, breads, preserves and more for your meals back at camp.
There’s a great playground at the park, too, and on the other side of the market you’ll find all the amazing geothermal features of Kuirau Park, New Zealand’s only geothermal public park (free entry).
The city centre is perfect for enjoying a coffee, shopping, the movies, restaurants and more.
On the eastern end of the city centre you’ll find Polynesian Spa (pictured above), perfect for a luxurious spa treatment or a soak in the lakeside hot pools with beautiful views. Nest to the spa is beautiful Government Gardens, and the biking/walking trail through the geothermally active Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge (free entry).
On sunny Sundays, head to Te Manawa at the intersection of Tutanekai and Hinemoa streets for the Rotorua Farmers Market (9am-1pm, free entry), a great spot to enjoy fresh breakfast and treats from food trucks, homemade jams and chutneys, hand-crafted items, fresh produce and more. Plenty of seating is available, so grab a cuppa and enjoy the live music and relaxed vibes.
Just one block from here and toward ‘the lake end’ of Lake Rotorua, you’ll find the start of the Rotorua Night Market every Thursday (weather permitting) (4.30-8.30pm, free entry), a fantastic place to find affordable dinner options among the two blocks’ worth of food stalls and trucks offering nearly every ethnic food you can imagine. The dining precinct Eat Streat is a few more blocks along this route, with Hennessy’s Irish Bar and Pig & Whistle Historic Pub on the way.
If you’ve made it down to Lady Janes Ice Cream Parlour on the far end of Eat Streat, you may as well grab your cone or sundae and enjoy it while strolling or cycling along the brand-new boardwalk along Lake Rotorua.