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“Great place to stay”
Review of Discovery Lodge

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Discovery Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Whangarei, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great place to stay”
Reviewed April 15, 2012

We stayed in the best studio because we booked too late to get a cheaper one, but the extra cost was worth it - it was warm, well stocked, clean, with trendy decor. Plenty of kitchen facilities to host our friends. Jed - receptionist, information guru and barman/waiter at a lovely dinner on Saturday night has a friendly, winning style. The shuttle was very good and after 7 gruelling hours the best words I have ever heard were - "Passengers from the 6:45am shuttle onboard first please". Discovery Lodge is great - an excellent place to leave for a challenging crossing. The dawn start was beautiful, views, geology, thermal activity all brilliant. Believe Hamish when he tells you the last leg of the hike drags out - 3 Km is like a hundred - we were grateful for the bush cover as the temperature was well up - at Easter!

Room Tip: Choose the best quality room you can afford -after Tongariro you deserve it. The priciest chalet is...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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dallas
Level Contributor
50 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

The lodge is located in a beautiful remote mountain area, surrounded by Mt. Tongariro, Mt. Ruapehu, and Mt.Ngauruhoe, right by SH47, about 10km east of SH4 and 10 minutes drive from the Whakapapa visitor center.

We stayed at a studio chalet, which was newly built inside and out. The chalet was spotless, tastefully decorated. The thoughtful designed floor plan makes you feel quite roomy. The wet bar area is nicely done and very handy. The bathroom layout and toiletry arrangement are highly efficient use of space. The best part is that the incredible snow-capped mountain view is right appeared in front of the sliding glass door.

Miki is very nice and helpful. She promptly responded to my inquiries regarding room type, lodge directions and etc. Upon our arrival, she gave us a quick guide to the nearby restaurants and hiking trails.

I think this is a place you should stay at least two days no matter whether you plan to do the Tongariro Crossing or not. Too bad, we had to leave after one night stay. We were not able to hike Tongariro due to the high winds. But we managed to do the Taranaki Falls track and partial of the Lower Tama Lake track. Although it was a rainy gloomy day, we were still amazed by the breathtaking scenarios.

Room Tip: book either a studio chalet or one-bedroom chalet, which is newly built.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tiger62z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2012

We had a studio motel with kitchen and bath for two nights on either side of our Tongariro Crossing adventure. Room was very good- but pricey. Shuttle service was very good. Tongariro Crossing was a memory for a lifetime. Started in the dark with only a mist - halfway up it started to rain- then it poured rain with 30 to 50 kmph wind until we hike down out of the clouds on the other side. We'll be back to really see Mother Nature's other side. TIP-take everything you need for food- virtually nothing at Whakapapa Village. (and the restaurant at Discovery was closed too!)

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chuck B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2012

Honestly, I don't expect a Lodge to be this good!

The Chalet was fantastic (lucky we chose this one). Perfect place for your tongariro alpine crossing launchpad.

Friendly staff - very helpful.

Room Tip: Chalet Chalet Chalet! If you stay here - this is the room you must stay in!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Neha_Kapoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
142 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2012

We stayed in one on the top of the range chalet studios. It is a cute nice little modern apartment. It has all the cooking equipment you would want. The stove top is in a unit that is stored in a drawer in the kitchen that you can pull out and plug in.

It didn't seem there was any internet connection here. No wifi and no ethernet cable or port. There was a USB port but I don't know what you are supposed to do with that.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank moominoid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
186 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We selected this property for our 3 week New Zealand vacation based upon Trip Advisor reviews and price—trying to find the “sweet spot”. We held all our reviews until the end of the trip in hopes of reasonable comparisons across the country, factoring in the standards we found typical in New Zealand (for example, free, unlimited internet is not the norm as it generally is in the US).

Very comfortable. Arrived late in the day to find we had been upgraded to a studio (sleeps 4, kitchenette, ensuite bath) for our two night stay which substantially boosted the value.

We picked this lodge based upon Trip Advisor recommendations and because they offer the first shuttle to Tongariro Crossing. Very friendly and accommodating staff. The alarm on my watch died so they lent us an alarm clock so we could be sure to make the 5:45 AM shuttle to the trailhead. It’s worth the premium to get a jump on all the tour buses that follow. (See Tongariro Crossing for a review of the service and hike).

Accommodations themselves were clean and reasonably maintained, yet nothing fancy. Keep in mind, they cater to hikers, muddy boots, etc.

The lodge is “in the middle of nowhere”, so bring food, or enjoy their restaurant. The closest town, is “National Park Village”, about 10km away. Not much there and very limited hours to the gas station, restaurant. Otherwise is Turangi the 48km the other direction….and Turangi seemed to be struggling a bit economically when we passed through.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FJVLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, NZ
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2012

Stayed 1 night at Discovery after doing the Tongariro Crossing. We used the shuttle that the lodge provided at $35 per person which was great, the driver was super friendly and gave out lots of advice about the crossing. It is only 10 mins drive ti the start of the crossing which is great too. We stayed in a studio hotel room, it was ok but we expected a bit more for $140 per night. The room was very clean and tidy and was big as other reviews have stated. It was an old building and some of the lining was pulling away at the bottom of the shower and the kitchen was on a major lean. Also, it was extremely noisy, from 5:30am onwards we were kept awake by the patrons above and beside us walking around their rooms, using their showers and talking. I do not think the insulation between floors/walls was very sufficient for a hotel.We originally wanted a chalet as they looked a lot nicer for the extra $30 but there were none available. The staff were friendly and helpful. Unfortunately the restaurant was not open so we had to drive to national park to find somewhere to have dinner. It is only a 5 min drive but we chose this lodge as the website says it has a restaurant so were a bit disappointed when they told us it wasn't open. Overall it was clean & tidy and the staff were friendly and helpful, we thought $140 was a bit steep for an old hotel room though and no restaurant, i suppose you pay for the location. I would recommend staying in a chalet if using this lodge. We would stay again but would get a chalet and ask in advance about the restaurant.

Room Tip: Book a chalet if staying at this lodge as the hotel rooms are noisy and out dated.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank michellebarrry01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Discovery Lodge

Property: Discovery Lodge
Address: State Highway 47, National Park Village 3948, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > North Island > Manawatu-Wanganui Region > National Park Village
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Specialty Lodging in National Park Village
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Discovery Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chalets & Motels. Surrounded by nature with spectacular panorama of the Tongariro Volcanoes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Discovery Hotel National Park Village

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