Waitomo: Hobbit Motel, Woodlyn Park

Waitomo: Hobbit Motel, Woodlyn Park

Accommodation with a difference near Waitomo Caves - kids will love the Hobbit Motel rooms. Or stay in a train, plane or boat. All units are self-contained. Woodlyn Park is in the middle of a working farm and has a very funny 'Kiwi Culture' show.

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Reviewed By: Family Friendly Accommodation
Stayed: April 2013
Stayed With: two adults, two children aged 10 & 7

Sometimes when you book accommodation marketed as being unique, the risk can be that ‘quirky' overrides comfort. But this was definitely not the case at the Hobbit Motel at Woodlyn Park.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. Here we got it all.

Woodlyn Park is located at Waitomo on New Zealand's North Island. Waitomo is a small town famous for its glow-worm caves and black water rafting.

I can't even remember how I came across the Hobbit Motel, but I did and I booked it for one night – the night before we visited the wonderful Hobbiton movie set (less than a two hour drive away – unless you got lost like we did).

But unlike the Hobbit homes on the movie set, here there is a comfortable home away from home behind the round windows and doorframe.

The motel (two units) are part of the Woodlyn Park complex, owned and run by Billy Black – an eccentric, funny and obviously very clever man.

Although we originally had no intention of doing so, we ended up watching his Kiwi Culture Show, and were glad we did. It was funny and there was audience participation too. The kids loved it.

The staff were also extremely helpful and recommended & booked us into the Spellbound Glow-worm & Caves tour (an amazing tour & one of the highlights of our NZ holiday. The river cave was like a fairyland. It really was spell-binding).

But back to the motel. True to the Hobbit theme, the two units are built into the ground and feature the round windows and doorframes.

Inside the furniture is country cottage style and comfortable, with some lovely rustic natural artwork complementing the look.

The master bed is in the main room, which also has a couch and table and chairs. A kitchenette in the corner allows for self-catering.

There is a bathroom (shower only), while a separate bedroom with two bunk beds means this place can sleep up to a family of 6.

Reading the guest book over breakfast, I noticed some comments about the animals on the roof. That sent hubby & the kids running outside, where sure enough, they discovered a donkey and ‘hog' (a star of the Kiwi Culture Show) on the roof. This kept the kids amused for ages.

But if you are not into Lord of the Rings, no fear. Fancy a night in a freighter plane that saw service in Vietnam? How about an ex WW2 patrol boat? I did mention the word ‘quirky', didn't I?

If all things Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit are part of your family holiday to New Zealand (or you just like experiencing accommodation that is different to anywhere else you will ever stay), check out Woodlyn Park.

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