39 Bell Street (off Waihi Road)
A motel and backpackers combined in a peaceful suburban setting, 4km from downtown Tauranga. The backpacker complex has clean communal dorms or double rooms with an en-suite.
A nice feature is that all rooms open onto wooden decks. Facilities include a games, room, pool table and Internet cafe. Bell also has a few sheltered tent sites, and self-contained motel units.
It makes up for being just outside the town by offering free pickups from the bus terminal downtown, and free trips to the city and beaches. The lodge will organise local activities such as dolphin watching, and it’s popular in the fruit-picking season with backpackers who want to earn some money.