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Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

New York City
Level Contributor
66 posts
140 reviews
Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

Am I missing something here (or misunderstanding)? The Intercity fare from Auckland to Rotorua is $23 NZD. The Intercity bus fare from Auckland to Waitomo Caves (a comparable distance) is $102 NZD. The Intercity bus fare from Waitomo Caves to Rotorua is $81 NZD. Neither of these fares appears to include entry to the caves - that is extra. So as I'm underdstanding it, in order to stop over for the night at Waitomo, the bus fare alone increases $160 NZD. Other than picking up a rental car is there another less expensive way to get from Auckland to the Caves (with an overnight) to Rotorua? Thanks TAers!

7 replies to this topic
Queenstown, New...
Level Contributor
4,584 posts
61 reviews
1. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

Most probably because Akl-Rot is a main, direct route that sees more general public use.

Perhaps look at doing an actual bus tour from Akld-Rot via Waitomo - most do this in one day.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
18,397 posts
130 reviews
2. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

Unless you book one of the HOHO tours like Stray or Kiwi Experience, you are now limited by the exit of Naked buses from NZ.

The Great Sights tour could be better value at $261.00 from Auckland to Rotorua including entry to the Waitomo caves.

Or hire a rental car, as you've identified.

Dunedin, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Dunedin
Level Contributor
1,853 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

I just checked the Intercity site. The bus leaving Auckland for Waitomo at 7.30am is $102 but the bus leaving at 8.45am is only $31.

Similarly the Waitomo to Rotorua morning bus is $81 but the afternoon bus (involves a transfer) is $34.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
40,552 posts
450 reviews
4. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

I suspect, and Brian's research seems to confirm that the 7:30 bus is actually the Great Sights "tour", but how they justify the triple price is anybody's guess!!

New York City
Level Contributor
66 posts
140 reviews
5. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

Thanks everone. This is depressing! I noted the later departure from Auckland that Brian mentioned, but it appears to be a local and does not arrive in Waitomo until about 3 pm - which sort of kills the day. I may have to suck it up and simply pay what's asked - the surcharge for being a tourist who does not want to drive!

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
40,552 posts
450 reviews
6. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

You seem to be miss-reading the Intercity Timetable. The 8:45 am goes direct to Waitomo Caves, arriving at 12:25pm. Depending on how far in advance you book, the fare can be anything from $1 to $62 for the flexi fare with the basic fare being around $26-$30.

Additionally, if you plan on returning to Auckland by bus it might be worth buying a "pass" - starting from 15 hours for $132!

New York City
Level Contributor
66 posts
140 reviews
7. Re: Intercity Rate Auckland-Waitomo, next day Waitomo-Rotorua

Zhuhai - it is most definitely worth my buying a 15-hour pass for $132 as it will cover not only Auckland-Waitomo and Waitomo-Rotorua but the ferry from Wellington to Picton. With all of my "research" for this trip, I had totally missed the flexipass so thank you so very much!

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