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Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
46 posts
21 reviews
Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

Hi all, does anyone know if I can catch the 4pm InterCity bus in time if I go on the 3pm Waitomo cave tour?

The tour is supposed to last for 45 minutes but I am just worried that it may overrun or the end point of the tour is quite far away from the bus station.

Thanks in advance!

7 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
17,943 posts
130 reviews
1. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

There may be others on the 3pm tour, also wanting to catch the 4pm bus. The main cave tour lasts from 50 to 55 minutes, leaving you a slim margin to get to the stop to catch your Intercity bus. The bus departs from close to the main cave on the same road.

I suggest that you either contact the Waitomo visitors information centre to ask about this, or contact Intercity buses to ask if this is a standard routine.

Is there any chance that you could join an earlier cave tour. In busy times the tours run back to back. You may be able to join an earlier group.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
46 posts
21 reviews
2. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

Thanks Frangipani08!

I have emailed both InterCity and Waitomo Caves. InterCity told me I may not be able to catch the bus, and Waitomo Caves told me I "will have more than enough time to do the cave and then catch the bus back to Auckland".

In short, I am still quite not sure as to what to do!

I am thinking about the 3pm tour as I will be doing another black water rafting tour, which will only end at 1:30pm. I want to leave some time in between to get changed / grab a bite / walk to the starting location of the Waitomo Caves tour.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
17,943 posts
130 reviews
3. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

If your earlier tour ends at 1:30pm, that should leave you time to change into fresh clothes and have something quick to eat. Maybe a cold drink and a snack bar to set you up for the second tour.The new complex at the entrance to the main glow-worm cave has a cafe as well as toilets downstairs.

I also suspect that the Waitomo visitors centre, or booking office, who emailed you back do know what they are talking about. They handle hundreds of visitors enquiries every day, and also know how close to the entrance that the Intercity buses park. But if you can, then go for a 2pm or 2:30pm tour, then have a longer bite to eat as soon as you walk up the bush track and back into the cafe. Fortunately everything in the village is located close together. Hopefully your earlier tour ends also within the village and not on the outskirts heading back to SH3?

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
46 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

I will be doing the Black Water Rafting tour, which I think ends at the Long Black Cafe?

According to Google map it seems to be a 15-min walk to the Waitomo Visitors' Centre, hence my concern about doing a tour earlier than 3pm.

Thanks again!

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
17,943 posts
130 reviews
5. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

If the black water rafting tour goes into Ruakuri cave (because BW company run the tours through this one), you can ask the van driver to drop you off opposite the Waitomo cave instead of having to be taken back to their base north of the village. Might need to work out where/how to store your bag/clothes while on the tour though.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
46 posts
21 reviews
6. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

Thanks Frangipani08 for your valuable advice!

Ruapehu, New Zealand
Level Contributor
168 posts
7. Re: Intercity Bus from Waitomo to Auckland

I think you are pushing it in thinking that things always go on time and your schedule would work.

The intercity may or may not leave on time but your tour is likely to over run.

Lets put it this way dealing with public groups in the industry now is known as herding cats! As an operator one issue that annoys the hell out of me is telling people a scheduled time and they cant keep to that time or think they can get away with an extra 5 minutes.

Would suggest an earlier tour

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