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Tour or HOHO bus

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
48 posts
25 reviews
12 helpful votes
Tour or HOHO bus

We are a 60-year old couple planning to take the ferry to Waiheke for a day in September on our first full day in NZ after a flight from the U.S.(Friday the 13th!). We enjoy being on our own and would like time to explore shops and see some sights so I am torn between the convenience of a tour that will plan everything for us or the flexibility of taking the HOHO bus. I also know there are taxis, but read something about $30 for a taxi.

Tours - seem to be about 5-6 hours, but it is unclear whether this includes the ferry transportation or if this is all wineries. Do tours basically just drive you from one winery to another for several hours or will we have any time to shop or explore the area besides the wineries?

HOHO - I initially liked the HOHO bus because we could ride it the entire route to get a nice tour of the island and then get off at a couple places and stay as long as we wanted. But, will we be wasting a lot of time waiting for the bus to pick us back up? And how busy will it be in September? Will we need to make reservations on our own for some tastings and lunch?

Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

2 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
20,038 posts
130 reviews
82 helpful votes
1. Re: Tour or HOHO bus

Always with a taxi you are paying for convenience. And NZ isn't a cheap taxi destination. I'm happy to pay $30.00 for a taxi ride on Waiheke, as I would do in the central city.

Taxis on Waiheke are best for a short ride or transfer to the ferry. All are busy with the volume of day-trippers arriving off the daytime ferries, and transporting people to winery-cafes and other dining places at night, including destination wedding parties.

Winery tours are mainly that. People wanting to be driven from one winery to another and to be offered food pairings and platters. But they do provide a short island tour, between wineries. There are several winery tours available on Waiheke.

The Explorer HOHO buses are popular since they have a set route, and they go to lots of places that are of general interest to their passengers. Depending on your timing you may have to wait a while for the next bus. Also bear in mind that if it is a cruise ship day, lots of cruise passengers will be on the island too.

Given your interests, you are probably best to catch the commuter buses from the ferry terminal into Oneroa, or walk up the hill. Wander around Oneroa and down to the beach, browse the resort wear and gift shops, enjoy a cup of coffee and something to eat. Then catch another bus that will take you further afield. The Onetangi bus goes through Onetangi valley where several winery-cafes are situated. This bus route continues into Onetangi where there are a couple of cafes and a lovely stretch of ocean beach. September isn't part of the summer timetable, so buses will be hourly from Onetangi back to the ferry terminal.

Regarding luncheon reservations, it does pay to book in advance so that you get a table at the time that you wish to dine. But September is still early for many people to be out and about. Saturday and Sundays do see more day-trippers from Auckland and further afield if the weather is great, and we do see some stunning Spring days over September from time to time.

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
48 posts
25 reviews
12 helpful votes
2. Re: Tour or HOHO bus

Thanks! This was exactly the information I needed but couldn't find. I think that sounds fabulous and more what we would be comfortable with.

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