By Karen Shelford

Rotorua Local Bus Services

CityRide (Eke-Taone) Buses

Local bus services are a good way to explore any city. Flag down a Rotorua city bus (CityRide Eke-Taone- CityRide for short) and trip on out to a number of the attractions. It's not cost-prohibitive either with a range of fare options available.

How the CityRide local bus services work

It's not that difficult to work out how to get to where you want to go while visiting (it's not like the city is huge).

Eleven routes cover the city with the outermost stops at Ngongotaha to the north-west, Hemo Road to the south, and the airport out to the east.

The buses run Monday to Friday every half hour from 6.45am, ending 6.50pm at the latest. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays services run hourly. Times differ depending on the route so will need to be checked out.

NB: No buses run on Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Local bus services - Cityride BusCityride Eke-Taone buses distinctive by the colour

There is wheelchair accessibility on some CityRide bus routes, not all at the moment so that's something to check out if it's needed.

Limited space is provided for prams.

Rotorua City Bus Fares

Cash is king as Cityride do not have Credit Card or Eft-Pos facilities. One way costs are:

  • Adult cash fare - $2.80 - Concession $1.70
  • Bee Card - Adult $2.24 - Concession $1.34. Prepay smartcard being implemented throughout the country. Worthwhile if staying for any lengthy period.
    Update 2023: Looks like it has been implemented as you can pay $5 cash to the bus driver to buy a card. On top of that you'll also have to pay for whatever fare type you want. Have a look at this Bee Card link to find out about how to use the card.
  • Day Saver Travel Pass - $7.00. It's valid for 24hrs from the date and time you buy it for any of the Cityride routes. Think of it like the hop on, hop off buses overseas except you'll be mixed in with the locals. Strike up a conversation to have some fun.
  • Free - Children under 5yrs
  • Free - NZ Supergold off peak travel


  • Free - Children under 5yrs
  • Children 5-15yrs
  • Secondary students in school uniform or with valid student ID
  • Tertiary students with student ID for NZQA registered institution
  • NZ SuperGold card peak-time travel
  • NZ SuperGold card free off-peak travel (off-peak hours: Mon to Fri 9am-3pm, after 6.30pm, all day Sat, Sun, public holidays)

Local bus services that stop near attractions

Route 1: Rainbow Springs and Rainbow Farm, Skyline Rotorua Gondola & Luge, Amokura Glass, Zorb, and Mitai Māori Village. This route continues to Ngongotaha ½ hourly and continues hourly along Western Road to the Agrodome - you can also walk through an underpass to Agroventures.

Route 3: The Redwoods

Route 5: Aquatic Center (swimming pools), Kuirau Park

Route 6: Ohinemutu, Kuirau Park

Route 7: Mount Ngongotaha Jubilee Track & Nature Walk Track

Route 10: Motion Entertainment ½hrly, continues on to Rotorua Airport hourly

Route 11: Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village and Te Puia

Download Rotorua CityRide bus timetable or visit the website to find out more about the services.

There is no Rotorua bus terminal as such for the urban routes. Local contractors are used by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, located in Whakatane, to provide the services.

If anything, the local i-Site Visitor Centre, located on the corner of Fenton & Arawa Sts., is the place to use in place of a terminal. Directly outside the i-Site are the long haul buses and around the corner (by the roundabout) on Arawa St are the urban buses.

Tips - On the Baybus website, click Routes on the top navigation bar, then Rotorua. (The site isn't very user friendly.) Make sure to check the News tab in case of any re-routing or other changes to the service.

CityRide Journey Planner is something else you might want to use. On the homepage of Baybus, fill in the address you are leaving from, your destination, then departure time. A google map opens up with the route, timetable, pricing and includes any walking portions to get to your destination. It's great when it's working, sometimes it doesn't.

Happy CityRide bus-tripping!

Travel related quicklinks

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