FAQs – Waitomo Ebikes (WEBs) eBike Rides

Are the activities safe?
At WEBs your health & safety is our highest priority. We have a comprehensive Health & Safety plan which has been reviewed as part of our Qualmark Assessment. WEBs takes every measure possible to ensure your safety. We start off by giving a thorough briefing on how to use an eBike e.g. how to use the brakes and how to combine the power levels with the gearing system. WEBs advise each person to participate within their limits and to take care as eBikes are heavier than a standard bike and can surprise you with their take-off power. 

There are no dedicated bike riding trails in the Waitomo area. Instead, depending on which route you choose, you will be riding along a mix of gravel and sealed roads. In general these roads are well maintained and fairly free from vehicle traffic apart from the Waitomo Valley Road which does have the occasional tour bus travelling along it. WEBs checks routes on a regular basis both through the local council’s websites regarding road closures and maintenance, and through either driving or riding along the routes periodically. At all times we urge you to stay as far to the left of the road as possible. 

What should I wear on an eBike?
WEBs understands that as a visitor to Waitomo you may not necessarily have bike riding gear with you. What we’ve noticed is our customers ride in whatever they’re wearing, be it track pants, shorts or streetwear. For eBiking we suggest you wear comfortable clothing and closed in shoes (skirts are not recommended).

Do you provide all the gear I need?
WEBs provides you with a helmet, water bottle and a hi-vis vest (optional). There is also a cell phone holder with 1st Aid kit and a rear rack with a pannier attached. The pannier contains a puncture repair kit, pump, sunscreen, hand sanitiser, rain poncho and emergency blanket. Due to some of our routes having intermittent cell phone coverage we recommended you hire a locator beacon. WEBs eBikes come with a wide comfortable seat and step through system making it easy to get on and off the eBike.

What grade are the eBike routes?
The routes are mostly classed as Grade 2-3 (easy to intermediate). The routes take you along well maintained roads with little vehicle traffic on them. On two of the routes Hauturu to Honokiwi & Caves to Coast each has steady hill climbs of 8kms and exhilarating downhill sections of 5kms. Our shortest route (6kms return) Waitomo to Ruakuri combines a eBike ride with a leisurely 45 minute bush walk, the ride is grade 1-2. This is a great ride and walk for those new to eBikes.

General Questions

Is there a place to buy food and drink?
WEBs have a selection of hot & cold drinks, a large water bottle is provided with your eBike. If you require something more substantial we recommend stopping in either Otorohanga or Te Kuiti depending on which direction you are coming from.

Are there toilets available?
Toilets are available at the Information Centre next to WEBs building. There are limited toilet facilities at the Ruakuri walk but none along any of the eBike routes.

Do I need to book in advance?
We highly recommend booking our eBike rides to reserve a space as there are limited eBikes available. 

Do I need to be fit?
Ideally you need to have a moderate level of fitness for your own personal comfort and enjoyment.

What happens if it rains?
If weather conditions are adverse and we need to reschedule your ride, we will work with you to arrange a new date that suits or give a full refund if you’ve come from afar, booked and paid online. 

What is your cancellation policy?
For all eBike rides we require 1 hour’s notice of cancellation prior to your ride.

Where should I eat?
The Waitomo Village has three places to eat; the General Store for takeaway and sit down food as well as groceries and souvenirs, Huhu Cafe for a la carte menu, and The Tomo Bar & Eatery for hearty pub type food.

Otorohanga has a range of cafes and ethnic foods available as does Te Kuiti. 

Where can I stay?
In the Waitomo area here are some but not all the accommodation options:

What is common practice for tipping?

Tipping is not expected in New Zealand.  At a restaurant you could round the bill up if the service was good, or leave more if you feel it has been exceptional (10% is considered a great tip).  Tipping is not expected for private tours, however should you feel that the service has been particularly special and they have gone out of their way to help, then a tip of $50-$100 would be appreciated.

What is the temperature like?

December to March is considered summer in New Zealand. The country has a moderate climate and in some cases you can experience four seasons in one day!!  The winter months are June to August and have a great mild temperature in some areas but will be a snowy real ‘winter’ in other  areas.  

What is the best way to withdraw money/use credit cards?

ATM’s are commonplace everywhere and probably the best way to access cash. You can use credit cards for almost everything, paywave is widely available but be aware of surcharges on card use. 

What do I need to bring to convert my phone and camera plugs to fit the power sockets?

Yes, for New Zealand you will need the same converter for appliances/chargers. You can easily purchase them at the airport if you need to.  The adapter required is Type 1 Australia plug, they have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz.

What should I pack?

Our recommendation is to always pack layers, preferably natural fibres (cotton and wool) so that you can remove or add layers as the day progresses.  We also recommend that you bring a jacket to protect from the wind and showers. Please bring a good sunscreen and a hat – the sun in this part of the world is strong and you can burn even on overcast or not particularly hot days. 

Can I bring my mobile phone?

You have the option of bringing your current mobile phone with SIM card or purchasing a SIM card when arriving.  

Can I bring medication into the country?

Yes, you can bring prescription and non-prescription medicines (including special dietary products) and medical items into New Zealand. Please carry with you evidence (Doctor’s note) about your medicines and medical items. Usually you are not allowed anything over a three months supply. 

What Visa’s do we need?

New Zealand: All international visitors (except Australian Passport holders) require an NZeTA and a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended departure date.  Visitors from some countries may also need to apply for a New Zealand Visitor Visa.

What is the dress code in restaurants?

Generally the dress code in both New Zealand is very relaxed, casual and comfortable, although sometimes people do like to ‘dress’ a little more for dinner.  The dress code for restaurants is generally smart casual. Jackets are not usually required for gentlemen but if you feel more comfortable wearing a sports jacket, then you would not be out of place.  

What do I dial in case of an emergency?

    111 in New Zealand

Do we need to be worried about bugs/insects?

Generally New Zealand is fairly free from bugs/insects but in some places there are pesky little sandflies and in others there are sometimes mosquitos. It is best to carry bug spray or lotion with you when going on tours or exploring. You can purchase these at the local pharmacy/chemist when you arrive.  

How does driving rental/hire cars work?

You are able to drive in New Zealand if you have a valid full driver’s license from your home country. You must be 21 years or over, and have held a current licence for at least 3 years. Drivers over 75 will be asked to provide a Doctor’s Certificate certifying they are fit to drive. Drivers must present a licence issued in English, or a foreign Driver’s Licence in English (or an accompanying certified English translation, provided by a Consulate or other authorised body), or a current International Driving Permit. Please also remember to drive on the left!

Are the beaches safe for swimming?

When swimming at the beaches be aware of strong currents called rips. Always swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate the section patrolled by Surf Lifesavers. Never swim alone, at night, or under the influence of alcohol.

Is there sales tax on goods and services?

Goods & Service Tax (GST) in New Zealand is INCLUDED in marked prices at 15%. Therefore if sunscreen says $7.00, it will be exactly $7.00 at checkout.

What is a flat white?

Kiwis take coffee very seriously! The flat white is similar to a latte but with a little bit less froth. The main options in cafes are Flat White, Latte, Cappuccino, Long Black and Short Black.