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ist trip

Hamilton, New...
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ist trip

Kia Ora, we are a couple of young at heart forty/fifty somethings want to visit raro. We are not into resorts, prefer backpackers and mixing with locals. we don't have alot of money but intend to experience as much as possible. I think visiting other islands will probably be too expensive. We will like to come mid year for a couple of weeks. We like to explore, snorkle, scooter etc. Would like advice on tourist experiences like tours and island nights, places to eat. We prefer down to earth,good humour, we don't have airs and graces. Important that we respect local people. Also can you bring food from n.z.? Cheers Erin.

1. Re: ist trip

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Removed on: 02 January 2012, 13:46
Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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2. Re: ist trip

Kia Orana Erin, and welcome to our forum.

i suggest that you could start your Rarotonga holiday planning by taking a little time to look around the information posted in the left and right hand margins of this page.

Nornally i would respond more fully, but have just noticed that Rarotonga is being featured on Getaway right now here in NZ!

ka kite.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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3. Re: ist trip

The Getaway feature on Raro was an old program, but still interesting.

Accommodation choices? Either a backpackers s/c unit or a private rental villa might appeal to you. Backpackers located on the beachfront include Vara's (Muri); Are Mango (Muri) and Rarotonga Backpackers (Arorangi).

There are now literally several hundred holiday homes for rent. Have a look at www.holidayhomes.co.nz; and www.rentraro.com to see if any of these residences take your fancy.

You can snorkel off the beach around the east, south and parts of the west and north-west areas of Raro.

Cafes (many are licenced) are located in the main villages around Raro. The major resorts, several restaurants in town, and Te Vara Nui and Highland Paradise feature island nights/cultural performances together with a meal.

Tours - land, lagoon, deep sea fishing, flightseeing, day trip to Aitutaki. Wait until you arrive and see what appeals.

Outer islands tours - either contact a Rarotonga based travel agency or enquire from Air Rarotonga about domestic flights - www.airrarotonga.com

Air Raro advertises 2 island experiences (4 nights) with Atiu and aitutaki included.

You can take dairy, meat, packaged foods and baking into the Cook Islands. No fresh fruits or veg are allowed. Alcohol limit is only 2 litres per adult passenger.

Start looking at potential dates for air travel now, and keep an eye out on soon to be released airfare specials. For a number of years now Air NZ have offered good fares around mid-January. This practice coincides with peoploe being on holiday and having little resources following Christmas! Alternatively Pacific Blue provides a good service and equally good (if not better) airfares.

Mid year is the most popular time for visitor numbers to the Cook Islands. If you see a villa or unit you are keen on, make an enquiry soon. Chances are others will be thinking of their winter holidays once the new year settles down. Maybe sooner even with this wet weather that has driven across many parts of NZ in recent days.

Aitutaki deserves some time spent on that island and longer than a day trip if possible. Again a s/c beachfront villa would be the way to go - www.aitutaki-accommodations.com

Like Chuck says above, get back to us and we'll help you fine tune your plans.

Happy planning.

Hamilton, New...
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4. Re: ist trip

Kia Orana, thanks, I have spent lots of time looking through forum for insights and will continue to do so. I think we might try for september to visit. A couple of the backpackers have good reviews, comfy bed and friendliness the main thing. Trying to choose which tours etc a bit daunting as reviews vary. I prefer to support 'local" operators. The markets sound neat. We packpacked around thailand a couple of years ago and that was a bit of a shock culturely. But loved lots of it, the hardest thing for me (apart from rock hard beds) was interaction with locals always being about money. I guess language differences and not being in one place contributed to this. Being friendly, I am expecting to have lots more in a positive sense in Rarotonga. New Zealand has very strong ties with our pacific neigbours now I think cheers Erin.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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5. Re: ist trip

September is a lovely month to visit the Cook Islands! Longer days, nights are cool enough still for a sound sleep, warmer days, spring flowers. And the sea temps are not so cool too.There are many tours to choose from alright.

Depending on your interests, perhaps begin with a safari tour which will take you to the heights and hinterland of Raro providing thrills, laughs and spectacular views.

There are at least 3 lagoon tours on Muri beach. Cruises take guests to the Tikioki marine reserve followed by a motu picnic might appeal. Keep an eye out when you reach Raro for Saturday morning specials. Koka Lagoon Cruises explained to me that lots of visitors go the the market in town that day, hence they offer specials on a Saturday.

Agreed, the Saturday market at Punanga Nui is an excellent chance to mingle with locals, be entertained, purchase fruit and veg, buy a platter of cooked foods, broswe colourful crafts and beautiful black pearls.

Kayak hire would get you onto the lagoon. If the accomm where you stay doesnt provide these, you can hire equipment from C Is Adventures in Kavera, or in Muri at Capt Tama's.

The Cross Island Hike is a great day out for fit persons. Use the local bus service to get you to the start, and from the end of the trail (main road if ending in Vaimaanga).

A reef sub adventure, or a whale watch yachting trip are other suggestions. And there are many fishing charters operating from both Avatiu Harbour and Avana Harbours on Raro. There are at least 5 scuba dive operators - and lessons on offer for novices. Good snorkelling off the beachfront in many localities around Raro. Difficult to decide I admit.

Yes, NZ has long maintained close links with the Cook Islands for some 115 years now if not longer unofficially. Local people are well used to interaction with foreigners. Everyone mixes well, and as you say being a friendly person yourself goes a long way to establishing relationships, and lasting friendships.

Sounds like you are on to it! Cheers.

Hamilton, New...
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6. Re: ist trip

Thanks for the tips, I'll keep reading the forum and posting as well. I am wondering if we should just get on scooter and explore and ask locals for advice. Of course we have to book flights yet. cheers Erin.

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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7. Re: ist trip

Hi Erin

Would suggest that you go to this site and order both the Cook Island Map and the Cook Islands Visitor guide. They are free and will give you lots of information. The map will also enable you to sort out where it what and how far everything it from everything else (not far on Raro).

http://www.jasons.com/guides/south-pacific

You'll usually receive them within 2 to 3 days.

I first visited Raro in the late 1970s so have seen lots of changes over the years.

Orchards, Washington
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8. Re: ist trip

Erin. Keep in mind that the roads are not the best. They have pot holes, loose gravel and dogs that come charging out of nowhere. All these factors come into play to make driving a scooter not such a safe idea. A convertable is a great, safer choice that gives you the "freedom" of a scooter.

Hamilton, New...
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9. Re: ist trip

Thanks for the advice, when we were in thailand we rode scooter(me on back) almost every where. I can't imagine it would be as hair raising riding in Rarotonga plus we will be on a budget. cheers Erin.

10. Re: ist trip

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Removed on: 03 January 2012, 23:35