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Raro holiday home question and more...

Which Rarotonga hotels are on sale?
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Auckland
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Raro holiday home question and more...

Hi everyone, my first post :) My husband and maybe adult daughter are looking for the following, and I have researched millions of places, Im not kidding :) Maybe you can help. These aren't the easiest to answer either, sorry. Im so confused!!

We are stuck with early Jan and the airfares are high, but really need a break. We just want to explore, see some waterfalls and blue holes (I think I read) eat simply, snorkel and chill out, eat simply, barbeque, salads etc.

How important is it to stay in an area, I like Vaimaanga as its off the beaten track with awesome beaches, but is the island small enough that it doesn't really matter?

Is it better to bust out with a more expensive place with a pool or is it not so important and can you use other resort pools?

How essential is it to be ON the beachfront, I tend to think it is, but what do you think?

We are on a budget, prefer self catering and basic anyway, can anyone give us some hints and tips please?

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Kia orana Wendy, welcome to the Cook Islands forum.

Firstly can I assure you that Vaimaanga is not off the beaten track! It is a developing village with some wonderful accommodation, good little restaurants and a village store that is popular among locals and visitors alike. Vaimaanga is only 25 - 30 minutes away from the airport and Avarua township. It does have the island's most accessible waterfall, access to the cross island walk, and a lovely beach and lagoon area.

Today on Air NZ there are some reasonably priced airfares showing for January & which are on sale until 5th October. Have a look at these specials - http://grabaseat.co.nz/

A pool is always nice, but with so many beaches to choose from around the island ask yourselves what is most important for you while on holiday. Easy access to a nice beach will likely negate a luxury feature, if budget is a deciding factor. Have you looked at Palm Grove in Vaimaanga with its various s/c accommodation options and holiday houses available? Have you also reviewed Raro Beach Bach a little further along the road to see if this property appeals. Or even inland at Coconut Haven, or Marama Retreat or Bingo's on the main road with the beachfront opposite. Arapati Beach-house and Natura may also interest you. There are numerous other properties in this same area.

To get out and about the local bus service is affordable and most reliable. You can suplement this form of transport with shuttle services, a free island night pickup and the occassional rental car.

For your first visit to Rarotonga it is difficult to know ahead if your choice of accommodation is the best option, and whether the surrounding locality and available facilities will meet your own family's needs. However, selecting an area of the island that appeals to you has helped narrow the myriad of island-wide accommodation options immensely. Just need to find a great s/c villa to live up to your expectations. How about you limit your accommodation search to Vaimaanga only to ascertain what you can find that ticks the boxes? Also consider a small resort like Pam Grove which has a swimming pool as well as licenced restaurant and s/c accommodation to see if this suits your preferences. Oftentimes starting out at a resort is a great way to be introduced to the island and become familiar with what Rarotonga has to offer.

Let us know how your search is doing and any other queries you may have. It may be helpful in the interim to secure flights at the earliest to grab a decent airfare at this juncture.

Happy planning. Kia manuia.

Edited: 02 October 2012, 07:52
Auckland
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2. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Thank you so much for all that helpful information. Apologies, I didnt mean "off the beaten track" I meant it was the opposite side of the more popular Muri beach up north. Which I prefer. So I will concentrate on that area as you suggest.

Many thanks again

Kia manuia

Wendy

Rarotonga, Cook...
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3. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Hi Wendy,

Another tip for airfares, usually when Air NZ announces specials, Virgin Australia will match or better the prices, and vice versa. So I suggest you look at what VA can offer for January travel as well as Air NZ.

Air NZ provides near daily flights to/from Rarotonga, while Virgin has 3 - 4 return flights per week, depending on season.

With accommodation, I'm sure that posters will offer the benefit of their experiences should you want to know more about a particular villa or accommodation property that you like the look of.

Cheers.

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4. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Thanks for that, I did find around $700 return on VA but they travel at 1am and terrible times! I guess it could be worth it for a good saving though.

Auckland
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5. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Hi there, we are heading back over in 3 weeks and can't wait. We have visited Rarotonga perhaps 10 times over the years and tend to always do the same things. We like to stay on the western side of the island as we find it tends to be more sheltered and you get the lovely sunsets. We book through Eddie at www.rentraro.com and they have heaps of places to stay - just check their website for area and price. We also book through

www.holidayhomes.co.nz. there is usually lots of feedback placed there also. The whole island takes about 40 minutes to get around and nothing is far away. Take the opportunity to check everything out once you are there for your next trips as I'm sure you will go back time and again. Muri does tend to get busy at times although always worth a visit to the bars. We have also used the hotel pools with the grandchildren and sometimes spend the day eating/drinking swimming etc. It never seems to be a problem, just walk in and everyone is friendly. However we like to stay privately where we can do our own thing and then just visit the hotels if we feel like it.

Happy travels.

Auckland
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6. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Oh that is awesome info, just what I needed, I have just written to rentraro, thanks again.

Auckland
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7. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

check the holiday homes website also, often they are direct via the owners and there are pages and pages of them with detailed photos and feedback

www.holidayhomes.co.nz

Pauanui, New Zealand
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8. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

We love the Vaimaanga area or thereabouts...

Our Favourite holiday homes are Arapati, Iros, Vai Villas(for 2 couples)...

These are not cheap but plenty of cheaper ones.... as follows... prices may not be 100%

TeRito - $160 p/n holidayhomes.co.nz/pacific-islands/…

- Recent Review from someone staying there - tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g309713-i2628-k550…

Vaka Beach Units - $180 p/n -

holidayhomes.co.nz/pacific-islands/cook-isla…

Titikaveka Absolute Beach Bungalows - $140 p/n (3 day car hire free with 7 nights) - holidayhomes.co.nz/pacific-islands/cook-isla…

Mama Ru's - $149 p/n -

holidayhomes.co.nz/pacific-islands/cook-isla…

)

nz
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for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
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9. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Hi

There is also Vai Beach House which is right next door to Vai Villas. It sits on its own large section and is nice and private leading to lovely beach. The house is somewhat oldfashioned but is spacious and has everything you need. Vai Villas next door look after it and deal with bookings. You'd get a better rate direct from them.

This is not to be confused with Vaima Beach House. It is rather open to the road and looked very small. Only looked from the outside but it didn't appeal. Most of the garden was taken up by a large family grave.

Iro's that Bubbles mentions is really still in Titikaveka. But I'd stay there without hesitation.

Christchurch, New...
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10. Re: Raro holiday home question and more...

Hi,

Another couple to throw in the mix are, Ava Lodge, M & M Baches, and Maurua Beach House or Maurua Beach Bungalows, all at Vaimaanga. At that time of the year you can usually negotiate a better deal than what is being advertised as well.

Lagoon Breeze and Puakura Reef also have good specials on around that time. Good luck. j