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My Review

Sydney, Australia
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136 posts
17 reviews
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My Review

Perhaps it was because it was Easter and perhaps our secret is out and more people are taking the opportunity to visit the "other" slice of Heaven but the plane was full.

Having experienced a beautiful orange/yellow/blue sunrise on approach, we arrived safely at 6.55am to a sunny Rarotonga morning. We got straight off the plane and thankfully we were first at the Immigration Desk because we turned around and there was literally hundreds of people waiting. I think they need more than two desks to cater for full flights.

At 7.07am, we went out into the car park and found our little Cabriolet waiting, as promised by Island Bike and Car Hire. The staff are very good, nothing was a problem. As there were two couples (my best friend and her husband joined us to see what all the fuss about Raro was - yep, now they're hooked) - we each rented our own car so that we weren't beholden to each other.

We got to our rental accommodation - Taakoka Muri Beach Front Villa. The Villa presented exactly as it was on the Internet. It was immaculately maintained with a very refreshing pool, all overlooking the lagoon.

I'm not going to give you a day-by-day commentary on what we did because most days were the same - eat, drink, snorkel, swim, sleep. I will just tell you about the restaurants we loved and the couple we didn't.

In no specific order, because that's the way my brain is after this holiday (lol).

Vaima - what can I say? I really love this place as does my husband and our friends. We ended up there three times and enjoyed every meal. I have to admit, I love Henry's cocktails too.

Tamarind House - beautiful setting, excellent service. The food was good but I wouldn't rave about it.

Trader Jacks - I enjoy Trader Jacks for lunch and they definitely won (IMHO) the Di's Best Pizza Award.

Whatever Bar - Interesting little place. We had a Whatever Burger and Chips and have to say they were pretty darn good and cheap as - well, chips (oh dear).

The Shipwreck Bar - Love it. We didn't make the Saturday night Seafood BBQ as the weather wasn't very nice at all. Just another excuse to return to Raro.

We had fun at the Island Night at the Muri Beach Club Hotel. I recorded my DH dancing - hilarious, great memory. The restaurant was full and the buffet style food was of a very high standard. Great night.

Sails - Went to Sails for lunch. I really can't say much except it's a shame the food didn't match the view. Our Waitress was lovely though.

After Happy Hour at the Crown Beach Resort (which was very nice), we went to Windjammers Italian Restaurant and I actually had to send my entree back. I can't remember the last time I did that but it was prawns and scallops and they just weren't right. At the end of the meal the Chef came out and actually apologised. He knew 'the product wasn't right'. I am still wondering why on earth it was on the menu. Anyway, there was no charge and the rest of the meal was pleasant.

Apart from the Vaima, we had two favourite restaurants. The Little Polynesian - we went there for both lunch and dinner and the dinner was absolutely beautiful. As luck would have it, Seth was our Waitress on both occasions and she is exceptional. For a dessert, I tried the Chocolate and Banana Wontons - OMG, they were beautiful. I actually managed to get the recipe so when I've lost the kilos I put on, I will give them a try - or maybe I'll just go back to the Little Polynesian.

The other place that was exceptional was Bamboo Jacks. We just wish we had tried it earlier. We managed to go there twice but will definitely go back there again next time.

Prime Meats was fantastic. We bought Rib Eye Steak from them on two occasions for BBQs and just can't rave enough about it. Even our neighbour's dog, Dude, loved it too! (We don't know his real name but that's what we called him, it suited him - a Chocolate Labrador). We didn't give him any red wine though.

We found the Bond Store the best for buying wine and I really enjoyed the Ti Point Syrah - a beautiful NZ red from Hawkes Bay - shame we can't buy it here in Australia - just another reason to go back to Raro.

Unfortunately, our two weeks came to an end all too soon. We had to clear our cupboards, fridge, etc so instead of throwing out all the food, we packed it up and took it down to the staff at Island Bike and Car Hire at Muri to thank them for being so helpful and friendly.

Until next time ...

Nelson-Tasman...
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7,733 posts
439 reviews
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1. Re: My Review

Enjoyed your reviewTheMorans. Did you hear the Vaima burnt down last week. Such a shame as we also loved it. Like you we loved the banana and chocolate wontons with coconut icecream at Little Poly. Next time you go back arrange for the romantic beach meal. Most stunning, especially with sand beneath your toes and sunset

New South Wales...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga
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1,290 posts
127 reviews
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2. Re: My Review

Hi Again,

I really enjoyed reading your trip report.

It's great that your friends are now Raro converts. Between my husband & I & our daughter & her husband, we've been responsible for 15 couples/families, either visiting or who have visited Raro this year. Sorry if we were the cause of the full plane you were on.

We also enjoy the meat from Prime Foods - I've often said it's as good, if not better than meat we buy here in Aus.

I would be interested to hear how you compared this trip staying in Muri with your last trip when you stayed in the Vaimaanga area.

I also look forward to reading your reviews - which I'm sure you will do :-)

Have you booked the next trip yet?

Hobart, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu
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3,607 posts
130 reviews
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3. Re: My Review

Great report - thanks for sharing. Glad you had a great holiday

Suzi

Sydney, Australia
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12 posts
32 reviews
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4. Re: My Review

Thanks for your great review.We are headed back to raro in June after a very long time some twenty eight years since our honeymoon....far too long.In those days the planes from Sydney weren't full and there certainly wasn't the choice of restaurants there is now however,Im pleased that island time still exists and we can still hire a bike though now we don't need a local licence.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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14,518 posts
112 reviews
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5. Re: My Review

Kia Orana The Morans,

Lovely to hear how your recent visit went. Indeed you arrived during stunning weather! Perfect beach conditions over Easter weekend.

Thanks for posting your comments on the various dining spots you experienced. Must try the Ti Point syrah you recommended.

All the best, and happy planning for your return trip. Kia manuia.

Nelson-Tasman...
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7,733 posts
439 reviews
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6. Re: My Review

Im interested to know if you took precautions against mossies? And if you have avoided the zika virus. Seems a mixed bag with NZ locals we have talked to coming back from Cook Islands, Basically those who have applied insect repellant often and everyday have avoided the zika virus and/or any symptoms. Those that werent so diligent with repellant have come down with SUSPECTED virus with aches and pains within 2 weeks of returning.

Auckland, New...
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802 posts
90 reviews
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7. Re: My Review

Hi TheMorans,

Loved your trip report - it made delightful reading, thanks. It brought back great memories and rekindled the urge to head back there soon.

It must have been really nice being up the pointy end of the plane too, especially with a full flight.

Sydney, Australia
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136 posts
17 reviews
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8. Re: My Review

Hi Everyone, thanks for your kind replies.

Fernsie, I am guessing you are talking about the area and not the accommodation. Muri is a very pretty lagoon and the outlook from the deck over the pool and onto the lagoon was not only beautiful, it was relaxing - you know, the I don't want to go home thoughts come to mind. However, Vaimaanga is definitely a better swimming beach. As far as booking our next trip - August is possible but we also want to go to Auckland to see the Bledisloe at Eden Park, so I'm not sure but we will be back. We are considering spending our future winters there.

Poppy - the Zika Virus. Adam (the owner of our accommodation) told us he had some friends who had contracted it and said it was very nasty. Before we left home I bought a can of Bushman Mosquito Repellant to take with us and I sprayed it on and my shoes stuck to my feet - I had to peel my shoes off. It was a bit like ripping a sticking plaster off and left the 'sticky' behind. Needless to say, I gave that away. When we sat out on the deck in the evening, we had mosquito coils and I also took the plug in mosquito "thing" for the bedroom. Overall, we were pretty lucky with them and so far, no-one seems to have the Virus.

Toddy, always nice up the pointy end - especially coming back when the trip is a bit longer.

Yes, I do (now) know about Vaima - I'm very upset about it - I really loved that place. I hope the staff can all find alternative jobs until it can re-open as they are all very friendly (especially Henry).

Cheers

Di

Vancouver...
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7,749 posts
24 reviews
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9. Re: My Review

And now, you can start planning for your vacation next year. I'm glad you enjoyed your self. Chuck.

Christchurch, New...
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120 posts
18 reviews
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10. Re: My Review

Enjoyed your review, we were there early April left just before you guys arrived. Checked out Kathy's on your recommendation, looks awesome, hope to book it next time, as we missed out by just hours this visit. We to took all the precautions for mozzies, plugs ins, Bushmen's friend, coils wasn't bitten once, however it was soo windy I doubt wether the little buggers could have landed on us anyway.. Think we will go in the month of sept/ Oct next time as it wasn't warm enough for us in April. Still loved it thou.

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