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1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
11 posts
7 reviews
1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Heading to Raro this month (so excited!) Anyway, is it safe to drink from the tap? If not, what is the best way to get around this issue?

Any other tips for newbies that aren't already on here would be appreciated. I'm so thankful to all the posters on this forum - you've helped us out more than you know!

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
Level Contributor
9,548 posts
109 reviews
1. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Kia Orana Sara,

Welcome to the forum.

In all my time spent on Rarotonga I have never ventured to drink the tap-water straight from the tap. Inspite of having a water filter on my tank I continue to boil tap-water for 3+ minutes or longer. I also go to the water treatment outlets on Rarotonga to stock up on filtered and treated water.

Frangi in Nikao, and Vaima in Avatiu are treatment plants, where you can purchase filled containers and get refills. All the small stores and the bigger supermarkets on Rarotonga sell water. You can also refill containers at Wigmore's in Vaimaanga.

A tip when dining out, it is likely that when you request water that you will be charged for this service. Ice in drinks is more than likely to be commercially-made ice cubes.

Have a lovely stay. Let's hope our long spell of fine weather will hold out for your visit. Hardly any rain over the past 6 months!

Kia manuia.

Vancouver...
Level Contributor
93 posts
2. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Most all the established properties have a purification system. Contact where ever you are staying and ask them about the tap water in your room. As Frangipani says, the ice is fine in restaurants. Unlike Frangipani, we have never boiled our water, just out of the tap purified water from where we stay.

Have fun (I know you will)and be sure and write a trip report.

BlackBelt4dan

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
11 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Thanks so much - this really helps a lot. I'm emailing our hotel to see if they're filtered.

You two have posted on here before and I want you to know that it's so helpful to people like us who've never been.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
Level Contributor
9,548 posts
109 reviews
4. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Thankyou Sarah, I appreciate your feedback.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
90 posts
62 reviews
5. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Hi, if the water isn't filtered, is it safe to use it to wash dishes? If there is bacteria in the water, is it likely to transfer to the dishes/cutlery?

Pacific Northwest...
Level Contributor
40 posts
6. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

NZBeach: If there are pathogens in the water, how can you wash dishes and get pathogens off? You can't. You can't brush your teeth in non-potable water either. That's why it's important to contact where you are staying and ask if the tap water is purified. Very important.

Canada/Australia
Level Contributor
1,100 posts
21 reviews
7. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

We stay at a place that doesn't have a filter and always boil water for everything. Many days when it rains we have brown water. We usually buy some filtered water as well.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
Level Contributor
9,548 posts
109 reviews
8. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Hi NZ Beachlover,

With the enduring dry spell over summer, we've had very little rainfall to replenish the mains supply. A week ago the mains water was very discoloured/brown when we did have rain, since it resulted in flushing through the dirt that remained at the bottom of the intakes. Currently, the town area is experiencing major road works as new pipes are laid in preparation for the next phase in an island-wide project to filter water at source (intakes).

Be sure to enquire from your respecitve accommodators what type of filtration system they have in place for their tap-water. The better quality accommodators will have both filtration and teatment systems which are checked annd routinely cleaned on an ongoing basis.

Also. many accommodators provide potable water, which is supplied by one of the commercial water treatment plants, and replenished weekly or so on an ongoing basis. Check with your accommodator about this arrangement.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
11 posts
7 reviews
9. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

We had a great time in Raro, stayed at Sunset. The tap water was fine and tasted just fine as well. Never had a problem anywhere we went (and we are careful travelers -- take our hand sanitizer with us wherever we go). When we went on the cross-island trek with Pa (highly recommend) my husband even drank from the stream (Pa said we could) and didn't have any resulting 'issues'. Clean island, Rarotonga.

Melbourne, Australia
7 posts
10. Re: 1st time to Raro - tap water safe?

Hi all,

Thank you all for the very useful feedback on this topic.We are travelling to Rarotonga in early July so we are learning a great deal from this forum.

A question. If there are safety issues with untreated water then I assume that restaurants and take away places must use treated water to wash fruit and vegetables used in salads, sandwiches and uncooked meals etc. I read great reports on the restaurants, we can't wait to try some of them. Is it sensible to wash fruit from the market before eating or is it OK to eat whilst we are sampling the local produce at the market and various small produce outlets.

Thank you.

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