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Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

EJH
Melbourne
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324 posts
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Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

I would love to hear from anyone who has stayed in a "home rental" in the beautiful Cook Islands.

The prices seem very reasonable.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

cheers

Seattle, WA. USA
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1. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

In case you've not seen it before:

http://www.epinions.com/content_2624430212

(our experience renting houses in the Cooks)

The way to go in my opinion. Will be doing it again when we return to Raro next April.

Ken

Michigan
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156 posts
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2. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

Ken, have you heard anything about the Avana Lagoon House? That's the one we're staying in when we visit in March .... it's on Muri Beach, across from Motu Tapu. It looks darling in the photos, and the owner was very nice when I called her.

Btw, I appreciate your warnings about locking up/hiding valuables! We don't intend to bring much with us, but we do have a very nice camera and of course will have cash, so it's good to know we need to be cautious.

Seattle, WA. USA
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3. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

I don't think it was there when we visited Raro (if this is the place: http://www.avanalagoon.co.ck/) - or maybe it was and we just didn't notice it. Anyway, the views from there will be beautiful. If you look at my Rarotonga album on Webshots (community.webshots.com/album/36601416JFsHDc), you can see that photo img180 on page 3 was taken from almost that same spot as the photo on the avanalagoon website (look at the outline of the trees on the island). I took that photo on Easter morning right after attending church across the road. It's the place from which - according to Cook Island legend - the Polynesians set sail on their voyage of discovery to New Zealand - but I digress. Anyway, it's a beautiful location (photos img178 & img176 - on page 2- were taken not too far from there). Your views will be delightful.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the channel there is the outflow from Muri Lagoon. All the water that enters Muri lagoon (by breaking over the reef), flows north and then exits the lagoon in the channel pictured (between the motu furthest north and the "mainland"). This results in a very strong current at that point (strongest on Raro) that runs maybe 4-5 knots and could easily take you out to sea (and maybe even DOWN the seamount) if you get caught up in it. The end result is that I would not swim in the immediate area unless you are an extremely strong swimmer - and maybe not even then. You are fairly close (maybe a 2-3 minute drive) to good safe swimming areas (the central areas of Muri) but I do not recommend swimming out in front of your place. Swimming anywhere near the breaks in the reef is risky, but particularly so there.

Ken

Seattle, WA. USA
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4. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

PS - Since they have a kayak, you COULD kayak over to the motu and swim there. As long as you are not swimming in the channel directly you should be OK. Just be careful and use your common sense.

Ken

EJH
Melbourne
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324 posts
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5. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

Ken,

Not sure if I should be saying Thanks for the eopinion link you provided....ive been glued to it for hours and hours!!!!

(Im at work!!)

Your pictures on the link are just fantastic!

:)

Michigan
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156 posts
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6. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

Ken, that's the place! Thanks for the advice and the photos :)

I will be sure to e-mail the owner before we go and ask about the safest swimming areas nearby. Honestly, though, I am more of a "wade and splash around a minute then go lie down on the beach and read" kind of person, so as long as there isn't a raging current right off the beach, I will be happy as a clam :)

Are the best snorkeling areas generally off the motus? That is the only major swimming I am really planning to do ...

Seattle, WA. USA
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7. Re: Private Home Rental in Cook Islands

EJH:

You're welcome (I think). :)

Based on the "hours and hours" comment I take that you discovered the additional Cook Island travel articles I posted on Epinions (besides the 2-part "House Rental" report). Be sure and check out the Epinions articles written by others as well so you are not JUST getting my side of the place. Also check out the numerous trip reports and reviews written and posted here on Tripadvisor (not just the message board we're posting on right now). Lots of very knowledgable people out there nowadays - far more so than when I was planning our first trip to the Cooks.

Sanveann -

I think that Muri Lagoon is logically broken into 2 distinct areas.

The south area starts near the southernmost motu and extends north to the tip of land between the 2nd and 3rd motus. This area is dominated by the Pacific Resort and the smaller "mom & pop" resorts. It's deeper (at least in the central sections) and features the best swimming area on Rarotonga and excellent snorkeling at the extreme southern end (out on the ocean side of the southernmost motu - and extending sw from there along the shore around the "corner" of the island). The central part of this section (around the Pacific Resort) is the heart of Rarotonga's tourist area, with sailboard rentals etc, a handful of restaurants and a few shops.

North Muri Lagoon is the area from the aforementioned tip of land between the 2nd and 3rd motus extending north to the lagoon outlet at your rental. This area is quieter (and more beautiful in my opinion) but the water is shallower with less coral and thus less fish to see. Part of the shore is bordered by a very pretty saltwater marsh (but not muddy). Thus you are a ways from the best snorkeling areas (less than a 5-minute drive though) but in the most scenic area of the entire island (in my opinion).

I've not been on Motutapu, but did wade out to Oneroa (the next motu) and walk around the perimeter. The motu photos in the Rarotonga album were all taken on Oneroa. If you look at them you can see that motu (which appeared to be typical of the 3 northernmost motus on Raro - and most motus that I have seen) has a sandy shore on the inland-facing side and a rocky shore on the seaward-facing side. As near as I could tell, neither Motutapu or Oneroa offered very good snorkeling. The ocean side was too shallow and the lagoon side was too sandy.

The sandy side of either should be pretty perfect for playing in the water however (though not deep enough for swimming).

Ken

PS - The current current near your rental will be rather like a gently flowing river - not rough or wild, but constant and steady. There may be some areas close to shore or out of the main channel that may be OK for wading and/or swimming, but as I say, use extreme caution near the channel.

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