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visiting Raro soon with 2 yr old - any advice appreciated

portland, or
7 posts
1 review
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visiting Raro soon with 2 yr old - any advice appreciated

Hello - we're planning a vaca on Raro with our 2 year old (a trooper - he snorkeled with us in a floaty at 9 months in St. Thomas - a low maintainence little stud!)

we're active people! snorkelers, hikers, adventurers, tourists, we love to eat and absorb the culture. We expect to take advantage of public transportation.

-- what area of the island should we stay?

-- hotel suggestions? - we are not 'luxury' type people - we would like clean, some ammenities, resonably priced - beach front preferred.

-- any advice for us traveling with our 2 yr old?


Melbourne, Australia
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60 posts
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1. Re: visiting Raro soon with 2 yr old - any advice appreciated

He sounds like a real cutie! Lots of places in Rarotonga will not take children under 16, but one of the places really well set up for kids is the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa. It has a kids club with crab racing nights, treausre hunts, and a child-friendly pool with small little waterfall, and food options (like Junior "Chish and Fips", little chicken nuggets and salad and small ice-cream deserts). The Resort is not that flash these days, but has brightly colored chairs in every colour of the rainbow, and would work well for taking a child. It is on the SW part of the island, with a beach alongside, and snorkelling with fish swimming all around humans (having been tamed by their good behaviour and fish-bribing food). So you could have him throw bread into the water and watch all the coloured fishies jump to catch it.

Alternatively, Muri Lagoon at the East of the island is a beautiful spot to stay, with great swimming and a sandy beach - the best on the island really. I'm not sure which hotel there will take children though. There are also small places with self-catering bungalows. I'd need to have a look and get back to you as to which ones take children. However what's great about it is the beautiful lagoon with 3 islands a short walk at low tide or swim away. Glass-bottom boats leave from here, to see the fish from the safety of the boat.

There are many restaurants here - the Sails Restaurant has a kids menu and is set up for children, at the sailing club absolute beach front. The Pacific Resort is lovely and I think kids can eat here.

In terms of getting around, there is buses running both clockwise and anti-clockwise around the island on the hour. It costs $3 for a single, or $5 return trip per person, and there are bus stops just everywhere or you can flag it down anywhere on the island. The clockwise leaves Avarua Cook's Corner on the hour, and takes 50 mins to go round. The anti-clockwise leaves I think on the half-hour, but stops at 4.30ish so that after that you are forced to go clockwise.

Cars can be hired - I think it was about $50 or $60 a day, and its useful when you have the air-con and you can take a picnic and all your gear.

You can hire mountain bikes but may be tricky with the 2 year old, and scooters as well. Many many people get around on scooters.

There is a great little walking track that you get to by a road opposite Avarua Harbour up to the track, and it is a good family track being only around 30 mins or so, and crosses Avarua Stream about 20 times.

Other tracks require guides generally, and can be slippery and are not well marked, so that I would be very wary taking a 2 year old. Generally you need a guide for these, and they range 3 or 4 hours but involve serious scrambling up hills etc.

Best spot for snorkelling reputedly is around "Fruits of Rarotonga" which will be marked on most maps. and is opposite a cafe and preserves/chutney store of the same name. But near the Rarotonga Beach Resort is also great, as are a number of other spots on the island.

Consider also whether you go to Aitutaki. This is an island group 45 mins flight from Rarotonga but is absolutely beautiful. Less restaurants and so on, but far more stunning, huge lagoon, and little islands to explore in addition to the mainland of Aitutaki itself. You can get lagoon cruises to One Foot Island and Honeymoon Island, have breakfast or lunch over there. Its more remote and quiet, but just so stunning!

There was a 3 year old girl staying with an Australian couple at Samade on the Beach in Aitutaki, which is perfect for children as it has a great swimming spot right in front of the restaurant there, formed by the lagoon and a sand spit just out, which rises up above the water at low tide. Lots of cute little children swimming in there. Its reasonably priced, and the bungalows simple but nice and clean.

Hope this is of some help to you. Best wishes for your trip.

portland, or
7 posts
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2. Re: visiting Raro soon with 2 yr old - any advice appreciated

Thanks for the response - Very helpful indeed! We're seriously looking at hotels/bungalo's at Muri Beach!

Thanks Again!

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