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Trip Report

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Trip Report

We have just come back from a week staying at The Rarotongan beach resort and spa. The rarotongan is a nice resort but it is fairly family orientated which we arent used to, there were quite a lot of kids there at the time. The resort is in a fantastic spot, right on a marine sanctuary and we had a great time snorkelling there. We did find Rarotonga quite expensive, comparing it to Vanuatu and the Rarotongan resort seemed to be quite a bit more expensive for drinks than any of the other places we visited. In saying this, we did have a great relaxing holiday.

We started out hiring scooters but I was pretty uneasy on it to begin with and after I fell off it (onto grass thank god) and the bike fell on top of me, well I decided to give it up. Thankfully I just missed a parked car by about a foot and no damage at all was done to the scooter but I ended up with a very badly bruised leg and pain for a few days. We hired a car for the day then and drove around the island, first going to 3 different places until we found the correct place to get a drivers licence. A young local guy helped us out to find the police station because its not on the map where it should be and we were very thankful to him but then after we went to the police station we were told we had to go to the harbour to a place there to get the licence. Bit of hassling around but worth it in the end to be able to drive licenced. It was good to be able to stop where you wanted to see different things around the island.

The bus was a good service and mostly ran on time. We did use the bus the majority of the time that we were there except the 2 days we had hired a car.

There is not a lot to do on Rarotonga besides relaxing, swimming, snorkelling, eating and drinking (we did all the above well).

We ate at the following places and here is our thoughts on each of them..........

Rarotongan beach resort..Meals nice but overpriced and the service was slow

Alberto's...we had a fantastic meal here one night and it was very reasonable.

Trader Jacks...we shared a pizza for lunch. The pizza was nice, great spot, service good and the pricing was good.

Whatever bar and Grill...we really enjoyed our meal here. Fairly priced and the steak was fantastic. The staff there were more than helpful. They played good music which we enjoyed the change from the island music.

Kikau hut.........was another fantastic meal. The owner/staff were also great here as was the live singer. Well priced

Blue note cafe.....for lunch it was nice. reasonably priced

Vaima.....was very nice. we took our drinks out onto the sand and watched the ocean. The meal was great, the service was good. They picked us up from our hotel which was the same price as getting the bus but less hassle.

Cafe Salsa....we had a lunch here and we both enjoyed it.

Fish and chips.......on the wharf was nice

Portofino's........we had a lovely meal on our last night. The staff seemed to become a bit frazzled when it got busy though and kind of forgot about us. We had to remind them once or twice about our drinks we had ordered.

In all, we enjoyed our holiday and came home bronzed and relaxed.


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1. Re: Trip Report

Leaving in 2 wks. Getting anxious. First time to Cook Islands. Usually go to FP. Did you buy your liquor at the duty free shop or in town? What do you think is the best way to go? Thanks for the restaurant review. Really appreciate it.


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2. Re: Trip Report

we bought duty free spirits at sydney airport on the way to drink there, we also went to the liquor store in town to buy beer to have in our room. On the way out at the airport we bought more spirits and cigarettes.

We got a 2 litre bottle of jim beam white for $32 at Rarotonga airport. We had paid $29 for a litre bottle of jim beam black at sydney airport so it is considerably cheaper to buy it there.

Enjoy your trip........I go back to work tomorrow after 2 months off. I bet you know where I would prefer to be!!!


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3. Re: Trip Report

As far as liquor: First find the Crown Beach Resort. Across the road is a small sort of shopping area. One of the stores is a liquor store. They bottle their own brand of light and dark rum, whisky, bourbon, scotch and brandy. Much less than the Bond store or CITC liquor store. They also have good prices on beer. At the other end of this area is a great hole in the wall restaurant called the Flamboyant Cafe. Really good home cooked meals that you eat outside on picinic tables. Chuck

Seattle, WA. USA
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4. Re: Trip Report

Some useful info here.

Yes, the police station is being rebuilt (by the Chinese government, I think (as part of the effort to cultivate good relations in the South Pacific - and possibly extend their influence there (the whole subject is somewhat controversal)). In any event, we did have to go to the waterfront office to get our driver's license.

The scooter incident shows the wisdom of staying off those things.


5. Re: Trip Report

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