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Chickagruna and other questions

Sun City, California
Level Contributor
29 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
Chickagruna and other questions

Kia Orana,

I will be there in 7 days. Have been planning this for past 8 months. Have been reading the forum daily last few months. I am curious about where the fish comes from (other than the ocean). In other words, the fish is not coming from the lagoon is it? With the recent algae bloom in Muri, and the Chickagruna (spelling?) I love fish! It would really be bad if I couldn't eat it for a year without getting sick. Bottom line. What are the rules for eating fish in Rarotonga if any?

I am renting a scooter through Polynesian Bike Hire. I notice that they have a office across from the Rarotongan where I am staying. Can I rent from there? I have tried to call 3 times now to find out. The phone rings then goes silent. I have even e-mailed with no response. If anyone knows if I can go there instead or going back into Avarua once I drop my bags off. In at 7:00 a.m. can't check in till 2:00 p.m. With a 10 hour flight this seems to be a very long day.

Speaking of flight. Anyone been on the LA to Rarotonga flight the last few months? What's the plane like capacity wise? Is it full, or half full? Would appreciate a heads up to what I'm in for.

Also, I want to visit your on island Environmental Department. I want to know how the island is dealing with issues that were discussed by either Frang or Niz in previous post. These things interest me. With that said, sadly, I agree, letting foreigners into your country is good for economy, bad for environment. Most people have no idea of their footprint on the environment. With that said, my reason for coming there is, I want to see paradise, before it's gone!

That's it. Any help with the above questions would be greatly appreciated. Also, I understand the meaning of Kia Orana. However, when people end their post there are a few ways they end them. Could you tell the meaning of the various endings in some of the post?

Thanks.

Ron

8 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,525 posts
92 reviews
167 helpful votes
1. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

Chikungunya is a Mosquito borne disease. Not fish poisoning. I think you are talking about Ciguatera.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciguatera

I have eaten Parrot Fish caught on the reef, but it is not advised. The eating fish in Raro are deep sea species. Yellow Fin Tuna, Ma'i Ma'i etc, So don't worry.

Okotoks, Canada
Level Contributor
1,407 posts
24 reviews
54 helpful votes
2. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

Yes you can rent from across the road. It opens at 9am.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
28,726 posts
140 reviews
82 helpful votes
3. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

Hi Ron,

NES, the national environment service is located in Avarua. Aspects of the environment are dealt with there, but also other agencies like public health and the infrastructure department are involved in development activities as well.

The Rarotonga of today is an extremely different island from my childhood. Several of the outer islands, including Mangaia, Atiu, Mitiaro and Mauke are wonderfully unspoilt and retain their natural beauty far better.

Meitaki maata and meitaki atupaka are common expressions used to say thank-you, depending on the island and its cultural dialect.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
268 reviews
558 helpful votes
4. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

Hi Ronbo

It seems no-one addressed your questions about fish.

It is true that it's no longer safe to eat fish from the lagoon because of ciguatera.

But that needn't restrict you - I just about live on fish whenever I'm on Raro.

Weather permitting you'll have a huge range to choose from - tuna (several varieties) , broadbiil, mahimahi, moonfish, marlin, trevally and more. It's best to buy from the established retailers if you intend to self-cater - Ocean Fresh is the best and Blue Pacific is also good, operated by Trader Jack's owner. These people have their own boats. There is also sometimes by-catch from the overseas fishing fleets which are licensed to operate in Cook Islands Waters.

In restaurants as well as some of the above fish (menus vary) you'll also sometimes find Parrot Fish. Absolutely delicious it usually comes from Palmerston Island.

Seafood is usually imported, although you may be lucky enough to find some crayfish from Aitutaki which is delicious.

Some people do still fish in the lagoon. You'll sometimes see people offering whole fish for sale. I would never buy from these people - as a visitor I don't know where the fish come from. But locals usually do and have their own favourite suppliers. But they also frequent Ocean Fresh.

Another place you'll be guaranteed fresh fish is The Mooring café on the outskirts of Muri. It's really an outlet for the catch of a local fishing boat and run by his wife. Very popular as you'll see from the reviews.

I certainly hope there will be plenty of fish for everyone in the next few weeks. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
268 reviews
558 helpful votes
5. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

As an afterthought, I hope I made it clear that all the fish I was talking about is caught outside the reef which protects the lagoon.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central, New Zealand, North Island, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
28,726 posts
140 reviews
82 helpful votes
6. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

There are good supplies of fresh deep-sea fish at present, on Rarotonga. And the boat from Palmerston has landed a catch of Parrot-fish, which Palace Takeaways in town sells in their fish and chips. Trader Jacks often has it on their menu as well.

I can confirm how wonderful The Moorings is, from my latest visit last Friday. It's a popular spot for a fish lunch so arrive early if you want a table.

Flying fish which is sold by local fishermen is very nice. Again it's an ocean fish. Very rarely do I see any reef fish available on Rarotonga these days; if at all.

Kia manuia - which is our way of saying 'good luck' for your arrival next Monday.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Level Contributor
889 posts
15 reviews
26 helpful votes
7. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

Another type of local fish is Maroro or flying fish. Caught by local fisherman at night and served fresh in the morning down at the markets most days. (depending how lucky the night fisherman were!) This is served with bananas, coconut cream and various veggies. It is served both raw and grilled. This is a local breakfast favorite! So yummy!

Visalia, California
Level Contributor
61 posts
32 reviews
17 helpful votes
8. Re: Chickagruna and other questions

It appears you are already on your trip but I'll answer your questions about the LAX flight in case others are interested. When I flew to Raro the last day of August, I had a center row going and coming back all to myself! Of course I specifically chose my seats at the rear of the plane because it was the least crowded when I made the my seat booking. You can choose your seats on the ANZ website.

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