We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

My Trip November 2015

Sun City, California
Level Contributor
29 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
My Trip November 2015

I wanted to share my experience of first week of Nov 2015. First off, "Kia Orana!." I live in the desert of Southern California. Rarotonga was a breath of fresh air. I travelled a lot of the Pacific in the Military and can honestly say, The friendliest people on the planet. I was afraid that I wouldn't get a good burger or food. Man, was I wrong. I did not find one place that I disliked. I stayed at the Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa. Yeah, it is dated, however, Why are you in your room? It rained once, on Wednesday night and was clear the next day. Other than that the weather was awesome. I did Bishop's Lagoon Cruise. Great bunch of guy's. They were filming a sports show in NZ - I think they were famous footballer's and I was right in the group of them on the front of the boat.(Was great!") I went by myself and 55 years old. The place seemed so safe, I'd trust my 70 year old mom by herself there. I re-certified my scuba license at the dive shop down form the Rarotongan. Great bunch of people. Loved the dive. I did go to Aitutaki one day. Air Rarotonga has the Aitutaki day trip. Whatever you do. If your going to spend the time going to Rarotonga, to not do this would be foolish... I left my heart in Aitutaki, it was way more beautiful than Diego Garcia. Had an absolute blast, trevally almost ate my go pro. Waded out to a sand bar 1/2 mile. Things I learned: If your gonna fly 10.5 hours one way stay two weeks. Don't sweat food. Dress casual. I am already planning my trip for Nov 2017. I will stay at least 4 nights in Aitutaki. The rest in Rarotonga. Scooter is the best (unless you have children, then I strongly suggest a car for safety.) Bring money! You will need for trinkets. Takaru Jim has awesome carved pearl shells. I especially loved the two ladies that have the mobile food trailer. They were funny. They even have a nice car all tricked out that you can rent for a honeymoon/wedding jaunt. I'm coming back to get my heart back. I fell in love with the Cook Islands....

7 replies to this topic
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
1. Re: My Trip November 2015

Kia Orana Ronbo,

Great to see you've posted a trip report, providing insight into what you enjoyed about your holiday. Sounds like it was a very successful visit! Pleased to read that a return visit is in the making too.

Was that Koka lagoon cruises or Capt Tama's that you went out on, for Rarotonga? Bishops is Aitutaki based.

Since you were here last, we have even more food outlets on Raro! You'll be spoilt for choice once again.

Kia manuia.

Rancho Cucamonga...
Level Contributor
2 posts
10 reviews
6 helpful votes
2. Re: My Trip November 2015

We will be in Rarotonga the first 2 weeks of November 2016 (20 days away!) Thank you so much for your review. I have heard so many great things about the friendly people there, and wondered about the food.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
7,014 posts
268 reviews
558 helpful votes
3. Re: My Trip November 2015

Hi Ronbo

I enjoyed your trip report. I think you must have been on Raro at about the same time as I was.

Tahitians 1315

You won't be short of food choices I can promise you, particularly if you are a fan of wonderful fresh fish which is usually available in abundance. But there are an increasing number of fast food outlets to choose from but not, thankfully, MacDonald's or KFC - so far!

Have a look at the restaurant reviews - link below. Many of the places have their website listed at the top of the individual review page and you'll often find the menu of the particular place. Or sometimes it's a link to their Facebook page which will also give you an idea of the type of food they serve.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Restaurants-g309713-Rarotonga_Southern_Cook_Islands.html

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
4. Re: My Trip November 2015

We even have a café called Tahiti Café which does fresh fish dishes, including Tahitian raw fish and sashimi.

Sun City, California
Level Contributor
29 posts
3 reviews
1 helpful vote
5. Re: My Trip November 2015

It was Capt. Tama's. Those guys were a cut up. I wanted to spend 4 days in Aitutaki (the overwater bungalows but $3008.00 US is a little pricey. But I think they have the only over water bungalows on Aitutaki. I also want to do beachfront room in Rarotonga for 8 nights that's around ($1,700 for eight nights). Anyone know when is the best time to look for room rates? These rooms were priced using Tripadvisor. So, that's 4,700 us for the trip in just rooms. I guess I could stay in a garden room at the Rarotongan. It's not like I will use it other than sleep and shower. The people who live there are soooo lucky. I hope you never have a McDonalds or KFC. That would ruin it for me. Give me something new, like the fresh fish caught that day. Can't get any better than that. Will be booking in February for November. Let me know what/who is best to book a trip. I used Triple A last time and it seemed to be a canned trip. Round trip from LA + Garden Room 6 night at Rarotongan for 1,900 U.S.

Aitutaki, Cook...
Level Contributor
2,486 posts
38 reviews
16 helpful votes
6. Re: My Trip November 2015

Hi Robo, you should be aware that the 'over the water' bungalows that you refer to are not really over the water the same way as in French Polynesia. The bungalow is on land with a balcony that extends over the water with 2 posts in the water. There are stairs that lead directly down from the balcony to the water. In the water bungalows are not permitted on Aitutaki.

On another note if you haven't already done so, check out CostCo Travel (you have to be a member). They have nice packages to Rarotonga and Aitutaki with one of them being the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa which has the bungalows you were referring to.

Good luck with your planning.

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
7. Re: My Trip November 2015

Staying in private holiday home accommodation will help reduce costs. You wont have onsite licenced dining or a bar, yet if you stay close by a resort with all these facilities you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Having a kitchen and BBQ means that you can dine in on occasion and enjoy fresh fish home-cooked.

If you enjoyed the Aroa beach area, have a look at Lagoon Breeze villas which aren't beachfront, but the setting and quality of accommodation is very good. For somewhere quiet, and private, Vaikoi villas are lovely and barely a minute's walk to Ruataki beach which is far less busy compared to Aroa where the Rarotongan sits.

But if you enjoy onsite creature comforts including a bar and bar meals, Aroa Beachside Inn is a good spot to relax, and enjoy sunsets. Their beachfront rooms look directly into the lagoon and ocean beyond.

Another nice spot is Palm Grove, beachfront studios. These are absolute beachfront, with the licenced restaurant on the inland side of their property. Really nice locality, and very handy to Wigmore's superstore.

But ask the Rarotongan Resort direct for a return visit price, staying at either the Sanctuary or the main resort in a beachfront room; in combination with a o/w bungalow on Aitutaki.

Reply to: My Trip November 2015
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Aroa Beach
More Aroa Beach Topics
© 2024 Tripadvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of in . If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.