Went to Rarotonga for 5 nights last week - it was beautiful! I'm so glad I went. Despite my workmates warning that it was cyclone season, and the rainy weather forecast just before we left, we had the best weather while we were there! (My aunty and I). We had one morning where it was a little bit drizzly and cloudy, but every other day was sunny, hot and blue sky everywhere.
We stayed at the Edgewater Resort, which turned out much better than the online reviews had led me to believe. Someone I know had some things stolen from their room while they were there - apparently all the hotels are having troubles at the moment with staff thievery, so we made sure to keep all our passports and spare cash in our in-room safe whenever we went out.
We did a lagoon cruise, a 4wd drive safari tour, and Te Vara Nui night show/village tour and dinner. We also spent a night at Trader Jacks bar/restaurant in town and at Cocoputt mini golf. I loved it. I loved the food. Tropical fruit and coconut every morning, fruit smoothies and snack food for lunch, mocktails in the afternoon.
My favourite mocktail was at Te Vara Nui, it was made of chocolate, peanut butter, milk and cream. I decided to attempt to recreate it when I got home. I bought the ingredients but I haven't tried it yet. The coconut cream smoothies were also delicious, probably very fattening but so good. Cafe Jireh by the airport made the best one, peach coconut, we had one just before we left.
They have one public waterfall, Wigmores, which is lovely but unfortunately overridden with mozzies. We got the bus around which was convenient and cheap but if I went again I'd definately get a scooter so I can stop wherever I want whenever I want.
I never knew how closely linked Raro maori was with NZ maori, the language is so similar, they say vaka where we say waka and they say "Are" where we would say "Whare". We were shown a place called the departure point, where the NZ waka are said to have left from, they now have a commemorative plaque there to remember the 7, including Tainui (my one).
I had to buy a couple of sarongs after more than one lesson on several different ways to tie one which was awesome and informative. We also learnt how to climb a coconut tree, how to husk and open a coconut, and how to make coconut cream (yum!) and its good for your skin.
The $55 departure tax was a bit of a sting in the tail, apparently the old terminal was much nicer (so said a canadian lady we met who has visited Rarotonga about 30 times) but that would be my only complaint.
My aunty now wants us to plan another trip back so she can plan a visit to Aitutaki. I'm not that fussed about Aitutaki, but i wouldn't mind going back to do some more snorkeling, which I came to love while I was there.