Updated: Feb 22, 2019
In 2017 MJ and I picked up an incredible deal on flights to Rarotonga, Cook Islands with Jetstar on their 'Return For Free' deal. Essentially you choose the destination and the date you want to go and the return flight is $0. Amazing!
We took off in February. It was a relatively short flight from Auckland and we landed in Rarotonga in the early hours of the morning. We had pre-booked a shuttle from the airport to our resort, Club Raro.
This three start resort was just perfect for the two of us. We booked an extra night due to the flight times (we left on a 1am flight so kept the room until it was time to leave). While not located in the popular Muri beach, it was close to town and after we had picked up our hire car, we drove everywhere anyway so the location was ideal. Club Raro has a restaurant onsite and a swim up bar, which MJ loved!
- We brought our own wine and snacks from NZ so rather than drinking in the hotel bar each night, we had drinks and nibbles in our room.
- Snorkel hire is free at Club Raro
- The Muri Night Markets are a short drive from the resort. They're open most nights and we ate here often.
- Vili's Burger Joint in Muri is also delish!
While we couldn't afford to do everything, we chose a couple of activities we had either heard about before we left or had discovered through our own research.
First up was Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise & BBQ. A super fun day out on the boats with singing from the locals, a stop on a island where we ate some traditional Rarotongan food, learnt how to cut a coconut down from a tree and how to wear a pareu (kind of like a sarong). It was an awesome day out and not too badly priced for a four hour trip with lunch and activities provided.
Our other highlight was the 'Over-Water Island Night Show' at Te Vara Nui Village. What a night! This amazing cultural performance at their incredible venue was something we'll never forget. We also enjoyed some delicious food with their Island/Western fusion buffet. 100% recommend this. It was a little more pricey but totally worth it.
Other highlights included:
- Swimming with the locals at Wigmore's Waterfall. Just a gold coin donation.
- Grabbing a bakery lunch and heading to the beach for the day. Free!
- Touring the island in our hire car, we named her Moana! She was a soft top and we enjoyed cruising around in her.
All in all, a fantastic trip, really affordable and we were so lucky with the weather. Apparently it rained the week before we arrived and the week after we left! We recommend Rarotonga for families on a budget. - Kiki & MJ