The thought of some winter time out and a week in the sun is all too tempting. We chose an escape to Rarotonga because there is a direct flight from Christchurch on Virgin Australia – that saves another 3-4 hours hanging around in Auckland.
It is late July. Today in the South Island we are in the middle of a big winter storm. SH1 is closed, Timaru has declared a state of emergency because of flooding.
Roads near the rivers around Christchurch are closed. Our down puffer jackets and merino clothes are necessary to get to the airport.
It is miserable, cold and wet – time to head for the sun – escape to Rarotonga
Rarotonga here we come!
We have been watching the weather and it looks like we are heading for 22-26 degrees, though someone warned me to pack a fleece as they had a couple of 19 degree days at this time of year. We never touch the fleece – the weather is warm, and even the occasional shower just a relief.
New Zealand was ‘discovered’ by Polynesian sailors and explorers as they expanded to the south and east, seeking new lands to settle.
We are connected to the Pacific by more than an ocean. The shared genes, culture and language – kia orana is the Cook Island greeting – not so different from Kia ora in Maori.
They have New Zealand currency plus a few funky local coins – expect prices to be similar to NZ.
So it is natural for New Zealanders to head north to reconnect with the peoples of which they are a part.
Our bags arrived to the tune of a local playing ukulele and singing (he has been welcoming visitors in this way for over 30 years). It was a quick check at customs and a warm welcome by a beautiful woman with the trademark flower wreath on her head asking where we were staying and pointing us in the direction of local transport operators.
Gwen at Muri Beach Cottages had organised a transfer for us with Taire shuttles who were easy to find. We were presented with Fresh flower lei. After a bit of juggling we were in a shuttle on our way to Muri Beach Cottages, about half an hour drive around the island.
It is dark when we arrive, and very noisy – it is windy and the surf is obviously crashing on the reef nearby. We hear water lapping nearby. We awake to find ourselves in paradise – we on the beach, looking out to a beautiful lagoon with an island off shore to shelter us.
Rarotonga here we come!
Read more about Rarotonga here
I think we made a great choice with Muri Beach Cottages – three small cottages each with their own view to Muri Lagoon, private but close to facilities and shops at Muri a smaller one on the water – you need to be able bodied to cope with a ladder to bed, but the view is […]More...
The roads are flat – less than an hour to circle the island by motorised vehicle. Narrow roads, with not a lot of passing opportunities, but no one seems in a hurry, and they take care around bikes and scooters. Hire a Scooter If you do not have a bike endorsement on your licence, you […]More...
There are two main centres on the island – Avarua, near the Airport and Muri Lagoon on the other side of the island. The latter is the special snorkelling spot and on the recommendation of friends, it was where we were to be based – it was a good decision. We arrived on Friday night […]More...
We have just had a wonderful week in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. We loved the snorkelling, the warm weather, the direct flight from Christchurch and Auckland. the hospitality, the food and cycling everywhere. Everyone will tell you about the Saturday morning market which is a must visit. A great video of it here But there […]More...