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Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

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Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

I have booked for June after looking at the gorgeous photos and now wonder if I have made a mistake. Too late as all is booked and paid for but I would like to know if that part of the lagoon is safe for swimming and snorkelling please. What would the sea temperature be in June too please

17 replies to this topic
Lake Macquarie...
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1. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Hi Anne,

Sorry I can't give you good news. We walked that section of Muri Beach, where The Beachcomber is situated just last week and I'm afraid to say it's not great. There were a couple of people snorkeling but it's been a considerable time since I would have considered swimming in Muri. Even prior to the present problems I have been suspicious of the water quality there.

I did ask a young man who had been snorkeling if the snorkeling was any good & he gave me the thumbs down signal.

As you say, it's too late to do anything about your situation, so just go with the knowledge that there are still many lovely beaches on Raro & nothing is too far away.

I can't help you with the water temp. in June, I haven't been there at that time of year but I'm sure someone who has will be able to help you.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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2. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Hi Anne,

It's too difficult to predict what will happen over the summer, weather-wise, given that Rarotonga hasn't had a severe storm/cyclone for some years now. With lagoon temps being as warm as they have been is often one indication of increased cyclone activity. If so, then the lagoon will receive a strong impact which could change the current nature of Muri lagoon dramatically.

Unfortunately, Rarotonga had a mild winter with far less cold weather this year. Just when a cold snap arrived in May, it was over quickly followed by higher than normal Spring temps helping the lagoon algae to flourish again. Who knows what the state of play will be like for your June visit.

One thing to consider, Muri hasn't been a good area for snorkelling for years and years! I see people snorkelling and swimming there, but the area is too cluttered with other marine activities going on simultaneously. You will be better off to walk along the beach to motu Taakoka, where there are better snorkelling spots south of the motu, and where you don't need to compete for space with other activities cluttering the lagoon area. Tikioki marine reserve is close enough to Muri to walk to, which offers superior swimming and snorkelling anyway.

If you are planning to go on one of the lagoon cruises, the vessels take their guests to the outer edge (reefline) of Tikioki where you can enjoy decent lagoon conditions to snorkel.

Once you arrive on the island, ask your accommodator then whether Muri is suitable to swim in.

Auckland Central...
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3. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

We were in the Cook Islands in June and swam in the lagoon daily at Aitutaki which was very warm. We certainly saw many people swimming in the lagoon at Rarotonga. Sadly Muri is not nearly as pretty as the pictures. You will still have a great time though, especially if you venture out to other beaches.

nz
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4. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Hi Anne

The good news is that Muri Beachcomber is a nice little resort centrally located to access restaurants and other facilities in Muri. I have stayed there myself in the past but have to say that even back then the Muri lagoon was showing definite signs of pollution. We have never returned to that part of the island (other than to restaurants) and would not consider swimming there.

Even before the more recent activities like paddleboarding and the like, it was never good for snorkelling as has been said. On our last visit there we used to walk to the offshore motu at low tide through what my husband always called 'seaslug world' because of the numbers residing there.

Of course the mats of algae are a recent phenomenon - a result of years of over-development and run-off from agricultural chemicals and animal effluent. As you will have read, many of the commercial properties have non-complying septic tanks and all this runs into the lagoon. It is certainly polluted and the algae is not just a manifestation of warmer temperatures or global warming.

Much needs to be done and there have been further delays by properties being given a further two years to clean up their act. Whatever the authorities hope - the problem is not going to go away - it can only get worse without drastic, and expensive, action.

It will be a nuisance for you to go to other beaches for your swimming and snorkelling. There's nothing like being able to step from your accommodation on to the beach and into the water. But you will find places like Tikioki, Titikaveka and Aroa good for swimming and snorkelling. These are easy to access by car as Raro is very compact and easy to get around. The buses are very good, too, but not as convenient if you want to swim somewhere else.

Auckland NZ
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5. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Darn,we had hoped to just step onto the sand from our resort and swim. I didn't do my homework very well. The crazy thing is that we usually holiday in Bali but hubby wanted a change to go somewhere clean and unspoiled! So disappointed that I booked without researching on a recent nasty wet day when I wanted to cheer myself up

Auckland Central...
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6. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

You can kayak over to the little islands just off the beach, go for beach walks and generally enjoy the area. If you can't change your plans then just make the most of what you have - perhaps use the holiday to scout out Rarotonga for a future holiday! If it is windy (as it is often at Muri) just remember that it will be calm and sunny over the other side of the island. When we stayed at Muri we would often escape over to a western beach.

If you hire a car (which is pretty reasonably priced) you will have so much more freedom to explore the island.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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7. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Scottygirl makes a good point, Muri can be windy over winter from the SE breezes. It may not be good beach or swimming days in that locality during your visit. The west and NW is more sheltered at this time of year.

Having made your booking, I agree that you make the most of your holiday, and explore the wider island. When you arrive, that is the time to assess how bad the problem is. We are very weather dependent on our tropical islands and who knows what will happen between now and your arrival.

I did see signs of progress with the algae abating, or rather being thrown out of the lagoon from stronger winter storms. But with the climate change and a much warmer than usual Spring, the algae has flourished again.

The walking distance from Muri Beachcomber to motu Taakoka where there is a far clearer lagoon, is no more than 1km away. But even if you were to step onto the beach alongside your accommodation, you are competing with Koka cruise vessels moored at the shoreline, the endless kayaks and SUPs in use, and the sailing club and Capt Tama's to your left as you look to sea. The centre of Muri is a busy area, and this includes land activities also.

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8. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

On the plus side Anne.... You can laze away your time on the deck overlooking the water, sip a cocktail... swim in their lovely pool. You can look out to the ocean, hear the waves, take wonderful beach walks and have a fantastic holiday. You probably will be able to swim right off the beach - just not perhaps in the way you first intended! As for the wind, as long as you are back from the beach a bit and in the sun you will be fine.

We stayed at the Pacific Resort and the beach got shaded really early but we didn't have an alternative place to sit in the sun as our room was shaded and they don't have any loungers other than at the beach and pool area (which was also shaded, hence my dislike of this resort).

nz
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9. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Hi again Anne

It seems we are all in agreement that you should hire a small car to get around. This will really give you flexibility to do what you want, when you want. Rates are reasonable and you can pick up a car at the airport if you wish and leave it there before your flight home.

But going back to Muri Beachcomber. Are you booked into one of the lagoon view Units? If so, I have a couple of pointers for you. They are all duplex units arranged in a U shape. So those units at the flat end of the U are further away from the lagoon. As you are booked well in advance I suggest you ask if you can have one of the units at the top end of the U shape. And better still one of the two (one each side) that is right next to the lagoon. You have your own private little garden to the side giving the best views in the resort. Let me know what you think.

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10. Re: Lagoon water purity by Muri Beachcomber.....

Unfortunately not in lagoon view as on a budget. Rarotonga prices are high after ten years of staying in 5 star hotels in Bali with lots of extras at a fraction of the price. Chose Rarotonga as it is a short flight and we have been to all the other places which are a short hop from Auckland. You are fountains of knowledge on this forum so could anyone please tell me more about the night market next door. We are arriving on a Tuesday afternoon and staying for eight nights so thinking it might be a good option for one or two meals. Would we be able to take our meals to the Beachcomber deck overlooking the sea or would that we too far to carry the food? Planning to take my limit of Sauvignon Blanc to sip overlooking the lagoon at sunset!

Also,how far to the right, when facing the sea, can we wander on the sand before encountering obstacles? Is it too far to walk to Charlie's,Fruits of Rarotonga, Marie Nui gardens etc? Any other information very welcome

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