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Port day in Rarotonga

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
167 posts
47 reviews
Port day in Rarotonga

We will have 1 day in October 2017 in Rarotonga from a Paul Gauguin cruise. We were hoping to rent a car for the day and drive around the island to beautiful Muri beach and elsewhere on the island but we are quite concerned about all the water issues and contamination we are reading about in Rarotonga. Can anyone who has been recently comment on this as we love the water and that was our primary reason for selecting this cruise over others as it had a Port day in Rarotonga.

Are there other clean, safe and beautiful public beaches on the island we can go to for snorkeling?

We did a Raro Safari excursion when last there in 2014 but decided that the inland ride was not our thing. We so longed to be in the water and are very disappointed to hear there are water issues at beautiful Muri :(

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
2,006 posts
87 reviews
1. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Hello Love wine and Travel - my goodness that should be my name!!!

I have just returned from my 4th trip to Rarotonga and we did have a good look at Muri while there. By all means stop by for a visit but your best snorkelling will be at the Fruits of Rarotonga which is between Titikaveka Beach and Tikioki Beach. There is public access there and it is a beautiful, clean, clear part of the lagoon.

Another popular spot is Aroa Beach - just north of the Rarotongan Beach Resort - again there is public assess to this beach.

Much closer to Avarua you can also swim/snorkel at Blackrock - between Blackrock and Nikao is a very popular spot with the locals!

nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
6,495 posts
295 reviews
2. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Hi LoveWineandTravel

Absolutely right to stay away from Muri - sad but true.

But certainly the swimming and snorkelling is still excellent at the Tikioki Marine Reserve opposite the Fruits of Rarotonga which Scottygirl has mentioned.

But, assuming you'll be wanting to eat at some stage during your day ashore I'd suggest a stop at the Little Polynesian Resort which is at the edge of Tikioki/Titikaveka. Still close to the marine reserve, the swimming and snorkelling is still excellent and, indeed, you could walk towards Fruits of Raro if you felt energetic.

http://www.littlepolynesian.com/

The resort is beautiful with stunning views from the restaurant, across the infinity pool, to the lagoon. You could go there for lunch and swim/snorkel either before or after lunch (or maybe both).

The beach along that stretch from the Tikioki Marine Reserve and along Titikaveka is absolutely beautiful. I've stayed in other areas on the island but this part is my favourite and I've stayed there so many times it's difficult to count accurately.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
17,928 posts
130 reviews
3. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Kia Orana LoveWine,

Cruise ship arrival days see crowded beaches. Last year I happened to be at Tikioki beach and it was extremely busy there. When the weather in the SE behaves, this is a very popular spot to access the water.

About a month or less later, I happened to be enjoying a beach day at Aroa, and couldn't believe how many cruise ship passengers had found this spot also. There would have been around 200+ people on that small beach including cruise passengers and the resort's guests. Somehow we all found room to sit with people coming and going as the day progressed.

Good idea to visit Little Polynesian for a light meal and some beach space. You can also find access to this beach area by way of the empty section next door to the resort (western side).

When the SE winds hit Tikioki - Titikaveka, Black Rock in the NW is sheltered. Not as a deep as the southern lagoon, but refreshing when its breezy over the Spring months (October included). Black Rock also retains a marine reserve. The Edgewater Resort sits alongside a marine reserve. Very clean and clear water in this locality, albeit with more wave action in the lagoon with the reefline much closer to the shore.

Edited: 03 February 2017, 13:09
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
167 posts
47 reviews
4. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Thanks for all the helpful advice. It appears that since we are 2 adult couples traveling, a rental car for the day will be our best option to get to the beaches that are still clean and good for swimming and snorkeling.

Any recommendations on car rental companies for Rarotonga that would meet us at the Tender Port?

So very sad about Muri.... was hoping the problem would be rectified before we get there in October. This situation cannot be good for their tourism.

Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
17 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Hi

I am also going on a cruise to Rarotonga and want to rent a car for the day and have the same question as above. Is there a car rental place near the port ? Please advise.

Thanks

Edited: 18 March 2017, 03:20
nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
6,495 posts
295 reviews
6. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Hi seite

This recent link may help with some of your questions.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowTopic-g309…

Hopefully LoveWineand Travel may have organised a rental by this stage and will let everyone know what she has been able to arrange.

Level Contributor
405 posts
163 reviews
7. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

We have just left Raro and snorkelled everyday.

We loved it. The water was clear. We snorkelled opposite the Fruits of Rarotonga shop.

Edited: 18 March 2017, 17:54
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
167 posts
47 reviews
8. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Great to hear that the snorkeling is good across from Fruits of Rarotonga. That is our plan.

Did you check out Muri Beach, is the water situation still unchanged?

Can you recommend a casual (beach attire accepted) reasonably priced location for Lunch on the island. We will have rental car. Thanks for your info.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
167 posts
47 reviews
9. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Hi Seite,

We booked a car rental for 1 day ( large and automatic since we are 4 adults) via Island Car Rental. They said they would pick us up at the tender port and bring us to the rental car office closer to the town area and then return us back at the end of the day to the dock. They took our CC to hold the reservation only and will allow us to pay in cash or CC the day of the rental. Fee quoted was $72 NZD/ for the day. We did use a credit card that has no Foreign Transaction fees associated with international use.

Hope this helps.

nz
Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
6,495 posts
295 reviews
10. Re: Port day in Rarotonga

Hi LoveWineandTravel

That's really useful information that Island Cars will pick you up at the tender port and take you to the rental office. Great for future cruise passengers to know.

As far as Muri is concerned, the news is no better except that they are now going to undertake research. See this article. Until a temporary solution is found, such as trucking away septic tank effluent to somewhere inland, there will be no improvement even in the short term. And after heavy rain agricultural chemical residues and other things will flow into the lagoon. Bear in mind that many growers on the island still use paraquat for weed control and are resisting moving to something more environmentally friendly.

Have a look at this article. Of particular interest is the fact that CI News say they started to warn about the state of Muri back in 2000 and raised the ire of the Tourist Corporation who complained publicity would affect tourism. I had observed problems for many years and often talked of it, firstly on Lonely Planet and latterly on TA. I, and others who also had concerns, were often attacked and contradicted.

If only the authorities had not tried to hide and ignore the warning signs the situation would not be as dire as it now is. Too late? I certainly hope not.

cookislandsnews.com/national/local/item/6347…