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May or October which is better

Hamilton, New...
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May or October which is better

Hi all

Looking to holiday in Rarotonga for 7 nights next year, mini mid winter / pre winter break and can't figure out which is the best time to go. May and October are months that come up regularly as good times to visit. We don't mind heat, but would prefer a time when there is less rain, wind and the water is warm and clear for snorkelling. Does anyone know which is better? We are looking at staying at Sanctuary Rarotonga, Aroa Beach, unless someone has a better suggestion.

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Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Aroa Beach
Aroa Beach
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
14 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
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1. Re: May or October which is better

Kia Orana FruityNZ, welcome to the Cook Islands forum.

I suggest a May visit for you. The lagoon is warmer, after heating up over summer, the winds are fading away, and hopefully you will see less rain - as we did this past May.

Whereas with October, the lagoon has yet to warm up, and the prevailing winds could be stronger heading into summer and bringing cyclone season back to our shores.

Check what airfare specials are on for both times of year. I suspect that October will see stronger demand though, with NZ school hols occurring. Also see if there is going to be a discernible price difference for your accommodation.

The Sanctuary sits on a magical spot for excellent snorkelling, swimming, kayaking and relaxation on the beachfront. Other places to consider are Moana Sands, Royal Takitumu, Aroa Beachside Inn, Castaways, and Sunset Resort. Some parts of the winder lagoon are clearer than others. Depends on the flushing mechanism and the wind directions. Generally the west has the clearest water having the reef break much closer to the shore. Except the lagoon has more turbulence and more rocks too.

All the best with your holiday plans. Kia manuia.

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Cook Islands
Cook Islands
South Pacific
Aro'a Beachside Inn
Aro'a Beachside Inn
181 Reviews
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Sunset Resort
Sunset Resort
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Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Houston, Texas
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2. Re: May or October which is better

Gosh, we booked October because we were told weather was very nice in the islands. Not as hot and humid as April. We were in the islands previously in April and it was quite warm. On a cruise of Cook and Society Islands. Will the water be too cold to swim and snorkel? Our cruise departs 10/7, kinda worried now...

nz
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3. Re: May or October which is better

Hi

We regularly travel to Raro during October - it's our favourite time of year. We never find any problems with water temperatures at that time and I don't think you will either. It can sometimes be a little windy on the eastern and southern sides of the island (we stay in Titikaveka) but it doesn't usually last long.

Sanctuary is, as has been said, located on a lovely beach but is part of the larger Rarotongan Resort.

However, as I'm a fan of Titikaveka I'd suggest you look at Royale Takitumu Resort for a real treat. It's beyond our budget but we stay right next door in a holiday home so know the beach there very well.

Moana Sands is also on the same lovely beach and has the advantage of a restaurant.

Also worth a look would be Cooks Bay Villas in Vaimaanga. Again no on-site restaurant, but it has a pool and there are cafes, restaurants and a supermarket within walking distance.

Please don't worry - I'm sure you'll enjoy an October visit as much as we do. The water is warming up nicely, the weather is lovely but without the summer humidity and the mozzies haven't yet started their breeding season.

Edited: 10 August 2017, 06:19
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Titikaveka
Titikaveka
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
The Rarotongan Beach...
1,220 Reviews
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Royale Takitumu
Royale Takitumu
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Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Cooks Bay Villas
Cooks Bay Villas
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Rarotonga, Cook Islands
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Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Rarotonga, Cook...
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4. Re: May or October which is better

Please don't worry in advance about choosing October, LoveWine. With the OP preferring warmer lagoon temps, and planning to stay on the island, there is a high chance the lagoon water will be warmer in May, following summer, as opposed to October which is Spring following cooler winter water temps. But also the Spring winds tend to pick up again, by mid September as we head into warmer weather brought on in summer. Your particular day on Rarotonga may be warm and balmy. Who knows with climate change altering weather patterns nowadays. April is generally a hot/warm and humid month with plenty of rainfall too.

The key for Rarotonga is to determine the wind direction on the day of your visit, and choose a lagoon location accordingly. Any of the local people/staff who help passengers ashore will know what the weather is doing. If the wind is a stronger or gusty SE (prevailing wind), simply go around to the opposite side of the island at Black Rock - Nikao beach for shelter, and lots of sunshine.

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Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
nz
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5. Re: May or October which is better

Hi again

My bad - I just realised that my comments about not worrying about October should have been addressed to LoveWineandTravel who has already booked at that time.

FruityNZ - I mentioned in another post that the only Raro trip (out of very many) that we made in May was disappointing but we may well have been unlucky. By far the majority of our visits are in October and early November - a time of year we love. But I'm sure you'll enjoy a holiday on the island at either time of year.

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6. Re: May or October which is better

Thank You for your reassurance. The locals last time we were there said that October was a great month, that is how we booked our cruise for this time frame.

Hamilton, New...
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7. Re: May or October which is better

Thank you all for your really helpful suggestions on where to stay and when. will definitely look up those other accommodation options you mentioned. I think we'll try or chances with may as I don't think we can hold out until October next year. Desperate for some sun, sand and warm water.

Lovewineandtravel I would be really interested in reading your thoughts after your visit if you could make some time to post a response.

Does anyone know what the weather was like in may of this year? Sounds like the weather shifted around a bit this year like it did in NZ.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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8. Re: May or October which is better

This past May was brilliant. I live here permanently, thus I am able to report month by month and season by season as to what is happening here on Raro.

Our weather over the past summer stayed constant. Hot temps, humid days, dry days with some rain. 6 months solid of the same relentless summer weather. By May we were all so relieved to find cooler temps, and longer periods of fine weather with little wind.

I hope that you enjoy an equally lovely climate when you visit.

nz
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9. Re: May or October which is better

Hi again FruityNZ

I totally understand your need to get some warmth and sun as soon as possible. October next year is just too far away.

The winter here in NZ has been so depressing we just couldn't see the end of it. So we treated ourselves to a last-minute trip to Maroochydore for some sun and dry weather. Just got back having enjoyed temperatures of between 23 and 25 and not a drop of rain. It was just wonderful as were the restaurants.

So now we feel able to face the rest of our miserable winter until our next overseas trip.

I, too, will be interested to hear feed-back from LoveWineandTravel. We regulars love to hear reports of other people's visits. It all adds to the collective knowledge on the forum which is so important to keep it alive and up to date.

Edited: 10 August 2017, 13:41
Hamilton, New...
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10. Re: May or October which is better

Great post. Thank you. Hadn't thought about somewhere like aus for short break. Summer and winter this year were / are miserable in nz. Feels like a whole year of rubbish weather

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