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First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

montreal
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First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

My cruise ship stops for one full day in Rarotonga. I want to use my time wisely as best I can & I would be so grateful for your help. I love swimming & I love scenery.

What would you suggest? Any lagoons?

Should I hire a guide-if so any suggestions? Thank you so much

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Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
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Rarotonga, Cook...
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1. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

Kia Orana pattysue, welcome to the Cook Islands forum.

On cruise ship days, there is a beach bus operated by Cooks passenger buses that stops at the most popular swimming beaches, completing a number of circuits in the course of the day. This would be a very good transport option for you. Ask the driver which will be the more sheltered beach between Tikioki and Aroa. These two places are the most popular stops.

Hiring a vehicle takes time, and when you aren't familiar with the island you might drive around aimlessly. Which is fun, but not if swimming is high on your agenda. But something to consider if you are content with exploring only. Pre-book a rental car with cruise terminal pickup if possible.

There are guided tours, with Raro Tours being the main carrier. These focus upon highlights around the island catering to wider interests.

All the best for good weather during your day-visit. Kia manuia.

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Cook Islands
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South Pacific
Aroa Beach
Aroa Beach
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
montreal
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2. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

Thank you-if I want a scenic tour,to see as much as possible,would you have the website for Raro Tours please?Which would be the best scenic tour to take? That might be a great option.

About the beach bus-is it readily accessible from where the cruise ship is? Also would you have the schedule for when it comes back?

Thanks & waiting to hear from you

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3. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

On cruise ship days, the tours, taxis, shuttles and local buses line up at Avatiu wharf for passengers. There are ushers on hand to direct passengers to the various coaches and taxis. The beach bus is parked in the same place, and is labelled Beach bus in the window.

A circuit of the island takes one hour, and with Cook's passenger buses operating a continuous circuit you will be one hour away from the next service. Although, the usual passenger buses will be running as well. These are hourly from 8am and Cook's run a clockwise and anticlockwise service on the hour (clockwise) and half-hour from Cooks Corner in town and back again.

Raro Tours have a fleet of smaller air conditioned coaches that they use for tours and transfers. Cook Islands Tours is another operator. Both will take passengers to historic sites, Muri lagoon, and may end at the Rarotongan Resort which has been hosting cruise passengers of late. A practice which has been revived from the 70's when this resort was one of the first to open its doors to tourism.

https://www.rarotours.co.ck/

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montreal
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4. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

Thank you. How far is the Rarotongan Resort from where the ship is? Does it have a nice swimming beach?

If I take the bus & as you say it does a circuit of the island in one hour,where does it take you & what do you see? I will look at Cook Islands Tour. Is the Muri Lagoon a must see?

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5. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

The Rarotongan Beach Resort is located about 20 minutes from the Avatiu wharf, and about 10 minutes from the alternative cruise jetty in Arorangi. Most cruise ships anchor off the Avatiu wharf, weather permitting.

The Rarotongan Resort sits on one of the best beaches on Rarotonga. Being a marine reserve location it is a popular spot year round.

The ordinary passenger buses remain on the main road and will stop anywhere upon request. The cruise ship beach buses tend to stop at the main beaches including Muri in the east, Tikioki in the SE, Aroa (Rarotongan Resort) in the SW and at Black Rock - Nikao beach in the NW. Buses possibly stop near Vaiana's bar too, since there is a nice sandy beach in this locality. The passenger buses are mainly used to get to the beaches. If you are more interested in a general overview of Rarotonga, then a tour coach is recommended.

Muri lagoon is a must see. It is iconic with its small motu offshore, and wide lagoon area. I do see the cruise ship coaches taking passengers on to the Ngatangiia sportsfield with a welcome ceremony being hosted next to the lagoon. Raro Tours and Cook Islands Tours will describe their respective tours to you, including the places they visit during cruise days.

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montreal
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6. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

Thank you-I was disappointed with Raro Tours-they said to get in touch with Raro Safari Tours if I want a scenic tour,when I asked Victor for the email,no response. Rather disappointing.

Would you happen to have Raro Safari tours email-I am quite sure I sent them but no response.

I could also go to Rarotongan Resort & hang out there for the day. There is also Koka Lagoon Cruises & they at least

get back to you-they offered the Tikioki Reserve area to snorkel & then Muri to the motu islet for a bbq.

I really want to do & see it all. What would you do? As far as Cook Island Tours-do you have an email?

Many thanks

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7. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

That is no good to hear about Raro Tours not making themselves available. Since they are the largest tours and transfers operator on the island.

Cook Islands tours, who are located at Harbour House, may be an alternative? They own the pearl shop located there, and also offer the progressive dinners - night-time experience. Contact temu@cookislandstours.co.ck.

For the safari tours, on cruise days I see them using 3 vehicles collecting passengers at the wharf for a day out - sambo@rarosafaritours.co.ck.

Koka will provide a fun day out on the lagoon, and then back to their motu-base for the picnic lunch and coconut tree climbing demonstration. A well run organisation. Their curtesy coach picks up guests.

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8. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

How about something like this then Patty Sue...

http://www.tik-etours.com/tik-e-tours/

In regards to the lagoon cruises I can vouch for the fact that they appear to be a lot of fun and very popular and they do take their passengers to an excellent area for snorkeling.

Good luck and have a wonderful day exploring the island and all it has to offer.

montreal
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9. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

The two of you are amazing-thank you a million times. Perhaps you can help me decide now. I want to do everything but you only have so much time. Holland America comes for the day from 8-5 (wish it was 6 PM)

Finally,yesterday-they opened up 5 tours that start in the morning (no afternoon tours).

The 2 best are these 2-please please tell me what you think .

There is the Muri Lagoon Cruise for 3.5 hours-you explore the Muri Lagoon in a glass bottom boat. Then

you can swim & snorkel at Koromiri-an uninhabited island. After that there is a coconut husking demo. You get back to the ship at 12:30 PM.

The other tour that is also appealing is Aroa Beach Break for 3.5 hrs-you visit Aroa Lagoonarium

they say it's the best snorkeling although I don't snorkel but I do swim. Then you're at Aroa Beach & you have full access to the facilities at the Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa & have a bbq lunch & get back at 12:30

which do you think of the 2,which is nicer?? I would so appreciate your input

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montreal
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10. Re: First Time & Only One Day in Rarotonga

I forgot to mention but the date I will be there is October 24,thanks

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