We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rarotonga the week before Vaka Eiva

Stockholm, Sweden
6 posts
Save Topic
Rarotonga the week before Vaka Eiva

Hi! I was thinking of spending a week in Rarotonga for my honeymoon from something like Nov. 16-22, 2018, and I just read that the Vaka Eiva festival starts on the 23rd this year. How bad would it be to go in the week that I've specified? Would it be better to avoid it if we are just looking for a relaxing time with some fun activities?

Alternatively, I'm also looking at Aitutaki, but the return ticket is NZD 1052 which is way too high for a few days.

Thanks in advance!

Mentioned in this post
Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Aitutaki
Aitutaki
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
3 replies to this topic
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
16,743 posts
124 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Rarotonga the week before Vaka Eiva

Kia Orana Pazow, welcome to the Cook Islands forum.

The week prior to the paddling festival isn't busy. And last year's paddling comps were much reduced in numbers compared to previous years. People begin to trickle into Raro a few days before the official start of Vaka Eiva, depending on flights and other travel logistics.

Accommodation availability will be the major challenge. I note on the Fiji forum you indicated a budget of US$120 per night. Have a look at non-resort places to stay, with s/c villas being popular around Rarotonga.

Whale watching season will draw to an end by late October. Usually few whale sightings by mid November.

Are you considering catching the LAX bound flight out of Rarotonga, or returning to NZ or flying over to Sydney for your return home?

All the best in choosing a nice destination to relax after your visit to NZ. Kia manuia.

Mentioned in this post
Cook Islands
Cook Islands
South Pacific
Fiji
Fiji
South Pacific
Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Stockholm, Sweden
6 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Rarotonga the week before Vaka Eiva

Thanks for the informative response! I can be a little flexible with the budget and maybe go double that for a room per night, but that is something I will look into once I've decided.

Another thing I worry about is if the weather will be rainy or cold mid- to late-November or if it is usually good at that time of the year. Is it stable during that period? Are the beaches swimmable in that climate?

I would've considered Aitutaki to get a calmer environment but all the flights there are much too expensive, unfortunately, especially considering that I will have to go back to Auckland to fly West towards Sweden.

Activity-wise it looks like there are lots of great things to do in Rarotonga, such as walking through the center of the island, the buggies, renting a bike/bicycle, etc., so those are things I'm looking forward to!

Mentioned in this post
Aitutaki
Aitutaki
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
16,743 posts
124 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Rarotonga the week before Vaka Eiva

Mid November is certainly warming up, temperature wise as we head into summer. Lagoon areas are all swimmable at this time of year. The beauty of Rarotonga being the biggest island is there are plenty of places to find shelter. If one side of the island is receiving wind, the opposite side of the island offers shelter. We have our central mountains to thank for this situation. There are a number of swimming beaches with the marine reserves being popular locations with their increased fish-life and off the beach entry. Beaches are all free to enjoy.

Activity wise, Rarotonga has lots to offer - more so than Aitutaki which is a small island with a larger lagoon. And you dont need to charter or hire a boat to get onto the lagoon. Many accommodation properties alongside a suitable lagoon supply kayaks, and there are lots of places that hire out SUP boards. The Cross island walk is possible at one location only, which is from Avatiu valley to the Papua Stream near Vaimaanga.

While US$120 per night would have limited your accommodation choices, even a budget of US$200 per night will open the range of accommodation choices for you.

Air NZ provides daily flights from Auckland - Rarotonga - Auckland. Virgin and Jetstar both have several return flights per week. There is also a weekly Air NZ direct flight to Sydney if you dont wish to fly home via NZ. Worth looking into as this will extend your travel options to return to Europe.

Mentioned in this post
Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Aitutaki
Aitutaki
Southern Cook Islands, Cook Islands
Vaimaanga
Vaimaanga
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Reply to: Rarotonga the week before Vaka Eiva
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted