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8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Toronto, Canada
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8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Looking to head out of the airport to relax on a beach and enjoy some good food. Any recommendations on hotels that offer a day stay rate? I am just not sure what to do with my luggage as I will only have carry-on.

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Vancouver...
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1. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

What day, what time?

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

I think I will arrive there on a Sunday at 6:30am

Rarotonga, Cook...
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3. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Kia Orana JAMWC, welcome to the Cook Islands forums.

Your flights seem a little out of kilter, if you don't mind me saying? Arriving in the morning from a NZ bound flight, only to wait around for the afternoon flight down to Auckland.

Your best option is to book a day-room at the Islander Hotel across from the airport entrance. You can store any luggage there, have a meal, relax by their pool or Hula Bar deck overlooking the ocean. There is a beach nearby if you walk towards the west about 400 metres.

Or you could walk to Avarua, along the main road through Panama. Very little is open on Sundays, apart from small stores until 9am. But the walk is very pleasant along the harbour, and town area. A passenger bus goes to Avarua on a clockwise route, heading for the CICC (Cook Islands Christian) church. On Sunday afternoons, the Islander Hotel often has live entertainment around their pool area. It's a popular place among locals and visitors alike.

All the best for your brief visit to Raro! Kia manuia.

Auckland Central...
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4. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Yes, Sunday is a bad day to be stopping over in Rarotonga. Most resorts will open for lunch at midday though. Another option for you is to put your one carry on bag into a storage locker at the airport or leave it (for a small cost) with the reception staff at the Islander Hotel which as Frangipani has said, is directly across the road from the airport. You would then be free to catch a bus around the island to at least see Rarotonga and perhaps stop at a resort where the beach is more attractive. Here is the bus timetable - it will cost $4 per ride

www.cookislandsholidays.com/timetable.htm

Note that there is only a clockwise route on a Sunday and the times are more limited. Sunday – 8:00am to 12:00 midday and from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Auckland Central...
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5. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Also note that the bus only runs on Sundays for a certain period in the year, see this website

http://www.busaboutraro.com/trips.php

"The Sunday Bus service will run only between 1st April through to 30th November each year – 8:00am to 12:00 midday and from 2:00pm to 4:00pm."

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Thank-you everyone for the info!! Can't wait to see a bit of the Cook Islands.

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7. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Curious, how did your trip go? What did you end up doing? We have a similar layover (8.5hr on Sunday) in December.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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8. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

I would love to hear more about stop over options as we will be there at 6:30 AM on Sunday Dec 24. I am guessing options will be very limited due to the day and the Christmas holiday. We are seriously considering getting a room until our PM flight to Auckland. Still so very excited to see this little gem of an island!

Rarotonga, Cook...
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9. Re: 8 1/2 hour stopover on the way to NZ

Kia Orana nmmickeymom, welcome to the Cook Islands forum.

Booking a rental car is a very good start. This way you will have your own transport waiting at the airport, so you can tour the island at your leisure.

Having a day-room to freshen up before the flight to NZ is another good move. Ask the Islander hotel, opposite the airport, if they have a vacancy for your date. Book well ahead of time, and the Islander also manages several rental houses in the nearby/airport vicinity that would be suitable for a dayroom base.

Expect Christmas Eve to be quiet. Church services will be popular, and families will be home preparing their celebrations and feasts before the big day. The population on Rarotonga swells with returning Cook Islanders taking advantage of the Christmas -NY holiday period; home for a rest and to catch up with family reunions, weddings etc.

The Islander hotel hosts a Sunday lunch with live entertainment every Sunday. Very popular place to wile away the hours. If you decide to stay at the Islander on the 24th, ensure you let the staff know if you are having lunch in that day so that you get the best table so to speak.

All the best. Kia manuia.

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