Rarotonga is the main and most populated island in the Cook Islands, at 26 miles its small enough to cycle around in a day. The island is surrounded by pretty beaches and lagoons and the interior dominated by volcanic peaks and dense forest and vegetation.
Rarotonga isn’t exactly geared up for budget travel, there’s not a great deal of options for staying cheaply, we stayed in Tiare Village on the North side of the island which turned out to be a fair walk to the beach and a bus ride to the nice lagoon. You can get around the island on the bus that circles regularly. The accommodation was great, the lady that ran it being very friendly and making an effort to learn everyones names, she also gave us the great advice to visit Aitutaki if we could afford the flight, we splashed out and it was well worth it.
If you don’t want to rely on public transport you can hire motorbikes the main ring road being pretty safe. We also hired mountain bikes and road round the island, getting pretty frazzled, the Ozone layer is pretty thin in these parts so you need to use super strength lotion especially if you’ve just flown in from grey England.
The location of Rarotonga makes things pretty pricey, even shopping in the main towns supermarket couldn’t really be considered budget. We cooked plenty of corn beef hashes as corn beef was plentiful and cheap, we even managed to forage for a bread fruit and make chips with the aid of a eccentric barefooted french man.
All in all Rarotonga is a great place to visit I just wouldn’t consider it a budget or backpacking orientated destination, similar to Fiji in many ways, its a great place to go for a relaxing week at the start of a longer trip away.
- Tiare Village – www.tiarevillage.co.ck
- Rarotonga Backpackers – www.rarotongabackpackers.com
- Backpackers International – www.backpackersinternational.com
- Inano Beach Bungalows – www.inanobeach.com
- Matriki Beach Huts – www.matriki.com
- Samade on the Beach – www.samadebeach.com
- Tiana’s Beach Bungalows – www.tianas.com