Rarotonga Map

Hein and Wil website

Our trip to New Zealand and the Cook Islands 2006

Rarotonga (Cook Islands)

We left New Zealand on Friday the 8th of December to arrive on Rarotonga on Thursday the 7th of December, thanks to this slight of hands called the International Date Line.
The Cook Islands are situated at about 4 hrs. flight from New Zealand and about 10 hrs from N.America.
Ggogle map of Pacific Ocean.
Rarotonga Air
Club Raro Entrance
Punanga Nui market.
Lagoonfront Rooms

Lonely Planet: "Jutting like a jewel from the sapphire-blue Pacific, Rarotonga is most people's quintessential image of a South Pacific island. Crowned by jagged green mountains and saw-tooth hills, cloaked with tangled jungle, mango groves and tall coconut trees, and completely encircled by a dazzling turquoise lagoon, Rarotonga is unquestionable one of the most beautiful of all the Cook Islands.."

yellow tree
We stayed for our 5 days in the Club Raro on the North side of the island, on the far left side on the picture above.
Walking distance from Avarua, the main "city' on the island and very comfortable in our "lagoonfront" room.
Floral wreath
Flame tree

On every Saturday morning there is a big market: the Punanga Nui Market with lots of things to eat and to see. Our visit was coinciding with the local Tiare (Tiare is a Gardenia) Flower Festival and the market, so lots of flowers in trees and behind ears.

two couples

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, which consists of a Southern group of about eight island and a remote Northern group of about half a dozen islands.
Raratonga, although the largest is still very manageable: a coastal ring road around the island is about 32 km. There are regular bus services that stops on demand, one going clockwise, the other counterclockwise.
The coastal road passes through farmland, and rambling homesteads. Dogs, pigs, chickens wander freely and lots of trees: flower and fruit are fringing the road and of course coconut palms.
The people like to keep their loved ones close by, also after they have passed on, hence ancestral graves are in the backyard or at the side of the house.
Beaches are everywhere and are belonging to the island. No private beaches here, although to get on the beach one has to go through the public access points.

Local shopkeeper
Information Centre.
Wil cocosnut milk
Hein cocosnutmilk
Do as the locals!
During the Tiare Flower Festival buildings are festooned with flower decorations. Here the Information Centre decked out in Raratonga's best.
Detail flowers information centre
Fellows on car
Decorated car.
girl in car

By clicking on any of the photos a new window will open up with an enlargement.

Last updated January 31, 2007


And what is a Festival without a parade?
Wil beer.
little girl on motorbike
And after you have done the market you strap the little kid in the safety belt and go home or.......have another beer.
Piglets in front yard
Flame Tree flowers
Hein beer.
Volcanic interior
But most of our time we spend in Club Raro where we practised the advice given in one of the travel guidebooks: "...sit back, and order another smoothie".
Graves in front yard
yellow flowers.
Avarua street scene
banana tree flowers
But if you go on a trip, don't forget the 4getmenots!
And if it is December, add an umbrella.
Club Raro Sign
hein smoothie
White Hisbiscus


Quick trip through Rarotonga's countryside and Avarua, the largest town.
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to the North Island
Wil smoothie
Wil in the pool
Hein under the palmtrees.

And then....on the evening of 12 December we had to say goodbye to the Cook Islands. In the middle of the night though we had one last glimpse of the South Pacific, a stop in Tahiti with the usual welcome.

The Wednesday saw us arrive in Vancouver in +3 weather with the usual Vancouver humidity.
The next day we flew home to Whitehorse and Atlin.

Red flowers
Sea Urchin
Us and smoothies
Shells and corals
Wil at pool edge.
Wil sunbathing
Red Hibiscus.
Wil on the beach of Club Raro


to the South Island
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On the road to Avarua