I have recently got back from a trip away to Rarotonga with a group of friends.
Rarotonga is the most popular and largest island of the Cook Islands, located in the South Pacific.
It only takes around 30-40 minutes to drive around the whole island. This is an excellent destination for people who simply want to relax on holiday and go with the flow.
Surrounded by palm trees, beautiful scenery and pristine clear waters, Rarotonga is definitely a great place to sit back and relax for a calming, peaceful getaway.
My friends and I grabbed cheap flights when a deal for Rarotonga was advertised with Jetstar.
I had only flown with Jetstar domestically before this trip away, but there were no problems when booking the wheelchair in at check-in, which was great.
The only thing I would recommend to people flying with either a wheelchair or who have a disability is don’t pre-book your preferred seat on the plane as Jetstar’s airline rules are that people who require assistance or who need a wheelchair are only allowed to sit in row 2 on the aircraft for safety reasons so don’t waste your money booking a preferred seat.
Transportation around Rarotonga:
Rent A Car – As a group, we found that the cheapest way was to rent a car.
This allowed us to drive to and from activities, restaurants and other places ourselves.
It is quite simple to drive around the island of Rarotonga as there isn’t much traffic and there is only one main road that goes around the whole island.
Buses: There is a clockwise and anticlockwise bus that goes around the island.
This may be a cheaper option to get around for some people.
Scooters: Quite a few people rent out scooters to get around the island.
Taxi’s – Prices vary depending on where you are heading, but the drivers are helpful and friendly.
Still, I think this form of transportation probably isn’t the cheapest.
Although they are an easy way to get to and from the airport.
I would recommend using ‘Cook Island Taxi’s’ if you require a taxi.
Club Raro Resort: This resort is located just 2.5km from the international airport and 1.5km from the island’s main township.
Club Raro Resort have a restaurant, cafe, an outdoor pool, a swim-up pool bar and happy hour!
There are ample seating areas where you can admire the beautiful view of the ocean – we even spotted whales!
Based on the room that we had, I don’t think a fully bound wheelchair user would manage.
There is a big step to get into the rooms, and the room and bathroom itself wouldn’t be big enough for a big wheelchair.
Since I’m not wheelchair-bound, I was able to just walk around the room.
If you are in a wheelchair and are thinking of staying here, I would recommend contacting them and asking if they have accessible rooms or not.
Other than that, the resort was lovely, and I would recommend staying here.
Activities to do in Rarotonga:
Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes: This was one of my favourite activities. It was a fun day out filled with snorkelling, a buffet lunch and entertainment.
It started with a trip out to the reef to snorkel with the beautiful tropical fish – the ocean was so clear and warm.
After snorkelling, we headed over to another island for a BBQ buffet lunch – which was delicious!
The buffet included coconut, fish, bananas, pawpaw, bread and salads.
After lunch, we watched and learned how to tie sarongs and husk a coconut! Definitely an activity worth doing in Rarotonga! https://www.captaintamas.com/
Rehab’s Raro Pub Crawl: This was a fun and entertaining night and a great way to experience how to party in Rarotonga!
The pub crawl happens every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Ariki Adventures Night Paddle Board Tour: This is a fun activity to do especially as a group.
You start out by paddle boarding either on a single paddleboard or on a gigantic one which can hold 12 people at once!
The paddleboards have lights on the bottom of them which can be turned on, and it lights up the ocean beneath you.
This was the first time I had paddle boarded at night time, and it was a relaxed experience.
We paddled to another island, played some games and learnt a bit about the other islands then we paddled back to the main island.
This activity takes around 90 minutes. https://www.arikiadventures.com/
Cultural Show – The Islander Hotel Restaurant & Bar – Tuesday night is ‘Island Night’ which includes a cultural performance with cultural songs, fire and hula dances.
There is a fee for the cultural show, but everyone really enjoyed it, so I think it’s worth the cost!
Punanga Nui Cultural Market – This market has a range of different things to offer.
There are fresh local fruit, veggies and island food that you can buy.
There is either live or recorded music playing, lots of clothing, souvenirs, jewellery and art.
Definitely worth taking a trip to the market!
It is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm but the recommended day to go is Saturday because most of the stalls and shops are available.
Still, it does close at 2pm on this day. http://www.enjoycookislands.com/see-do/punanga-nui-cultural-market
Places to eat in Rarotonga:
Muri Night Market – This is one of my favourite places that we went to eat, they had a range of different foods available and the vibe of the market was so lovely! They sometimes have free entertainment as well.
The Muri Night Markets are open from 5pm on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Charlie’s Cafe – A small cafe with excellent food, located right next to the beach.
The Mooring Fish Cafe: Another lovely cafe to go too, they have great hot chips! Also has a beautiful view!
Vili’s Burger Joint: Literally the best cheeseburger I have had in my entire life!
The burgers are so cheap yet so delicious.
The chips and milkshake were good too!
Accessibility of Rarotonga:
It was more accessible than I thought, but I think it would be quite tricky getting to and from activities, restaurants and around the island if you were entirely a wheelchair user.
There is also a lot of gravel instead of paved footpaths that may not be suitable for most wheelchairs.