Raro, here I come!

Rarotonga Sunset

Image by Daniele Sartori via Flickr


Yep, first week of July, I’m off. Farewell, winter birthday – I’ll be celebrating on the beach.

In the end, the Cook Islands edged out my other choices. Vanuatu would have been a lot pricier, and they don’t use NZ currency. The Cooks do – so that’s one less headache for a first-time traveler. Niue, another of my top choices, just couldn’t compete package-wise either and I simply wasn’t sure we could entertain ourselves on such a secluded island for an entire seven days, as there is only one flight a week (although I think I’d quite like to visit Niue at some point. Who wouldn’t want a whole island practically to themselves).

This will be my:

  • First overseas trip since I was 15
  • First overseas trip without the parents
  • First air trip with T
  • First overseas trip with T

Up until now, life has always been about studying, getting to graduation, job hunting, making ends meet. That we have just booked this trip is…well, I’M SO STOKED!

And I can’t recommend visiting the Travel Expo enough. We went on Saturday, collected oodles of brochures, and, overwhelmed, I opted to go home to look them over and Google reviews. Sunday, I was better prepared and knew what I wanted. Best of all, it turns out my birthday doesn’t fall in the school holidays this year! (All my life it has – and people go away and can’t come to my party, I never got sung Happy Birthday by the class, and so on. I was grateful once I hit uni though as it meant I couldn’t possibly have any assignments due on it.) I’m told they changed all the holiday dates due to Rugby World Cup, which I find outrageous…yet totally believable). That means we’re less likely to have to deal with lots of kids at the resort.

Initially I wanted a full package deal, but once I saw Edgewater Resort was doing a stay 5 nights, pay for 3 discount, I decided it was worth the hassle of organising separate flights. I found an awesome consultant at the St Lukes Flight Centre booth who walked me through the process and then took me around to the wholesaler’s booth to confirm flights and dates. And what do you know? They conjured up a full package deal for way less than I could have ever hoped for. I’m talking stupidly cheap – $1362 for both of us for the whole shebang. It’s a shame all the flights are at ridiculous, middle-of-the-night times, but what can you do?

My only regret: I shouldn’t have bought travel insurance there. I didn’t even think to have a look online before going, so I was lured in by the “10% off policies here and the chance to win back the value of your trip!” I could have probably halved the cost, but you live and learn.

7 thoughts on “Raro, here I come!

  • Reply WanderWoman February 17, 2011 at 15:36

    Have a fantastic time in Raro! My first international trip ever was to the Cook Islands so I experienced Raro by myself and felt totally at ease. The Edgewater is a beautiful resort and close to the action. Don’t miss a day trip to Aitutaki if you can. Kia Ora!

  • Reply Scribbles February 17, 2011 at 20:14

    I’m a teacher so I can only ever go in school holidays – but that’s the choice I made when getting into teaching. What I don’t love is that we have two eleven week (opposed to the usual nine-ten) terms this year. The kids will probably riot!

  • Reply Lindy Mint February 18, 2011 at 09:20


    I miss the beach, it has been way too long since I have sat on one for hours on end.

  • Reply First Gen American February 18, 2011 at 23:42

    That was my last biggest mistake. I didn’t buy travel insurance for my family vacation and everyone got snowed in. Still kicking myself for how many things I did wrong with that whole experience.

    Congrats. Seeing the world on your own definitely feels like one of those rights of passage. You’ll have a great time.

  • Reply February roundup « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander March 1, 2011 at 20:59

    […] Booked our hotel for Wellington this weekend, and my birthday trip to Raro. Also bought two high-end sleeping bags from Kathmandu at the Travel Expo for dirt cheap. […]

  • Reply Friday Five: Things I’m looking forward to | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander April 1, 2011 at 13:10

    […] Rarotonga. July. My birthday. […]

  • Reply What’s your holiday style? | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander June 24, 2011 at 08:18

    […] starting to get excited about my upcoming tropical birthday trip. In my usual rather haphazard fashion, I think I will print out some info for possible bike […]

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