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Old 13-05-2016, 21:22   #1
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Rarotonga Cook Islands Harbor

Can anyone share recent experiences with mooring in Rarotonga Cook Islands. We are considering visiting in June and are concerned about difficulties mooring and the swell conditions.
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Old 13-05-2016, 23:06   #2
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Re: Rarotonga Cook Islands Harbor

Friends on Second Wind were there last year, see Second Wind Voyage: Cook Islands: Rarotonga
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Old 14-05-2016, 04:29   #3
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Rarotonga Cook Islands Harbor

It's super calm most of the time but when the wind goes north it's a washing machine. Definitely a worthwhile stop.


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Old 14-05-2016, 07:36   #4
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Re: Rarotonga Cook Islands Harbor

You may already know, but just in case you don't - med-mooring is required. Anchoring is prohibited. So, you'll need to have your stern lines to the jetty ready to deploy when you arrive. There are usually other sailors alert to arriving boats who will help get your lines to the jetty bollards. Be mindful of boats arriving after you, and make certain their anchor chain does not cross your rode, if you found deploying rope was necessary in order to obtain adequate scope after dropping anchor. A boat arriving after me crossed my rode causing it to part... Fortunately wind direction and lines between my boat and others on each side helped to hold my boat in place...

Like most South Pacific islands, Raratonga ain't quite what it used to be, with higher costs and more fly in type tourists....

Still, there are some good treks into the hills...
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Old 16-05-2016, 05:17   #5
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Re: Rarotonga Cook Islands Harbor

Don't eat at the chicken place by the warf unless you like salmonella.

Make sure you do the cross island hike and up to the needle.

Raro has the world's highest per-capita road death rate, largely due to drink driving on mopeds. I do suggest you hire a moped for a day, just get helmets and don't be out after dark.
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Old 28-12-2018, 18:37   #6
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Re: Rarotonga Cook Islands Harbor

Old posting but just wanted to add some info.

Wigmans on the south side of the island is open 24 hours and has great grocery selection and good prepared foods, has an ATM also.

If your around the harbor on a Wednesday they do half price burgers all day at palace burgers. They are very tasty, fresh buns, butter lettuce and fresh burger patties.

The busses run both directions around the island and if your in town by the harbor look for a bus stop/station. If your outside town just wave down the bus drivers and they will stop to pick you up. The free maps around the tourist traps are excellent. The snorkeling by Fruits of Rarotonga is wonderful at high or low tide.

The depth of the harbor was about 8 meters a few weeks ago. There is a very good hardware store just off the main road that circles the island west of the harbor by a few hundred meters.

Great place with few cruisers in the summer

Our Iridium GO got good service and seemed to connect with satellite from the south. Downloading GRIBS took a few tries since we didn't have an external antenna but were ok
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