It was planned, booked & paid for before the end of last year so we've been looking forward to it for a while.
This is the 3rd time we've been there for a holiday.
The flight is a little over 3.5 hours, you need your passport (of course) but little else.
Although you cross the dateline, which means you go back a day on the outward journey, the actual time difference is 22hrs so there is no jet lag to deal with.
Conversely you jump forward a day on the return journey but that's no biggie either, maybe you might need to go to bed a bit earlier than usual but that's no great hardship for someone like me who loves sleeping !
It was warm enough to be barefoot (yaye) & to wear singlets & sarong, my favourite summer outfit.
It was not warm enough in the pool nor the lagoon for me to swim much so I was completely bummed out about that.
We found a whale & marine wildlife centre we didn't know was there & discovered that Rarotonga is a centre for humpback whale research in this part of the South Pacific.
We even bought some things you'd never expect to find including island style shirts for men which were made in Hawaii, island style girl's dresses, also made in Hawaii, island style boys shirts made in Thailand & all sporting Rarotonga labels.
Oh, & a brand of Australian knives !
Internet is excruciatingly expensive so we were pretty much 'disconnected' for the whole time.
The Mooring Fish Cafe which has absolutely the best fish salads, a gorgeous outlook & fantastically unflappable genuinely friendly staff.
Vonnia's is a hardware, homeware, fabrics store which is where I bought the knives.
Tuki's Pareu which has fun kids clothes & amazing amounts of fabric island style & wider than any I've ever seen which is used for Tivaevae.
CITC (Cook Islands Trading Corporation) has the crazy but well made Hawaiian shirts & dresses.
The Saturday market is great for food, seasonal fruit & vegetables, & the ladies who sit close to the band rotunda & who cut & make Tivaevae are incredible !
I have a project I'm going to complete by Christmas for someone. It's the Rarotonga equivalent of a DIY kit & is totally amazing. I'll do a separate blog post about it.
LBV has great coffee & really yummy croissant & veg quiche.
Coco Latte has great coffee.
Wigmore's is a really good store if you are on the southside of the island.
I found one of my favourite NZ goat cheeses in there for $3 less than at our local countdown supermarket here at home !!
and finally a few more photos just to finish off with :)