Weeks prior to our family holiday to Rarotonga, Joris and I found a new TV show on Netflix – Death in Paradise. Its silliness, simplistic structure and low involvement quality fitted our dinner time genre and lack of better options. Set in the fictional Carribean island of Saint Marie, an English inspector handles a different murder case every episode while struggling with the starkly non-English lifestyle.
After a couple of seasons, we were both seasoned detectives and very familiar with murder scenarios on tropical islands. So when we landed in Rarotonga, we were more than ready.
However, nine days on this beautiful island saw no murders and no occasions to exercise our newfound expertise. Instead we spent our days lazing about, snorkelling, floating and eating papayas (primarily).
A lap of the whole island is roughly 32km. Two buses operate the outer ring and are suitably named Clockwise and Anticlockwise. As the main road, it’s lined with many resorts, shops and cafes, in a small island kind of way.
We were lucky enough to have the convenience of a family car (the Kees taxi) to get places, however we did rent a couple of mountain bikes to explore the inner ring. Once off the main road, it’s quiet and lush with only the occasional car or bike (or buggy tour if unlucky).
The island caters to tourists of all types, offering a range of activities from spa treatments and cultural tours to 7-people paddling and party buses. The night markets happen 4 nights a week – key on the must-do list. Across the road boasts the best burger joint in Muri with a fish burger of giant proportions – ‘The Raro Burger’.
For the more active there is the cross island track that runs from north to south. On the south end is also the beautiful (but mosquito infested) Wigmore’s Waterfall, the perfect post-hike swim. We headed up from the south and turned back once we reached the Needle (the peak). The track takes you deep into the jungle, across streams and up the slippery slope with the aid of roots and vines.