After a day at sea we arrived outside the port of Avarua on the island of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands on January 22, 2016. We were supposed to start tendering operations at 8:00 am but the swell outside the port was too rough to tender so the captain decided to sail to Arorangi with our tenders following us. At Arorangi, there is a narrow channel that the tenders can pass though to get to the pier on shore. At about 10:00 am we were in the first tender ashore. We had a 4 wheel drive excursion that would take us around the island, both around the magnificent shoreline and inland to the center of the island. Our first stop was at Wigmore’s Waterfalls, which was hardly flowing due to the recent absence of rain. From there we travel through the fertile farm land with many vegetable and fruit crops to Ra’ui Beach, with beautiful white sand and turquoise waters. There are many flowering Flame trees that dotted the roads as we proceed to Avana, the point where seven canoes departed in 1350, and found New Zealand. We then headed in and up to the center of the island which is the center of a large caldera and a view of a large pointed rock called The Needle. We returned to Arorangi, passing the Arorangi church, made of local coral and stopped to look at the local craft market set up just outside the pier. When we got to the pier we noticed that there were no tenders running and it seemed as if a tender was stuck on the reef. The Captain and the senior officers waded out with water for the passengers on the tender. Those passengers that were able and willing could walk ashore while others waited for a tug to pull the tender of the reef. After several hours, when all was back to normal, we took one of the last tenders back to the ship and shortly after started sailing towards New Zealand.
The thumbnail pictures below represent this stop on our trip. Click on any of them to see actual picture.