backpackers international Avarua
Replies: 9 - Last Post: May 11, 2012 5:06 PM Last Post By: raideress
May 8, 2012 2:26 AM
backpackers international Avaruaae everyone ,just wondering anyone know/stayed at Backpackers International in Avarua,Raro? What did you think of it? considering chillin on Raro for a 2months or so, i'm a simple kinda guy ,content going for walks in the bush,swimming, hanging out with locals and laying on the beach :p. how much would food be per day if eating like a local? also interested in learning bit of Cook Maori. do many aussies and NZers go there? thanks for your help..:)
May 8, 2012 2:34 AM
May 8, 2012 2:26 PM
2Backpackers International is indeed located in Kavera, down a side road a short distance, no more than 2 - 3 minutes walk from lovely Kavera beach(SW side of Rarotonga). There's an excellent fruit and vegetable stall located at the intersection of the main road and the side road leading to the hostel. Not sure if you really do mean that you are keen to eat local foods only, or that you have simple tastes and would be happy to obtain fresh fruit and veg, with carbohydrate (fresh breads baked daily on Raro) alongside a little protein. The fresh fish sold at several of the island's fish shops is delectable, and affordable. Cheeses are all imported, same too with meats, dairy, cereals and pulses/legumes.
The bus service around the island is very good for a resident population a little shy of 12,000. I suggest that you venture into Avarua and check the prices and food stores out to guage what's reasonable to meet your budget. The Saturday market in town at Punanga Nui is a big attraction with its fresh local products and platters of cooked foods, plus music and entertainment, arts, clothing and souvenirs. Hiring or purchasing a scooter (ex Budget Rentals or places like that) would be more affordable for a longer stay. Cook Islands Adventures located very near Backpackers hire cycles and kayaks and other aquatic sports stuff.
Since I dont know what a usual daily menu for you would consist of I can only advise you that when I'm on the rock (Raro), I tend to utilise seasonal fruits, with pawpaw and bananas (year round crops), wholemeal breads $5.00 per loaf, with spreads, plus pasta dishes, fresh fish and salads supplemented with local grown taro, kumara (sweet potato), rice, locally produced eggs, with an occassional splurge on a hamburger starting at $5 - 6 or thereabouts (Palace Takeaways or Boogers in Avarua). When my budget can afford to, I go to the Flying Boat for fish and chips at $10.50 or when dining with friends I order the $15.50 meal with salad. Beers and wines are cheap during happy hour at the Fishing Club; which is where the Flying Boat is situated. You can attend a cultural performance for $5 entry at Staircase restaurant, the dinner prior to the show is around $30 (possibly more now). Dine in town first then attend the show. Nightlife in town happens at Hidies, Whatever! and Rehab. I expect all the guests staying at Backpackers will be well schooled on events, and will likely go out in a group for company and shared stories.
The first 31 days under an entry permit wont cost anything, but you need to visit Immigration located in Avarua (behind Bounty Bookshop) to apply for an extension for a longer stay.
May 9, 2012 1:11 AM
May 9, 2012 2:14 AM
May 9, 2012 9:26 AM
5I have no idea how difficult/easy it is to apply for an extension to a visitors entry permit since I dont have experience with this issue.
All I know is that you need to visit Immigration in Avarua to apply for a longer stay (for non-Cook Islanders or permanent residents), and you pay a fee for the privilege.
May 9, 2012 12:12 PM
Getting the extension for more than a 31-day stay is pretty easy and just takes a few minutes. You may have to make a return visit to immigration to pick up the documentation. I think it took a couple of hours before we could pick it up the last time.
If you are headed to the outer islands it's a good idea to do it before you leave. I've never run over the limit so I don't know the consequences of doing so.
May 11, 2012 3:58 AM
May 11, 2012 7:22 AM
8The terms cheap and South Pacific island air travel are generally mutually exclusive. This especially true for the Cook Islands.
Aside from an expensive Air Raro co-op flight to Tahiti you are stuck with connecting through Aukland for other SP countries. For inter-island flight within the Cook Islands you'll pay $500-600NZD return for destinations in the Southern Group. There is a 3-island circuit from Raro to Atiu-Aitutaki-Raro that will save you a little. You'll have to be financially well off to afford travel to the Northern Group of the Cooks.
The bad news is that it's expensive to get there. The good news is that the people there aren't there by accident, they want to be there.
It kind of reminds me of other end-of-the-road places like Key West Florida, Homer Alaska or Stewart Island NZ. They have a certain charm to them that tells you that you've stumbled upon something special when you find them. The Cooks are like that.
May 11, 2012 5:06 PM
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