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Old 01-26-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
kaipara OP
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: New Zealand
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Rarotonga - Hardly an adventure ride.

But still great fun!

My wife and I decided to shout our 3 adult kids to a trip to Rarotonga during our winter. They had been working and studying hard so it seemed like a good time for a bit of a reunion.
Raro is in the Cook Island group and an easy destination from NZ.

We stayed in a rented house that wasn't too shabby.


While we did rent a little car for the 5 of us (bit like seeing how many you could stuff into a VW), I also had to get a bike so as not to suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
Most bike rentals are scooters.


While at the rental place I spied a GN 125 and said to the lady that I would take that instead of a scooter.
She yelled out back to someone "Hey, he wants the clutch bike"
then to me "You ever ridden a clutch bike before?".
Err..Yes I answered, I have a clutch bike back home (I am here for 5 minutes and already referring to my pride and joy as a "clutch bike")


Next step is to get a Rarotongan drivers licence, which is compulsory. $10 down at the police station gets you your licence. If you have never been on a bike before it cost you $20 and you have to push your scooter to the police station, join a group of about 6 and a Policewomen follows behind and goes around the block. All survivors who make it back get their full licnce.


There are 2 roads around the island, the Inner Road and the Outer Road, one follows the shore line and the other is inland a bit where the villages are.
The bus service also goes around the island. The buses are named Clockwise and Anti Clockwise. No kidding.


Some smaller roads and trails can be found by heading inland.




There is a deserted Hilton Hotel along the coast, apparently some trouble with the locals was the cause. A bit spooky when going by it a night.


This last photo is just trying to make a 125 look romantic in a South Pacfic setting.


Cheers
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
krazygloo
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awesome! I've flown over but never stopped at Raro.. nice to see a RR from there...
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:12 PM   #3
obsidian
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Yep I'm with Flora, that is very cool to see a RR from Raro!
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:34 PM   #4
Babysteps
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Awsome! its a great place, well worth a visit!

I took a 50cc Scooter up that trail, had a blast but got some filthy looks when I returned it.

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Old 01-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
RedDogAlberta
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Excellent! A long time friend went a few years ago but her mode of transportation was a bicycle. She wanted something off the beaten path and she got it. You can't get much further away from here on this planet.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #6
AJN
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Hey mate, great report :).

We are heading there in September and just wondering how you found your house? Could you provide a link to where you stayed?

Having trouble trying to find something affordable for a few weeks stay!
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:44 PM   #7
hensons
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Those are some cool pictures!
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:51 PM   #8
DRDANTDC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaipara
But still great fun!

My wife and I decided to shout our 3 adult kids to a trip to Rarotonga during our winter. They had been working and studying hard so it seemed like a good time for a bit of a reunion.
Raro is in the Cook Island group and an easy destination from NZ.

We stayed in a rented house that wasn't too shabby.


While we did rent a little car for the 5 of us (bit like seeing how many you could stuff into a VW), I also had to get a bike so as not to suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
Most bike rentals are scooters.


While at the rental place I spied a GN 125 and said to the lady that I would take that instead of a scooter.
She yelled out back to someone "Hey, he wants the clutch bike"
then to me "You ever ridden a clutch bike before?".
Err..Yes I answered, I have a clutch bike back home (I am here for 5 minutes and already referring to my pride and joy as a "clutch bike")


Next step is to get a Rarotongan drivers licence, which is compulsory. $10 down at the police station gets you your licence. If you have never been on a bike before it cost you $20 and you have to push your scooter to the police station, join a group of about 6 and a Policewomen follows behind and goes around the block. All survivors who make it back get their full licnce.


There are 2 roads around the island, the Inner Road and the Outer Road, one follows the shore line and the other is inland a bit where the villages are.
The bus service also goes around the island. The buses are named Clockwise and Anti Clockwise. No kidding.


Some smaller roads and trails can be found by heading inland.




There is a deserted Hilton Hotel along the coast, apparently some trouble with the locals was the cause. A bit spooky when going by it a night.


This last photo is just trying to make a 125 look romantic in a South Pacfic setting.


Cheers
I was there in 1995, that police station is new. It was just a small building back then.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:59 AM   #9
Thorne
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Great photo's
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
JetSpeed
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The island is still there, and a few rental companies still offer the Suzuki GN125's but they are very long in the tooth these days, the primary clutch bikes offered for hire (rent) are new Honda XR125's.
I opted for a 2-place 125cc Yamaha Cygnus-X scooter simply for the added smoothness and comfort of riding my wife 2-up, it was remarkably fun to scoot around the island on for a week at a cost of about $70 USD which was far more reasonable than the price of petrol on the island which worked out be $7.85 USD per gallon, the most I've ever paid for gas since Japan which was only slightly less.






The abandoned hotel is still there and as pictured above with no headway having been made on restoring or removing it, it was originally a Sheraton property that went belly-up, later a local developer got with Hilton and made an effort to rebuild it with some local investors but that deal fell through before it got off the ground.
The rumor is that the property grounds had a curse placed on it in the early 1900's over a land dispute between two families.

And the sign marking the halfway point (about 10 miles) if you're circling the island on the outer road:
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:29 PM   #11
dgeezer
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wow, who woulda thought that someone would do a bike trip on Rarotonga.
Did you go on to Aitutaki ? The most beautiful atoll in the world.
Gulp...freekin ...awesome atoll, listed in "100 most beautiful places
in the world". Boy, that brings back memories......and a girl from NZ.
Blah, blah, ...didn't work out. But ..One Foot(?) island was a great sidetrip.
.....(sorry, third martini) Excuse the high jack, thanks for the memory.
You can rent a scooter on Aitutaki too. Excuse me. Merry xmas.
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:59 PM   #12
Clipper
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Thumb Rarotonga

Visited there in July 2012 on a Paul Gaugin cruise. Didnt rent scooters tho :(
Went to Aitutaki the next day to celebrate our 25 wedding anniversary...no scooters there either ;)

Cheers
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