Flights to Penrhyn are only once a week (4 hours each way), and sometimes don’t fly! Reconfirm your reservations often. You must be prepared for extended delays, as flights only go when there is traffic. It has been reported that one group a while back was stranded there for a month! To get off the island, sometimes people have had to resort to chartered aircraft, which cost a LOT of money, and you must pay in $$. Brining an extra $1000 cash per person in case you get stranded might be advisable. Air Rarotonga could accommodate your booking, but it needs to be done well in advance. Flights to Penrhyn could be booked with Warwick (see below) if you are interested.
Watch out for your belongings, as theft is a big issue.
It has been suggested that you travel light and make sure you get all the ham gear on the plane, as it can be left behind on Rarotonga, and never make it to the North Cooks. The plane is small, and cannot take much luggage. Baggage allowance (on the Rarotonga - North Cook flight) is 10 kilos and 1 piece carry-on bag at 3.5 kilos. Excess baggage is $5.00 NZ per kilo, but the total amount the plane can hold is not known.
Only private residences can be rented, no hotels. Power is irregular and maybe runs 12 hours a day, thus generator is required. Fuel may also be in short supply.
Food is in short supply, and must be arranged far in advance! Usually a few months notification is required to ship in the food. Fresh water is also in very short supply. The only food you are likely to find to buy on the island is SPAM and canned tuna fish. No bread is available. No beef/meat is available, only fresh fish. Fresh fruit is also nearly impossible to find. You must cook your own meals, as it's near impossible to arrange hire someone to cook for you. It sounds that food will be a daily issue to contend with, and you might need to go fishing everyday to eat!
For information on Penrhyn, see the Cook Islands Web page at: http://www.ck/penrhyn.htm
One option for housing is to try Soa's Guesthouse, at NZD $1271.00 for the first night including airfare (from Rarotonga), transfers and … each extra night is $61.00 NZD. It is not known if hams have used this location before.
Another option is to contact Warwick Latham, ZK1WL who is a radar technician on the island, as well as the airline representative for the island. Contact Warwick at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org NOTE: Do NOT send any attachments to Warwick’s Email, as he is running 4800 baud over satellites. Or fax number is +(682) 42023
Warwick Latham, ZK1WL has a newly built 3 bedroom family house that has been rented before. It's private (remote), with a lagoon view, good snorkeling, and the site is right on the waters edge with a fresh trade wind blowing most of the time. FYI - lots of flies and mosquitoes!
Power can sometimes be an issue, but can be arranged to be on for 24 hours a day, but the cost is $1 NZ per hour, with 4 KVA available.
Warwick might be able to supply some equipment (computer, TNC multimode (KAM 8.0), a tribander 20/15/10 at 50 feet a low band antenna HF6? on WARC bands). Transceivers, power supplies, tuners, amps etc. MUST be brought by the operators.
There is a small trading vessel called "Joesephine" who's captain is Wade, ZK1CS. Wade is a close friend of Warwick and he also operates GTOR. It has been suggested that owners might entertain a charter with a layover for several days at Penrhyn with perhaps a diversion to (exotic) Suvarov Island for a real rare DX treat.
Manihiki Island (see Cook Island Toursim page: www.ck/manihiki.htm )
A company from New Zealand called Hideaway
Holidays Email: email@example.com
has advertised the Manihiki Guesthouse. Cost are as follows - NZD $1199.00 (1st
nite), and $61.00 (for each extra night)
*The first night rate includes round trip airfares from Rarotonga, transfers, and 1st night accommodation.
Another possibility is to contact Bernardino Kaina, who is a Police Sergeant on the island. He might be able to help you arrange things. He is called Boaza (spelling?) by his friends.
c/o Police Department
Phone/fax no is +682 43307
Manihiki has all the same problems as Penrhyn Island. Again, be prepared to be stranded on Manihiki a long time…
FYI - Tuatai Tupou ZK1CY is now a SK as of April 11, 2003.
Another option for housing is Danny´s Lagoon Lodge, Box 75, Manihiki, Phone 00682/21569. It is not known if hams have operated from here before.
Marcus Kopu of Island Hopper Vacations can help with travel to the north islands. His Email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the Cook Islands can be found at:
Another travel agent to try: Stars Travel, Box 75,
Rarotonga, 00682/23669 email@example.com
Air Rarotonga Flight Operations firstname.lastname@example.org
Air Rarotonga Reservations email@example.com
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