About Rarotonga

The Island

Rarotonga is the jewel in the crown of the Pacific – amazingly friendly islanders,  our beautiful tropical island fringed by a blue lagoon and swaying coconut palms, fantastic weather, warm welcomes wherever you go, a laid back attitude but with a focus on service and its one of the cheapest places to stay in the Pacific – operating under a currency equal to the New Zealand Dollar. Great for romantic holidays and family breaks, for groups of friends and individuals..and of course.. for weddings and honeymoons!

Just 34 km in circumference, this capital of the Cook Islands has plenty to explore; from the sealife in and outside the lagoon to bushwalks and safaris in the rugged rainforested interior. There is plenty to see and do on this one island, but if you should wish to explore any more of the 15 Cook Islands, Air Rarotonga has flights to Atiu, Aitutaki, Manihiki and more.

Bring your driving licence as this is required to obtain a rental car or bike. Cook Islands Licences, are available for NZ$20 essential for all vistors wishing to rent mopeds. Or you can take a moped/bike test at the Police Station. These licences are a great holiday souvenir – and don’t be too worried about the roads as there is a 50kph speed limit for cars and 40kph for mopeds!

Snorkel, swim and kayak in the blue lagoon. Sail outside the reef and see spectacular vistas of the island. Eat at one of the many world class restaurants. Enjoy a dance spectacular at one of the Island Nights. Take a quiet stroll along the beach at sunset…

Essential Information and Tourist Attractions

We recommend Highland Paradise as a great island night out. The Puunganui Cultural Market in Avarua is a must visit on Saturday mornings – local crafts, dancing and food. The Rrarotonga Whale & Wildlife Centre is at the back of Avarua behind the airport. Sailing and fishing tours from Avatiu Harbour in the main town and from Avana inlet.

Restaurants

See below for links.

High $$$ – Tamarind House, Little Polynesian
Medium $$ – Anchorage Restaurant at Sunset Resort, Vaima, The Waterline, Sands Restaurant, Trader Jacks, Pacific Resort.
Budget $- Rickshaw,La Casita, Tahiti Cafe, Bite Time (at the market) The Moorings Café (near Muri) and the Muri Night food Market (sun-tues-wed-thu)
And many more.

Available for Hire

Cars, Mopeds
Kayaks, Snorkelling Gear, paddle boards
Four Dive Companies are available for you to choose from.

Airport transfers

We recommend  "Cook Island Tours"  to transfer you from the airport – they are used to delivering our guests to some slightly ‘out of the way’ locations!

Cook Islands Tours - www.cookislandstours.co.ck

Car and moped hire

Avis - www.aviscookislands.com
Island Car Hire - www.islandcarhire.co.ck
Budget - www.budget.co.ck

Doctors

GP Surgeries available around the island and A&E Department at Rarotonga Hospital in Nikao.

Game fishing

Captain Moko - www.fishingrarotonga.com
Marlin Queen - www.marlinqueen.co.ck
Akura - www.akurafishingcharters.com
Seafari - www.seafari.co.ck
Reel Time - www.pacificmarinecharters.co.ck

Outer Island trips

Island Hopper can tailor make a package for you to visit Aitutaki, Atiu and other islands in the group.

Island Hopper - www.islandhoppervacations.com

Sailing

Saturdays are the main sailing day in Rarotonga- whether you’re an experienced sailor or just trying it out- the members of Rarotonga Sailing Ckub (RSC) will be happy to take you out for a spin. Be there 1pm Saturday for a closer look.

Diving

Dive Rarotonga - www.diverarotonga.com

Banks

Westpac and ANZ have banks in the main town of Avarua with full cash facilities. Additional ATMs are available around the island – at Wigmores, Super Brown and Muri.

Real estate

Now you’ve been on holiday here – we find many people would love to live and work in Rarotonga!

Our friendly local Real Estate agents can help! They have the information, the connections, properties and businesses for sale.

Cook Islands Real Estate - www.destination-cook-islands.com/CookIslands-RealEstate.html

Supermarkets

Wigmores – South side of the island. Local fresh produce more realistically priced than in other supermarkets on the island.

CITC Large store in town next to the port of Avatiu. Also has a large liquor store. Foodland Right in the Centre of Town.

Super Brown, Tupapa.

Chemists/Pharmacies

Prescription drugs and all other essentials available from CITC Superstore in the centre of town (in a different location from the Supermarket). Shannon, the pharmacist is always pleased to help.

Restaurants

Some of our all time favourites on the island!
Vaima – – one of the best!! International Award winners from Trip Advisor – highly recommended. Just book with Dorothy and Cameron and mention us! Head down to Waterline, have a lovely meal on the beach and watch the sun go down! If you’re lucky, owner Chris may serenade you on his guitar! Or visit Tumunu, an unusual thatched restaurant and bar with owner Eric willing to trade a few jokes!

Vaima Restaurant - www.vaimarestaurant.com
Trader Jacks - www.traderjackscookislands.com
Rickshaw (for Aisan food) & next door  La Casita (mexican)

Tamarind House - www.tamarind.co.ck
Waterline Restaurant - www.waterlinerestaurant.com

Tumunu - www.tumunurarotonga.com

Island Nights

Highland Paradise – Best Island night on the island!!

10 % discount applies  for  HIGHLAND PARADISE

 IF YOU BOOK THROUGH RAROTONGA RETREATS

Highland Paradise - www.highlandparadise.co.ck
Te Vara Nui - www.tevaranui.co.ck

Kayak, snorkel gear and other hire

Adventure Cook Islands - www.adventurecookislands.com

Souvenirs

There is lots to buy at the local tropical market on Saturday mornings and around the town. Real Cook Islands souvenirs include Black Pearls, woven hats and fans incorporating oyster shell, locally made pareus (sarongs), ukeleles and tivaevae (appliqued cushion covers and bedspreads)
Punanga Nui Cultural Market – Saturday mornings 8am till midday. Don’t miss it!!

A visit to the Prison Craftshop in Nikao is also worth a visit as ukeleles are made here too!