Useful Facts about Rarotonga
Rarotonga, the largest of the fifteen Cook Islands, is the arrival point for all international airlines and is the hub for tourist activity, local commerce and population.
It is a volcanic island with lush tropical vegetation, stunning mountains, white sandy beaches and tranquil lagoons.
Rarotonga Airport lies on the North West coast of Rarotonga, 3km from Avarua Town.
A visitor permit for 31 days is granted to all Nationals on arrival (presentation of a valid passport for at least six months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel is required). Visas can be extended for up to six months at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration in Rarotonga.
Cook Islands time is 10 hours behind GMT (London), 22 hours behind NZ and 2 hours behind US West Coast.
International Dialing Code = (682) Your mobile phone network may not be accessible in the Cook Islands. Telecom Cook Islands sim cards and Kia Orana telephone cards are available at Telecom and numerous outlets on Rarotonga.
Paradise Inn is a wifi "hotspot" and access cards are available at the Reception. Internet services are available also at Telecom and various Internet outlets on the island.
Electricity = 240v / 40Hz (same voltage as Australia and NZ) with plugs being three flat pins (same as NZ). Visitors with other types of plugs will need to bring a converter.
The Cook Islands uses the NZ$ currency – Westpac and ANZ 24-hr ATM cash machines can be found at the airport, in Avarua Town and around the island at various locations. Westpac bank opens for all international flights.
Major credit cards Visa and Mastercard are accepted at most shops on Rarotonga and some will exchange traveller’s cheques and accept American Express as well.
There are numerous day and night tours and activities on Rarotonga from lagoon cruises and island adventure explorer tours to cultural activities. Day trips from Rarotonga to Aitutaki and Atiu are available via Air Rarotonga.
Rarotonga is only 32km in circumference and the majority of villages, shops and restaurants are scattered around the coastal road.
Public buses travel in both directions – clockwise and anti-clockwise - from Avarua Town every half and hour until 4pm and thereafter every hour except Sundays.
Taxis cost around NZ$2 per km.
Car, bike and scooter hire is available from various rental agencies - a Cook Islands drivers license is required which can be obtained from the Police Station in Avarua for NZ$20 provided you are over 21 and can show your current home driving license.
Rarotonga has a hospital and medical and dental facilities, insurance is recommended for travelers.