Rarotonga Visitor Information
Cook Islands Time is:
Food & Drink – Rarotonga
There are excellent cafes and restaurants all around the island, with excellent fresh cuisine at reasonable prices, but it does pay to book a table, as they do stay busy. The standard of food and service is high and the prices are very reasonable.
Coffee is very good and most cafes are open for breakfast and lunch. There will be at least one or two great options for dining out not far from you, wherever you stay.
Superettes, supermarkets, bakeries and convenience stores are positioned all around the island. It’s really easy to get groceries to dine in – just alcohol is restricted to bars only on Sunday. Wigmore’s Superstore on the south side is open 24 hours 7 days a week. Vegans and vegetarians will have no trouble finding what they need, but for those who prefer, packaged food may be brought in (no fresh foods) – food must be declared at customs and must be checked in during the flight.
Eat at the Muri Night Markets, or the Saturday morning market in town – there are so many wonderful local options – you really do not need to bring food.
No matter what your food references are, you’ll find something that’s perfect for you – always at reasonable prices.
You will find that Rarotonga has loads of options for holiday activities. While some may prefer to relax on a Lagoon Cruise, others may like to hike across the island.
The Island Night gives you a fantastic memorable cultural experience and a great meal of course, while – the Takatumu Umu Experience has guests partaking in the building of the Umu before they enjoy it!.
Watersports abound – you can go deep sea fishing just outside the lagoon, go scuba diving, take a snorkel tour out into the deep, kite surfing is becoming popular, as there is alsmost always a breeze – and if you’re a surfer, there is excellent surfing in Rarotonga (advanced surfers only)
For children there is the glass bottom boat, the wonderful Eco Marine Discovery Centre – where turtles and seabirds recover from injuries & get released back out – or snorkel & swim inside the reef (be aware of the sea passages out of the reef to the deep – please make sure children stay in the shallows in kayaks or when snorkelling).
Ukele making is fun, and the Progressive Dinner is a great way to get insight to local life & cuisine!
For fitness enthusiasts, there are local pilates and yoga classes or even SUP classes in the lagoon. There are many key sporting and cultural fixtures in Rarotonga, from the annual Triathlon event to the Round Raro Run.
Weather in Rarotonga
On this page, you will find an average temperature chart for specific months.
In general, you can expect the weather to be warm during the day, cooing off at night. Rarotonga is not as hot as some other South Pacific Islands and there is generally a lovely fresh breeze from the lagoon, so you are unlikely to be uncomfortably warm – and usually it’s easy to sleep at night without requiring airconditioning (although lots of our holiday houses do have aircon!).
Aitutaki tends to be a couple of degrees warmer than Rarotonga
Summer months tend to be more humid than the other seasons.
Current Weather in Rarotonga
Typical Weather Temperatures Rarotonga by month
|Maximum||29C (84F)||29C (84F)||29C (84F)||28C (82F)||27C (80F)||29C (84F)||25C (77F)||25C (77F)||26C (78F)||26C (78F)||27C (80F)||28C (82F)|
|Minimum||23C (73F)||23C (73F)||23C (73F)||22C (71F)||20C (68F)||26C (78F)||19C (66F)||18C (64F)||19C (66F)||20C (68F)||21C (70F)||22C (72F)|
Map of Rarotonga
Rarotonga’s main road is a 32km loop routed around the circumference of the main island. A round-Rarotonga bus service runs clockwise and anti-clockwise based on the following schedule, which means during the day there will be a bus along one way or another every 1/2 hour or so:
Daytime: Clockwise Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-1pm. Sunday: departs Cook’s Corner on the hour, every hour from 8:00am to 12:00pm then from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. There is NO Sunday Night Bus.
Daytime: Anti-clockwise Mon-Fri 8:25am-4:30pm, Sat 8:30am-12:30pm, Sunday – No Anti-clockwise bus.
The buses will stop on demand anywhere you signal the driver. Fares are $5.00 per adult or $16 for a day pass.
Visit Cook Island Bus for detailed schedule.
There are several taxi companies on the island, Cook Island Airports has compiled a list of Taxi Companies in Rarotonga.
Rental Cars / Scooters / Bikes
Rental vehicles are available to suit your requirements. Complete the booking form below to book a vehicle in Rarotonga. Check the drivers licence requirements info below to ensure you are an eligible driver.
Drivers Licence Information
To quote the Cook Islands Ministry of Transport: Visitors (over 16) from Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, UK and the EU can now drive in the Cook Islands for up to six months using their full overseas license; provided it does not expire, is revoked, suspended or disqualified in that time. On an overseas license, you will only be allowed to drive the class of motor vehicle that you are entitled to drive in your home country.
If a visitor wants to ride a scooter or motorbike in the Cook Islands and is not licensed to do so at home, he or she will still have to obtain a Cook Islands Driving License (either Class A covering motorbikes/scooters or Class AB covering both regular vehicles and motorbikes/scooters). This involves a theory and practical test at the Police Headquarters in Avarua and the payment of a NZ$20 license fee plus NZ$10 for the theory test and NZ$10 for the practical.
Visitors whose license is written in a language other than English will need an accurate translation in order to drive in the Cook Islands using their overseas license.
Road rules are strict when it comes to drinking and driving, so best not to.
The currency used in the Cook Islands & Rarotonga is New Zealand Dollars (NZD).
Banks located in Avarua are open from 9.00am – 3.00pm weekdays.
Currency exchange is available at the airport, banks, and some of the larger stores and hotels.
There are ATM machines located around the island allowing cash withdrawals with major credit cards.
Major Credit Cards are accepted at most restaurants and hotels.
Wifi is available all over Rarotonga, with 170 or more Wifi hotspots. Wifi can be purchased from Bluesky.co.ck. The BlueSky office in town is open 7 days – just turn inland at Avid and drive down about 150m – look for the blue store front on the left.
Prices are between NZD $10 for 500MB and 7 Days, through to $50 for 3 GB over 30 days, with plans in between. Buy a plan online here.
The emergency telephone numbers in the Cook Islands are:
Ambulance & Hospital 998
Medical attention is easily accessible at Rarotonga’s local hospital where there is a range of medical and dental services available 24 hours a day. There are also several General Practitioners on the island who can attend to your non-emergency needs. They can be located through the local phone book. Various pharmacies are available for prescription medicine
Aitutaki also has a hospital and emergency services.
No vaccinations are required to enter The Cook Islands.
Cook Island Maori or sometimes referred to as ‘Rarotongan’ is the language of the Cook Islands. Many of the locals speak and understand English.