Flights to Rarotonga
International flights into the Cook Islands are offered by Air New Zealand, Virgin Pacific and Air Tahiti.
Air Rarotonga will fly you to our smaller sister islands of Aitutaki, Aitu, Mauke, Mitiaro, Mangaia, Manahiki Penrhyn and Pukapuka.
Duration of Stay in Cook Islands
Your passport will be stamped for 31 days. Should you wish to stay longer, visas can be obtained from the Cook Islands Immigration once you are here, for up to 3 months.
Bringing Food into the Cook Islands
With the exception of fresh fruits, vegetables and honey, food that is securely packed or vacuum packed including meat may be brought in. We suggest that you write a list of your food products for immigration.
Rarotonga Business Hours
- Usual business hours in Rarotonga are from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday
- Normal Bank hours are 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday
- Westpac Bank is open on Saturday morning from 9 to 12 noon
- Saturday from 8 to 12 noon the shops in Avarua are open, though supermarkets stay open till 4pm
- A must see for your visit is the local Saturday Punanganui market on the outskirts of town which is open from 7am till 12 noon, with dancing entertainment from 9am
Rarotonga Banks and Rarotonga Currency
- The currency in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar
- Local banks are Westpac, ANZ, Bank of the Cook Islands and Western Union
- ATM machines are dotted around the island
- Unfortuantely you cannot use your overseas eftpos in the shops, restaurants etc. But you can withdraw money from the local ATM machines
- Credit cards are widely accepted as payment around the islands
- Cash is preferred for most 'locally based' stalls and shops
North American and some European appliances will need adaptor plugs that are suitable for New Zealand, to use dual voltage appliances. Electricity usage in the Cook Islands is 240 volts.
- Telecom Cook Islands is the main provider
- Internet cafes/wifi hotspots are dotted around the island
- Long stays can connect to the Kokanet service with their digital cellular network - however you will need to purchase a local sim card from telecom Cook Islands
- Full postal and courier services are available
Rarotonga Medical Services
Doctors and dentists are available at Rarotonga Hospital 24 hours a day. There is also an outpatient clinic at Tupapa near the township which is open during weekdays. CITC Pharmacy is a great source for minor ailments.
Rarotonga Driving, Rarotonga Car Hire and Rarotonga Scooter Hire
- Motor vehicles, motor scooters and push bikes can be hired around Rarotonga
- If you are a New Zealand or Australian licence holder, you will be able to hire and drive the class of vehicle held
- A Cook Island licence is necessary to drive on the island if the class of vehicle it is different to what is listed on your original licence
- Temporary 24 hour licences are available at all rental agents and a skills scooter test may also be completed for NZ$5 (if required). This test takes the place of the police test
- If you are required to change to a Cook Islands licence, the cost is NZD20, you will need your original licence, paperwork from the rental company and your passport. Changes are only made at the Cook Islands Police Station located in Avarua.
- The speed limit for a car is 50km, for a scooter without a helmet it is 40km, and 50km with a helmet
Rarotonga Public Transport
Buses travel clockwise and anti-clockwise daily around the island. Bus tickets are valid from the time you enter the bus to the time you exit the bus (one way). If you are using a bus as your preferred method of transport, buy a concession ticket. All bus tickets are purchased from the bus driver.
It is not customary to tip in the Cook Islands, however should you have enjoyed the service that you have received, gratuities are welcomed.