Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Cook Islands / Rarotonga

 Rarotonga - Shore Services

Communications

Cook Islands Telecom, Tutakimoa Road, Avarua, open 24 hours, for overseas telephone calls, telegrams and internet.

Post office in Rarotonga 0800-1600 Monday to Friday for telephones, telegrams and fax.

There is no WiFi in the harbour but there are a few hotspots around the town.

Several internet cafes in town have WiFi.

Cook Islands Post Office
Avarua, Rarotonga
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am - 4pm, Saturday 8am - 12noon.
Airmail goes out daily.

Banks

The Westpac and ANZ Banks in Avarua are open Monday to Friday 9:00am until 3:00pm. Westpac also opens Saturdays 9am until 12.

ATM service available at the main branches in Avarua, with ANZ ATM's located at Cooks Corner and Wigmores Superstore at Vaimanga, Westpac ATM is located at Oasis Energy in Nikao.

In addition visitors can exchange travellers cheques and principal currencies at larger stores and hotels.

Banking facilities are also provided at the airport for currency exchange and cashing of travellers cheques. They are open for the arrival and departure of all International flights.

Major credit cards are accepted throughout the island at most shops, and restaurants.

EFTPOS facilities are becoming more widespread throughout local businesses and cash advances on major credit cards are accepted.

Laundry

Snowbird Laundry has a monopoly on the island. It is in Avarua town. It is not self service. They charge $12 a load and it is advisable to take your own soap.

Provisions

There is a good selection of fruit and vegetables on this fertile island. Locally produced canned fruit juices are a good buy.

A large supermarket is a 10 min walk to the west along the main road.  It has a good selection.

The best place to purchase fruit and vegetables is at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday mornings from 6:00 am to noon. The market is located beside the harbour to the east. There are a number of booths with local crafts and baked goods and some local dancing was featured as well.

There is a market in Avarua township. Individual stalls open 08:00 to 16:00 daily except Sundays. On Saturdays this market is swollen by many additional stalls and generally operates from 06:00 to about midday.

April 2011: Cruisers have reported that prices are high here, even more so than in Bora Bora. Most foodstuffs on sale are imported from New Zealand. The Bond liquor Store no longer does duty free, and the cost of wine and imported beer is high. There is a new microbrewery, Cooks Larger, which will fill your own containers for $5/l.

Transport & Travel

There are flights from Rarotonga to Auckland, Honolulu, Nadi and Papeete.

Several car, scooter and bicycle rental companies on the island.

Vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road.

The maximum road speed limit is 40kph in the town and villages and 60kph outside of populated areas.

Drivers of all vehicles are required to have a current Cook Islands Drivers Licence, which can be obtained from the Police Station in Avarua at a cost of NZ$20 on presentation of your own license.

If you hire a motor scooter, there is an additional charge of NZ$6 for the compulsory practical test.

Helmets are legally required when travelling over 40kph

The island bus is a cheap way to get round the island. It will pick you up and set you down anywhere on request.

Air Rarotonga
Tel:+682 22 888
Bus Passenger Transport Ltd
Tel:+682 25512 / after hrs 20349
Opening hours: 0900-1600 (Mon-Fri)
There are two bus services round the island; one clockwise and one aniti-clockwise. They generlly run hourly.

Computer/Photo/Video

Cyber.Net Cafe
Located between the Tourism office and Banana Court , Avarua, Rarotonga
Tel:(682) 23 004

Medical/Health

There is a hospital with New Zealand-trained staff.

Medical and dental facilities available 24 hours a day at Tupapa Clinic.

Activities

Plenty of leisure and sport activities available on the island.

The Cross Island hike is worthwhile. It is a fairly arduous 4 hour hike but offers magnificent views from the top in the region of the Needle. The trail begins near Aviatiu Harbour and ends at Wigmore Falls on the south side of the island. You can flag down a local bus for the return trip back to the boat harbour

Shopping

Duty-free liquors after outward clearance has been issued. Many tourist stores.

Attractions

Takitumu Conservation Area

Located on the southeastern side of inland Rarotonga, this area covers 155 hectares of upland forest, scrub and fern land, and has played a major role in protecting one of the world's rarest land birds, the kakerori. It is also home to the unique i'oi and kukupa native birds, and the introduced myna and long-tailed cuckoo. Takitumu contains 70% of all the plant species found in inland Rarotonga, including the neinei, the Rarotonga orchid and the rare ground orchid.

Raui Marine Reserves

Raui is a traditional conservation system, which prohibits access to allow the rejuvenation of natural resources. Five marine Raui are in place in the lagoon on Rarotonga to protect the marine environment and to allow marine plants and animals an opportunity to grow and breed, and spread to other parts of the lagoon and sea. The total Raui area accounts for about 8% of the reef circumference of Rarotonga. Swimming and snorkelling are permitted in Raui areas but the harvest of marine life, particularly those traditionally used for food, is restricted or prohibited. Markers have been placed on the boundaries in the lagoon to identify the Raui areas. Blue signposts on the roadside also indicate areas under Raui. They include:

Tikioki : Snorkelling, swimming and Glass Bottom Boat cruises are popular in this area due to the abundance of wildlife. You can expect to see at least 80 different fish species, not to mention numerous invertebrates and more than 30 species of marine plants and corals.

Aroko/Nukupure : The most unique feature of this area is the tidal salt marsh consisting of kiukiu (salt water paspalum grass) and Mauku tatau tai (sedge). It is a breeding ground for several species of fish and crab, and has one of the few remaining populations of a native date mussel species. Rare migratory birds such as the bar tail godwits and sanderlings also use this area.

Matavera/Pouara : This area contains various invertebrate reef species, including kina, rori, paua and ariri.

Nikao : This reserve includes extensive reef flats, which provide an important habitat for marine invertebrates, including ariri, kina, paua, rori, trochus, ungakoa and vana.

Restaurants & Bars

Palace Takeway by Aviatiu Harbour has good fish and chips.

Trader Jack's is a nice restaurant on the waterfront in Avarua Town and is within walking distance.

There are at least 50 restaurants/cafes on Rarotonga.

It’s also worth noting that tipping isn’t expected and is contrary to Cook Island’s custom.

13 Beaufort
13 Beaufort says:
Jun 25, 2015 11:42 PM

Departure tax is $66.30 p.p
Customs fees $ 57.20
Harbour dues $2.45 per meter (monohull) per day

Del Elson
Del Elson says:
Aug 03, 2014 05:30 AM

Do not buoy your anchor in Avatiu harbour. It's likely that the buoy will be in the way of shipping and you will probably be asked to remove it.

wildfox
wildfox says:
Aug 24, 2013 09:17 PM

All there mooring information is correct; surge is a major problem if there is any N in the wind. All officials now come to the harbor, not Trader Jacks. Do not go ashore until you have permission! The harbor master is a great guy, very helpful. Anthony sv Wild Fox

saungaki
saungaki says:
Aug 11, 2013 07:18 AM

Andre Tuiravakai is the ports operation manager

Departure tax is now 65 dollars

27 meters is the air restriction

Cook Islands
Northern Group
Southern Group
Aitutaki
Atiu Island
Palmerston
Rarotonga
Profile
Location
Clearance
Docking
Yacht Clubs
Repair Facilities
Boatyards
Engine Repair
Mechanical Repair
Electrics & Electronics
Carpentry
Rigs & Sails
Canvas Work
Metalwork
Hull & GRP Repair
Refrigeration
Air Conditioning
Liferafts & Inflatables
Marine Services
Marine Supplies
Fuel
Water
LPG (gas)
Diving/Fishing
Charts & Marine Publications
General Services
Yacht Charters
Yacht Brokers
Guardinage
Yacht Surveyors
Shore Services
Communications
Banks
Laundry
Provisions
Transport & Travel
Computer/Photo/Video
Medical/Health
Accommodation
Activities
Shopping
Attractions
Restaurants & Bars
Update History
Update History
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Related Reports
Cook Islands, Aitutaki : Updates from Cruisers

Cook Islands, Aitutaki : Updates from Cruisers (30 Sep 2017)

Report Icon

The Pacific Crossing Guide - 3rd Edition (17 Oct 2016)

Report Icon

Pacific - List of Radio Nets (17 Apr 2016)

South Pacific Cyclone Season in the tropics: Calculated risks

South Pacific Cyclone Season in the tropics: Calculated risks (15 Jun 2015)

Report Icon

Cook Islands - Penrhyn Atoll (21 May 2015)

South Pacific Cruising Notes: April to November 2013

South Pacific Cruising Notes: April to November 2013 (21 Oct 2014)

Report Icon

Tropical South Pacific weather resources (17 Mar 2014)

Report Icon

Courtesy Flags for the South Pacific (13 Oct 2013)

Cook Islands: Palmerston Atoll - Planning and Arrival Tips

Cook Islands: Palmerston Atoll - Planning and Arrival Tips (09 Sep 2013)

Rarotonga, Avatiu Harbour: Work now complete and visiting yachts welcome

Rarotonga, Avatiu Harbour: Work now complete and visiting yachts welcome (22 May 2013)

Report Icon

Pacific Planning Advice (26 Mar 2013)

Report Icon

A Visit to Penrhyn Atoll, Cook Islands (15 Sep 2011)

Report Icon

Rarotonga and Beveridge - Our Experience (04 Jun 2011)

Report Icon

South Pacific Ocean Passage Planning (25 May 2011)

Report Icon

Beveridge Reef - Between the Cook Islands and Niue (28 Apr 2011)

Report Icon

Southern Cooks - Recent Visit to Rarotonga (07 Apr 2011)

Report Icon

Tips for Mooring in Avatiu Harbour - Rarotonga (17 Sep 2010)

Report Icon

Isolated Palmerston looks forward to visiting yachts (01 Aug 2010)

Report Icon

A Visit to Penrhyn Atoll (08 Feb 2009)

Report Icon

French Polynesia to NZ - the logical route (11 Dec 2008)

Report Icon

Cruising the Northern Cooks & Line Islands (03 Sep 2008)

Report Icon

Cook Islands Clean-up by World ARC Crews (02 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

A different experience at Palmerston (26 Mar 2008)

Report Icon

Tide Information In South Pacific (17 Oct 2007)

Report Icon

Restrictions On Yachts In Avatiu Harbour (16 Jan 2007)

Report Icon

Visiting Penrhyn (Tongareva) (30 Nov 2006)

Report Icon

Suwarrow Atoll Report 2005 (19 Jun 2006)

Report Icon

Weather Forecast Services for South Pacific (24 Jan 2006)

Report Icon

25th Anniversary of Moon Handbooks South Pacific (24 Jun 2004)

Related News
South Pacific, Beveridge Reef: British cruising family rescued from remote reef

South Pacific, Beveridge Reef: British cruising family rescued from remote reef  (28 Aug 2017)

Cook Islands have increased their fee schedule for visiting yachts

Cook Islands have increased their fee schedule for visiting yachts  (22 May 2015)

Report Icon

South Pacific, Cook Islands: Swedish couple rescued from dismasted yacht  (09 Aug 2014)

Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia to Sydney: Pacific Climate Warriors calling all sailboats

Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia to Sydney: Pacific Climate Warriors calling all sailboats  (12 May 2014)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

Report Icon

OceansWatch International - another good year in 2012  (20 Dec 2012)

Report Icon

Cook Islands, Penrhyn Atoll: Algal Bloom Deters Cruisers  (01 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

Cook Islands, Rarotonga: Avatiu Harbour Closed to Yachts  (08 Jul 2012)

Report Icon

Cook Islands: Avatiu Harbour, Rarotonga - dredging and harbour realignment works started  (02 May 2011)

Report Icon

Cook Islands - Skipper and dog survive yacht sinking  (14 Oct 2009)

Report Icon

Warning to Sailors Visiting Suwarrow Atoll in South Pacific  (31 Jul 2003)