Backpackers International

PO Box 878, Cook Islands
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Good For Families
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More about Rarotonga


Sunset, Cook IslandSunset, Cook Island

A motu on the reef of the Muri Lagoon.A motu on the reef of the Muri Lagoon.

Coral ChurchCoral Church

Pool at Edgewater ResortPool at Edgewater Resort

Forum Posts

What to do in Rarotonga for 1/2 a day

by msdolphin69


We will be in Rarotonga for a day or a 1/2 day awaiting our midnight flight back to LA. I am wondering what there is to do that is near the airport... What times are the Island night shows, etc.

Re: What to do in Rarotonga for 1/2 a day

by Odinnthor

It has been some time since I was in the Cook Islands, so I hesitate to recommend one over the other. However I think the Rarotongan Resort is the most likely to have the show you might like. I looked it up, and the shows are on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8 pm. There are also several clubs in Avarua that have traditional dance shows in the evenings.

I included a website with all the possible sightseeing that you can partake in while there, depending on the time frame you have. Have fun.....d:o)

Re: What to do in Rarotonga for 1/2 a day

by msdolphin69

Thank You

Re: What to do in Rarotonga for 1/2 a day

by Kakapo2

I would rent a car or scooter and drive around the island. There are some interesting churches, nice beaches, a waterfall to see, and back in Avarua you can go shopping for black pearls - before attending one of the shows suggested by Odinthor.

Car and scooter hire is very cheap on Rarotonga, and for just the day you do not need a special driver's license, as would be the case for longer rentals.

Travel Tips for Rarotonga

Rip Off

by Paullee

1. We got asked by staff at Aroko Bungalows (Muri Beach) to pay for our accomodation in cash because they "want to avoid the taxman". The owner lives across the road in a plush house overlooking the water. No wonder their countries infrastructure is absent. We talked to other guests who got asked the same thing.

2. When you leave, be sure to read the fine print at the airport. If you have any fragrances or other liquids which are not contained within self sealing plastic bags...they will take them off you and keep them. When we left, a few people had made the error while packing, due in part to the ungodly time you have to depart (1amish) Where officials could have the self sealing bags handy to assist people in this predicament, they choose not to, and end up putting your property to one side so they can take it home themselves to keep.

They are unapologetic about that. - Unbelieveable. Also beware of the $55 per person departure tax. The graves that litter the entire populated land mass, between houses, lining beaches, on the roadside - EVERYWHERE - ewwwwwwww! No thanks. - Weird.

If you have visions of splendor on the seafood front - I hope you like Tuna Steaks...thats about it. You can get Sword Fish too....but by and large - Tuna is it.

Watch out for late night drunk drivers and be prepared for 2 dollar shop style shopping. - bar a few furniture and clothing shops.

The beaches are okay, but the pictures dont show you the road that runs right behind the idilic photos you see. You will be constantly buzzed by tourists on scooters and other road noise as you lay on the beach.

Ill never go back - I recommend you look at Bali instead.

Internet access at Muri Beach

by SWFC_Fan

Upon arrival at Rarotonga, my mobile phone was unable to pick up a signal. I was staying in a beachside guesthouse seemingly miles from civilisation and I was feeling more isolated from the rest of the world than at any other time in my life!

I walked several kilometers along the beach from Vaimaanga to Muri Beach, passing almost nobody on the way. I was starting to wonder how my football team back home had fared in the previous day's football game.....and then I spotted it.....a wooden hut surrounded by palm trees and emblazoned with signs showing it to be an Internet cafe!

So, I paid a small fortune (approximately 10 GBP per hour) to log on to the Internet from this remote corner of the globe. The connection speed wasn't particularly fast and there were none of the other services (CD burning, webcams, headphones) that you would find in most Internet cafes.

This Internet cafe, located just behind the beach at Muri Beach, is owned and run by a friendly Kiwi guy, who boasts of selling the best milkshakes and toasted sandwiches on the island. Sadly, I never got a chance to test his claim, but we had a good chat about life on the island and how, without the Internet, he would be isolated from global events. Of course, the only global event that I was interested in was the Sheffield Wednesday result....and I was happy to learn that they had won 2-0 against Derby County the previous afternoon.

This is one of the few places to access the Internet outside the capital, Avarua. There are at least two modern Internet cafes in Avarua....but this hut at Muri Beach is surely the most relaxing place to log on!


by SWFC_Fan

Although the official currency of the Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar, keep an eye out for Cook Islands Dollar coins. A Cook Islands Dollar is equal to 1 New Zealand Dollar, but while both currencies are acceptable in the Cook Islands, you can't spend Cook Islands Dollars in New Zealand.

Befitting this small exotic island paradise, its coins have weird and wonderful designs on them, quite unlike any I've seen elsewhere in the world.

The $1 coin is almost flower shaped and features a picture of the rather erotic Tangaroa fertility god on one side.....and Queen Elizabeth II on the other!

The $2 coin is triangular shaped with rounded corners. It features a picture of what seems to be a table with a bottle or vase upon it.

The $5 coin is a golden dodecagon (12 sides), featuring a picture of a conch sea shell on one side.

All three of these coins are mentioned and pictured on this "unusual coins" website.

Row, row, row your boat ... Vaka Eiva

by Tusitala

Vaka Eiva (literally Canoe Festival) is held in Raro each November. It is an international week-long event, drawing teams from Oz, NZ, Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Guam, etc, as well as local CI teams.

Polynesians have a seafaring tradition on great canoes going back over 5000 years (pre-dating western navigation of the oceans) so they take this pretty seriously.

Events from schoolkids through to masters, sprints all the way up to 36 Round Raro event (3 hours of rowing at 75 strokes per minute!)

A fantastic fun carnival, with novelty events (including tipping in which you tip your outrigger up to see how long you can last before ditching in the water), and sponsorship by Steinlager to keep the spirits up, too. Some teams buy their own boats, others share boats. Best check with the organisers.

Big Game Fishing


We traveled to the South Pacific Island of Rarotonga to do some big game fishing. There are not that many charter boats here but the ones that are all seem pretty good. The cpmpany we picked was the boat Seafara which we from the main harbour. Once aboard the charter boat Seafara the crew where busy getting lines ready and before we where out of the harbour we had baits in the water and we where fishing.
Elgin and his wife attended to our every need. The fishing was a bit slow on out first day out with only tw Mai Mai being caught, mine was 21kg and the other was much smaller.
All the fish that are caught on the baot remain the property of the skipper, they sell the catch once back on land, it help to suppulent there income. But if you want to keep a fish or two i'm sure that the skipper will help you out.
You will do a complete trip around the island and you are never more then a mile from shore, so not only do you get to go fishing but you get a look at the island from the ocean side, very nice too. We took our own big game gear with us on this trip but if you don't want to the boathas every thing you need so you all you have to do is turn up, pay your money and enjoy your self.


Popular Hotels in Rarotonga

Manuia Beach Boutique Hotel

Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

PO Box 700, Avarua, Rarotonga

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Palm Grove

Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars 2 Reviews

P.O. Box 23, Vaimaanga, Cook Islands

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Crown Beach Resort

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PO Box 47, Arorangi, Rarotonga

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The Sunset Resort

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Arorangi 123, Rarotonga

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