About Rarotonga Island

Rarotonga is a fantastic island to explore with beautiful beaches and lush tropical mountains. It's also an extremely safe place to visit. Some activities you can enjoy with us include snorkelling, trekking, beach volleyball, BBQ, island nights, night markets, night-life, movies and much more ...

tourist shop in avarua town rarotonga

Avarua Town

dalo fileds and the thumb of rarotonga

Cross Island Walk

a beach on west rarotonga

Beach Walks

sightseeing around Rarotonga Island

Sightseeing Raro

About Rarotonga in the Cook Islands

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 is only 32km in circumference and the majority of villages, shops and restaurants are scattered around the coastal road. Public buses travel in both direction from Avarua Town every half and hour until 5pm and thereafter every hour until 11pm. Taxis cost around NZ$3 per km. Car and moped hire is available from six rental agencies, one at the bottom of our road - 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.

There are numerous day tours on Rarotonga from lagoon cruises to culture centres. Day trips from Rarotonga to Aitutaki are also available via Air Rarotonga.


Useful Facts for Backpackers visiting the Cook Islands

Rarotonga Airport lies on the north west coast of Rarotonga, 3km from Avarua Town. It takes around 20-minutes by road to get to Backpackers International from the airport and transfers are available through the hostel. 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.

The Cook Islands uses the NZ$ currency - 24-hr ATM cash machine can be found at the airport and in Avarua Town as well as Muri Beach. Bank of the South Pacific opens for all international flights.

Major credit cards are accepted at most shops on Rarotonga and some will exchange travellers cheques as well.

Cook Islands time is 10 hours behind GMT (London), 22 hours behind NZ and 2 hours behind US West Coast.

International Dialling Code = (682)

Electricity = 240v / 40Hz (same voltage as UK and NZ) with plugs being three flat pins (same as NZ).