Practical Information in Rarotonga

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If you are travelling to the Cook Islands, you should be aware of certain information. Here is a list of Rarotonga practical information.

Formal Name:

Rarotonga Island


Cook Islands


Avarua is the country's capital, located on Rarotonga Island. Rarotonga city is the largest city.


Maori, English and Pukapukan are the most commonly spoken languages.


Over 14,000 people


67.19 km square (26 square miles)


240 V; 50 Hz


V-shaped flat prongs

Country Code:


Area Code:

The Cook Islands do not have individual area codes. Just dial the country code plus the local number.

Time Zone:

UTC-10 hours; No DST


New Zealand Dollar (NZD)


The best place to do your banking on Rarotonga is in Avarua or in Rarotonga. Banks will exchange currency and traveler's cheques. There are also ATMs available at most banks.


No visa is required for most visitors for tourism stays of less than 31 days. You should have 6 months validity remaining on your passport, evidence of funds and accommodation and a return ticket.


Rarotonga International Airport handles all incoming and outgoing international flights, as well as most of the traffic between islands. Air Rarotonga operates inter-island flights.


You can travel around the island or between islands via boat. Rarotonga has 3 harbors: Avatiu, Avarua and Avana. You can also ride the bus around the island. There are no through roads due to the island's geography, but there are 2 ring roads around the island. You can catch or disembark from a bus at any point, though there are designated bus stops.


Rarotonga is the youngest of the volcanic islands that make up the Cook Islands. As such, it is still craggy, filled with volcanic peaks and valleys that are densely covered in vegetation. As such, the center of the island is mostly uninhabited. A large part of the island has been designated a conservation area. As for the waters, a lagoon surrounds most of the island. There is a reef to the north which makes water sports dangerous. The southeast is the most appropriate and popular for swimming and other water activities.


Tipping is considered rude in the Cook Islands.

Drinking Age:

The legal drinking age is 21.


In an emergency, dial 999. If you need police assistance but it is not an emergency situation, dial 22-499.


For an ambulance, dial 998.


In the event of a fire emergency, dial 996.


There is only 1 foreign embassy in the Cook Islands. Most international visitors will have to contact their local embassy in New Zealand for assistance.

Departure Tax:

When leaving Rarotonga on an international flight you will be required to pay a departure tax of NZD 30.

March 09, 2010 new by tiffanymparker

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