Visitor Information


Rarotonga is the largest island (67sq km) and the main centre of the Cook Islands, with a population of around 9,000.

Cook Island Maori is the local language however English is spoken by everyone.

Business Hours

Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
Saturday 9am-12 noon


April to November: dry season with a temperature range of 20ºC – 26ºC.
December to March: wet season with a temperature range of 22ºC – 28ºC.

Currency and Banking

The currency used in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD).
Banking facilities are 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.

Departure Tax

Departure tax is now included as part of your airline ticket and not paid separately at the airport.


Casual light-weight clothing is the norm, with smarter dress required for church services. Very brief attire (such as bikinis) should not be worn in shopping areas or public places as it may cause offence.


Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Maximum speed is 30km/hr in town; 50km/hr everywhere else. A New Zealand or International driver’s license is now valid for driving in Rarotonga.  For those wishing to hire a scooter or motorbike, a driver’s license must be obtained from the Police Station in Avarua – cost $15. A practical test is also required and this is an additional cost of $5.


240 volts AC Hz/ 50 cycle. North Americans will need adaptor plugs suited for New Zealand to use dual-voltage appliances, such as hair dryers.

Entry Requirements

Visitors do not require entry permits provided they do not stay for longer than 31 days and possess onward tickets. Extension permits may be granted for visitors wanting to stay over 31 days and applications can be made at the Immigration Department on arrival.

Medical Services

A range of medical and dental services are available, including a hospital and emergency services. Various pharmacies are available for prescription medicine.

Public Transport

The Island Bus offers a convenient method of transport, operating regular schedulesaround the island, picking you up and setting you down anywhere on request. The “round-trip” takes approximately 1 hour – a distance of 32km.


Avarua is the main shopping and commercial centre, spread out along Avatiu Harbour. It offers a full range of services including a department store, post office, banks, cafes, restaurants, supermarket plus a number of specialty stores. Duty-free shopping is also available here. Shopping hours are normally 8am-4pm Monday to Friday and 8am-12 noon Saturday. Most shops are closed on Sunday.


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