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Destination

1500 km southwest of Tahiti, the Cook Islands are named after the famous English navigator, Captain James Cook, who explored the region in the 18th century. They are often thought of as the cousins of the Austral Islands, being close both geographically and culturally. They also have a similar climate. The archipelago comprises fifteen high islands and atolls, scattered over an area of 2.25 mil...
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Practical information

Population : + 17000 inhabitants
Surface area : 36.3 sq. miles
Main Village : Avarua

Minimum flight duration : 2h40
Distance from Tahiti : 1185 km

Rarotonga-landscape_Cook-Islands

The good reasons to visit

  • It is an English-speaking country.
  • Its beautiful beaches of white sand.
  • Its translucent lagoon.
  • Shopping: clothes and crafts at very modest prices.
  • An olde worlde Polynesian atmosphere.
  • Restaurants, bars and nightlife: try a pub crawl with a local guide.

Do not miss

  • Takitumu Conservation Area.
  • Muri Beach.
  • Punanga Nui market on Saturday mornings.
  • The Rarotonga perfume factory.
  • The cultural centre.
  • The Vaimaanga waterfall.
  • The fine colonial residence of the Queen's representative (Titikaveka).
  • The whitewashed churches.
  • A dance show in a large hotel.

Did you know that

  • "Kia ora na" is "Hello" in Rarotongan.
  • Rarotonga (which means "down south") used to be called Tumutevarovaro.
  • In the 18th century, Captain Cook named the archipelago the "Hervey Islands". Its present-day name was given by Russian navigators in the 19th century, in memory of the famous English explorer.
  • Topless sunbathing or walking around town in a bikini is not appreciated by local people, so please avoid it.

Air Tahiti magazine

Rarotonga airport

Rarotonga International Airport is located 3 km (1.8 mi) from the centre of Avarua, the capital of the Cook Islands.

Transport between the airport and the rest of the island is provided at all times by hotel buses, taxis and, at certain times, by a bus service (stop close to the airport).

Services available

  • Travel agency
  • Snack bars
  • Bank
  • ATMs
  • Souvenir shops
  • Duty-free shops in the international zone
  • Wi-Fi
  • Internet café
  • Vehicle hire desk
  • Baggage storage
  • Telephone kiosks
  • Toilets