Cook Islands Visitor Guide Edition 69

Page 1

Please take this copy 2022 - 2023 Edition COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE Things you need to know about Driving in the Cook Islands CALENDAR OF EVENTS ADVENTURES IN PARADISE SEE & DO EAT & DRINK SHOPPING LOCAL STORIES STAY-A-WHILE 8 44 16
Spa Ariki Courtyard Pool Suite Flambé Restaurant Oceans Restaurant Island Night Romantic Dinner on the Beach Weddings Beachfront Room +682 23953
COOK ISLANDS Top Jewellery & Gift Store BEST PRICES • QUALITY • SELECTION • SERVICE BLACK PEARL JEWELLERY –Avaiki Black Pearls –Karen Walker Jewellery Polynesian Style Rings In Gold & Silver Wedding/Engagement & Dress Rings Gold & Silver Chains, Charms, Earrings Lladro | Amber | Jade | Coral | Opal Phone 24 823 | Fa x 24824 | email For the best deal in the Cook Islands Come to Goldmine, Main Road, Avarua

10 Meet the new head of Tourism An interview with Karla Eggelton

12 Internet and WiFi in the Cook Islands

Q&A with Vodafone Cook Islands

18 Aussie family immersed in the Cooks

Interview with BSP’s country head, David Street

27 Te Vara Nui Village

A spectacular over water island night show

28 In Avarua a groovy cafe that hums!

Where they deliver tasty treats from a tiny kitchen

31 Eat & Drink in Rarotonga

Featured Eating & Drinking places

38 Map of Rarotonga

Comprehensively identifying key locations

42 An authentic experience of local heritage Jean Mason talks about Museum Cook Islands & Library

43 Adventure Diving in Rarotonga Diving for the experienced or totally new to diving

Getting Around  Things you need to know about road transport

44 Adventures in Paradise

So much to see & do offshore and onshore

52 Fitness to de-stress and re-charge Body movement with Brynn

54 Meet a Cook Islands contemporary artist A chat with Tim Manvaroa Buchanan aka Kata


20 Buying black pearls in the Cook Islands

Five things you need to know

22 Fashion in the tropics, Cook Islands-Style How to look great on your tropical getaway

24 Cook Islands unique currency Freely traded internationally as a collector’s item

57 Visit Aitutaki for a tranquil holiday experience Love this little paradise!

60 Atiu, less than an hour’s flight from Rarotonga Also known as enuamanu, land of the birds

63 Stay-a While in the Cook Islands

A catalogue of varied accommodation choices

ADVENTURE in Paradise

52 43 27 44
• Be smart. Know your limits • Do not explore alone • Wear a life jacket • Stay away from the passages Safety Tips YWAM Base Old Sheraton Hotel Avaavaroa Passage Papua Passage Rutaki Passage Arorangi CICC ChurchArorangi Passage FOR YOUR SAFETY DO NOT: in the passages indicated. Strong currents and rip tides present. SnorkelSwimKayak Water Safe How to be in the Cook Islands FOR EMERGENCIES CALL 999

Kia Orana

Pronounced kee-ya or-rana, this Cook Islands greeting translates as ‘live long and healthy’.

Welcome to the Cook Islands. Are you ready to explore and experience our little paradise?

Hopefully, through the Cook Islands Visitor Guide you will discover many ways to have an enjoyable holiday, and return home with great memories.

The ocean, the beaches, lagoons, mountains and the rainforests are a pristine wonderland just waiting for you. Onshore and offshore adventures and activities are bountiful.

The cafés, restaurants, beach bars and nightlife are all around to

satisfy your hunger, thirst, and to thoroughly entertain you.

Importantly, the pace is pleasantly ‘island time!’

Rarotonga is Cook Islands’ biggest island and its gateway, but only a short flight away you can escape to smaller, more intimate islands such as Aitutaki, Atiu and Mangaia. If you are not already going there, a day trip to Aitutaki is worth consideration!

The ‘new look’ Cook Islands Visitor Guide has been designed to inform and entertain. We hope you have an enjoyable stay in our ‘little paradise’. Take care on the roads and in the lagoons, and come back to visit us again.

Enjoy Cook Islands. There is no place quite like it!

Publisher, Cook Islands Sun Ltd

Publisher: Alastair Blount


Design: S Yoseph

Print: Ovato NZ

Distribution Rarotonga:

Distribution Aitutaki: 31 009 or

Postal: PO Box 30, Avarua, Cook Islands

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that information and content in this publication is accurate; no responsibility is accepted for inadvertent errors or omissions.

Copyright © 2022 Cook Islands Sun Ltd. All rights reserved.

Front cover image: David Kirkland



Look out for these exciting events



22 – 28 September 2022


A fun racing event for runners whether social, recreational or competitive. RoundRarotongaRoadRace/



4 – 5 November 2022


Action-packed; held in the friendly, smoke-free environment of the BCI Stadium.


29 July 2022 – 5 August 2022

Cook Islands biggest annual cultural celebration uniting all islands.


26 - 27 August 2022


Two events: a 4-person team challenge and a weightlifting competition. Theaitutakiliftoff/


10 September 2022


Two-person race - 5.6k SUP, 8.2k cross island run, 45.7k mountain bike ride.

30 September – 15 October 2022


A local multi-sport (25) event for young and old, professional and beginners.


14 October 2022


Food-lover event with fresh produce, cooked foods, floriculture, seafood, and more!


21 - 28 October 2022


Fast-paced tournament open to squash players of all ages and grades.


28 – 30 November 2022


Featuring a float parade, competitions, and Miss Tiare and Mama Muumuu pageants.

Raro 7s Te Maeva Nui Festival Pursuit in Paradise Aitutaki


28 November –3 December 2022


Award-winning must-see spectacular paddling event on the lagoon for men and women.


2 – 8 December 2022


Great spectator event with all levels of netball players, men and women.

PURSUIT IN PARADISE AITUTAKI - 24 March 2023 MIRE URAOF THE April - 12 May 2023 entertaining - 9 May 2023

The Triathlon is more than a race; it is a festival of events held over one week.

Aitutaki TE
Rarotonga An
event for visitors to experience top notch Cook Islands dancing. AIR NEW ZEALAND RAROTONGA TRIATHLON 4
Rarotonga Motu2Motu Pursuit in Paradise winner

Following a long history with the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, Karla Eggelton began a new chapter as CEO in the top job on 2 May 2022.

Karla is a proud Cook Islander who is capable, energetic, strategic and personable.

“I have spent my entire lifetime investing in tourism,” said Karla.

“I joined Cook Island’s tourism organisation on my return from university in Australia.”

Karla studied on a scholarship; a government initiative to create senior management jobs for Cook Islanders. Karla was earmarked to work at the Sheraton Resort in Vaimaanga.

“Obviously, that didn’t come to fruition, so I joined Cook Island Tourism as a marketing services officer.


“Chris Wong was the CEO. There was no marketing manager then. I joined along with other marketing services recruits, Rohan Ellis and Nicholas Henry; both are still prominent in the tourism industry.

“Tourism was in its infancy, and Chris Wong did an incredible job with a small budget. One highlight for me was when I was sent to America for three months to research into the North American market. I was only 21.

“In those early years, I also pay tribute to the many positive tourism leaders outside the corporation, including Robert Skews, Thomas Koteka, Peter Heays, and my father, Des Eggelton. They were all part of the new tourism vision”.

Karla Eggelton left the Corporation ten years later to work in the private tourism sector for five years.

“I left Cook Islands Tourism as marketing manager, and returned as director of sales and marketing in 2010”.

Visits to the Cook Islands grew exponentially in the following decade culminating with 176,000 visitors in 2019. By March 2020, the pandemic forced borders closed denying the Cook Islands another bumper year.

More than two years later the Cook Islands tourism industry is bouncing back.

“I want acknowledge the absolute resilience of the private sector and the industry for their desire to move mountains, embrace change, and to stay alive. Their performance since we’ve opened our borders has been tremendous, regardless of the challenges facing them including capacity issues, labor issues, inventory issues, getting

In May 2022 the Board of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation announced the appointment of Ms. Karla Eggelton as the Corporation’s new Chief Executive Officer following the departure of Halatoa Fua who left to take up a new role as Director of the National Environment Service. Karla Eggelton, new CEO of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation
10 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Tourism

in foods and goods to support the visitor’s return.

“Air New Zealand has assisted us with flights from Auckland; but they’ve got their own challenges and we are not back to full capacity. Our aim is to get back to business as quickly as possible.”

In June, Jetstar recommenced services from Auckland.

“We are not yet at the place we were pre-COVID, which was 28 flights a week. We have plenty of rooms, but not enough planes!

“Our forecast is to end the 2022 year with 94,000 visitors.”

For the past ten years New Zealand has been the predominant market for the Cook Islands and according to Karla that won’t change.

“76% of our visitation prior to COVID was the Kiwi market and we expect that to continue for a long time. Our main focus is on New Zealand ensuring that we’ve got flights out of New Zealand

“We know that the formula for success for Australia is frequent nonstop flights from multiple ports. That is our aspiration and our desire.

“Right now, all our marketing is in the Southern Hemisphere.”

Karla said she is honoured and pleased to be appointed the new leader for Cook Islands Tourism.

and ensuring that Kiwis want to travel to the Cook Islands. That’s our number one objective.

“Our second priority is Australia. They are the next highest market source market for us. Pre COVID, Air New Zealand operated a weekly nonstop flight from Sydney.

“It’s my blood, it’s my heart, it’s my soul. During this new chapter, I have the opportunity to help carve the way ahead. I’m just immensely appreciative of that opportunity. The support I have received from my team, from the tourism industry, and from partners across the globe, has been heartwarming. I just hope I can do good by everybody!”

“I have the opportunity to help carve the way ahead”.

Q&A with Vodafone Cook Islands

Where is Vodafone located?

We have a store at the Rarotonga International Airport just as you exit the arrival hall, open for every international flight.

Our Main Office in Parekura is open Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm and we also have a Vodafone outlet in the CITC Avarua Shopping Centre complex in Avarua, which is open Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm and Saturday 9.30am-12.30pm.

We also have outlets on all islands, excluding Nassau, Suwarrow, Takutea and Manuae.

What visitor services do you offer?

Travel SIM

Vodafone has two Travel SIMs to choose from including a set amount of TXTs, calling minutes and mobile data.

- $49 Travel SIM - 5GB of data, 30 minutes and 300 TXTsvalid for 15 days

- $69 Travel SIM - 10GB of data, 60 minutes and 600 TXTsvalid for 28 days

You can use your calling minutes to book your local tours or stay in touch with friends and family in selected countries including New Zealand and Australia. If you run out of data, you can add more with our 1GB data bundle for $10.

Tip: Download the ‘My Vodafone Cook Islands’ app to add data bundles and monitor your usage for TXTs, calls and data.

WiFi Vouchers

It’s easy to get connected in the Cook Islands, with Vodafone Hotspots located in a number of places including resorts, restaurants and cafes, bars, shops and more.

WiFi Vouchers are easy to purchase and are available from Vodafone outlets and resellers nationwide. You can also buy WiFi vouchers online when you’re at a Vodafone Hotspot, through our online Recharge website or using the My Vodafone Cook Islands app.

Tip: Don’t forget to logout of the WiFi Hotspot once you’re done browsing to save WiFi data. Also, take a snapshot of your WiFi Voucher too, just in case it gets misplaced (or wet from your lagoon cruise!).

WiFi Hotspots

We have hotspots all over the Cook Islands in popular places like the markets, cafes, holiday homes, our Vodafone stores and outlets and more. You can find a nifty Google Maps version of where our hotspots are located in Rarotonga and Aitutaki from our website here: prepay-internet. Or ask a local if they can point out the nearest Vodafone Hotspot.

Data in the Outer Islands

We do have mobile data services in the islands of Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke and Mitiaro. Aitutaki has 4G/LTE mobile data while the rest of the islands mentioned have 3G. Our Travel

Share your sunny lagoon cruises, local delicacies from the Punanga Nui Market and poolside snaps with Vodafone Cook Islands. Keep connected during your trip with our Travel SIMs and WiFi Vouchers, with over 200 hotspots located in the Cook Islands.
‘Keep connected during your trip’
12 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Internet & WiFi

SIMs work in the outer islands and are great for keeping you connected while you’re visiting the Cook Islands.

Any handy tips or tricks for visitors to the Cook Islands?

Vodafone Travel SIM Tips

• First tip would be to make good use of the free TXTs and calling minutes to contact friends and family back home instead of relying on data operated apps (e.g., Messenger/WhatsApp/Viber). Better yet, book all your tours and make reservations using your minutes while on holiday.

• Save Data by switching off all auto-updates, restrict background data downloads on your device.

• Use Data for live updates or ‘in the moment’ posts via your social media channels. Upload your pics later using WiFi either from your hotel or from a nearby Vodafone hotspot.

• Switch off your data if you’re not using it - also saves on battery life.

• Download the My Vodafone Cook Islands app on arrival to monitor your data/mins/txts usage.

• Need to upload your photos from your laptop or computer? Tethering is available on our Vodafone Travel SIMs, tether data from your phone to your device and get those important captures up online in no time!

on mobile data and upload your photos/videos using WiFi instead.

• Can’t find your nearest Vodafone Hotspot? Visit prepay-internet and find our maps with over 200 hotspots located around Rarotonga and Aitutaki. There’s sure to be one next door or around the corner from you.

• Avoid using data when visiting sites that may have low data range/signal. Take your photos and upload them later once you’re in good range.

Vodafone WiFi Hotspot Tips

• If you have access to a Vodafone Hotspot at your accommodation, then save

• Make sure to logout of your WiFi after each browsing session at a hotspot to conserve MBs.

• Out of range? Visit any of Rarotonga’s cafes/restaurants with our Vodafone Hotspots instead and enjoy the comfort there, along with good food and atmosphere, and a refreshing beverage!

Travel SIMPLE with Vodafone Grab a SIM. Choose a plan. Experience our little paradise. Travel SIM plan calling minutes and TXT can be used for local and select international destinations. See our website for more info on countries that you can contact with our Travel SIM at T&Cs apply. Lasts 15 days $49 Lasts 28 days $69 10GB 300 TXTs* 600 TXTs* 30 MINUTES* 60 MINUTES* 5GB DATA DATA ‘Over 200 hotspots located around Rarotonga and Aitutaki’

CITC is Proud of Its Cook Islands Roots and Its Commitment to the Country

CITC is everywhere in Rarotonga; they import, distribute, wholesale and retail a vast range of products from building materials, food and beverage, to pharmaceuticals, clothing, electrical goods and furniture.

The CITC name is on, or behind, many of Rarotonga’s best-known businesses.

Importantly, CITC is proud of its Cook Islands roots and its commitment to Cook Islands culture, and as such their name is on, or behind, many Cook Islands cultural events and artistic programs.

As a corporation, CITC engages in varied cultural, educational and environmental activities such as

the Cook Islands Tourism Awards, Junior Drumming, Primary School Athletics, Badminton, Netball, Vaka Eiva, Rugby 7s, Miss Cook Islands, Clean-up the World program, Recycle Raro, the creative arts, and Cook Islands’ cultural icon, Te Maeva Nui.

CITC general manager Gaye Whitta affirms: “Culture helps

CITC staff are passionate about Cook Islands culture
14 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Avarua Matave ra Muri Titik ave ka Arorangi FOODLAND Rarotonga Airport AVARUA DUTY FREE SUPERMARKET PHARMACYLIQUOR BUILDING LEADING THE WAY +682 22 000 Stores on Rarotonga12 Department Store Surf Store Convenience Stores Service Stations Supermarkets Liquor Store Pharmacy Duty Free Shops Building Supplies Shipping Bringing you the brands you know and trust The Cook Islands Trading Corporation Ltd, better known locally as CITC, is the country’s biggest employer with over 300 staff.
Island Life

define who we are and links us to our heritage. Supporting culture in all its different forms - through arts, dance, music, education and voyaging - helps us build on the foundation passed down from our ancestors and provides guidance to our future generations.

“When Trevor Clarke took over CITC in 1998, his family brought a new dimension to CITC’s support of culture by joining the Te Maeva Nui festivities to ensure that our culture was kept alive and constantly recognised”.

Te Maeva Nui is Cook Islands’ biggest cultural event celebrating independence, and involving all of the country’s fifteen islands.

Trevor Clarke’s daughter Dianna Clarke-Bates is in a director

of CITC; she has had much to do with the corporation’s involvement with Cook Islands arts and culture.

“CITC is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of Te Maeva Nui. It is a time to celebrate and showcase our Cook Islands heritage and culture,” said Dianna Clarke-Bates.

In 2015, she created and launched a new cultural event, Rakei Manava, that gives recognition to the many gifted Cook Islands dance costume designers.

“I wanted to give recognition to those who actually create the stunning dance costumes. I grew up surrounded by many elements of our Cook Islands culture and saw the dedication of my mum, Vaine Clarke, to this form of art. She produced many award-winning dance costumes in the past and it is her passion and creativity that became the inspiration for Rakei Manava” says Dianna Clarke-Bates.

Although the Rakei Manava has not been held since 2018 due to the pandemic, CITC plan to bring back Rakei Manava in 2023.

In 2019 CITC was approached to support the unique Atui’anga ki te Tango program that provides a stimulating cultural

experience for children with the aim of connecting them to the foundation of their Maori values, culture and traditions.

An added demonstration of CITC support for Cook Islands culture, this time combined with sport, is their sponsorship of the art of traditional canoeing through the Vaka Eiva event, currently postponed due to the pandemic.

In the sphere of Cook Islands’ art, CITC sponsor numerous art exhibitions featuring local artists.

And, as part of its commitment to Cook Islands’ environment, CITC is also a long-standing Gold Sponsor of the locally-focussed Te Ipukarea Society - ‘guardians of our environment’.

At CITC’s core, there is a Cook Islands workforce that loves to embrace all things Cook Islands, particularly the Cook Islands culture.

“For large events like Te Maeva Nui and smaller festivals like Te Mire Tiare - Festival of Flowers, they put on ‘Kia Orana Wear’.

Our ladies pop on Ei Katu (flower crowns), and our divisions compete for best florally decorated storefronts", said Dianna Clarke-Bates.

“We do this all with a Cook Islands spirit.”

Te Maeva Nui is Cook Islands most popular annual cultural event Rakei Manava recognises the gifted Cook Islands dance costume designers
“Culture helps define who we are and links us to our heritage.”


Cook Islanders drive on the left-hand side of the road. The maximum speed is 50kmph around the island, but the maximum speed limit in towns and villages is 30 kmph.

The maximum speed limit for scooters is 40kmph.

If you have a current driver’s licence from your home country* you can drive a car in the Cook Islands on that licence. The exception is for motor scooters and motor bikes.

If you do not have a scooter or motorbike licence from your home country you need to have a car licence and then pass a practical skills test with both the rental agency and the Police.

Rental companies often do motor scooter or bike tests on site. If you pass, they issue temporary licence and then you are required to go the Police Station in Avarua to obtain a Cook Islands licence, which involves a theory ($10.00) and driving test ($10.00). Take your passport for identification. A Cook Islands visitor licence costs $20.00 and is valid for up to 30 days.

Testing days are Monday to Friday only. It all takes time, especially if many visitors are applying simultaneously.

Most rental companies offer low-powered scooters that have

Ph +682 28687 E: W: Elec tric bik e hire Zero fuel costs
Getting Around

no gears or clutch, so learning to ride a scooter is fairly straight forward.

By law all motor motorcycle, motor scooter, or electric bike riders, and their passengers, must wear an approved helmet or face a fine of $250.00. In addition, the Transport Amendment Act 2020 has lowered blood and breath alcohol limits for drivers, and prohibits the use of mobile phones, headphones whilst driving.

Footnote: Beware of wandering dogs and loose gravel.

*Licences accepted: Australia, Canada, EU, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, UK, USA. If you hold a driver’s license from a country not listed, you need to obtain a Cook Islands visitor’s licence from the Police Station in Avarua.


The least expensive way to travel around the island is by the only public bus company, Cook’s Islands Bus Passenger Transport. For example, Adult single ride $5 – catch the bus from point A to point B, without making a full circle of the island. Adult single return $10 - catch the bus from point A to point B, without making a full circle of the island. Then from point B back to point A, without making a full circle of the island.

Download the TransportMe Passenger App to track the buses.

The Clockwise Route: Departs from Cooks Corner in Avarua on the hour every hour from 7am10pm Monday-Saturday. The bus circles the island via Tupapa, Muri Beach, Titikaveka, Arorangi, past all major accommodation then past Rarotonga Airport returning to Avarua.

The Anti-Clockwise Route: Departs from Cooks Corner in Avarua on the half-hour every hour from 8.30am-4.30pm

Monday-Friday and from 8.30am-1.30pm on Saturdays. The bus circles the island via Avatiu Harbour, past the Airport on to Arorangi, Titikaveka, Muri Beach passing all major accommodation, returning to Avarua via Tupapa.


Another inexpensive way to see Rarotonga, which is both healthy and fun, is renting a bicycle. The distance around Rarotonga is only 34kms, so it doesn’t take too long to get just about anywhere! A great way to build a tan too!

There are bicycle and e-bike hiring companies around Rarotonga. There are also bicycle and mountain bike tours for those who enjoy company and storytelling. Cyclists are required to wear appropriate safety helmets.

Image by: Cook Islands Sun Image by: Craig Owen
17 2022-2023
Opposite the Airport Phone: 22326 “Best deals on the Island”

An Aussie family immersed in the Cook Islands

Australian-born BSP country head David Street long aspired to live and work in the Cook Islands; the reality has far exceeded his expectations, including getting married and raising children in Rarotonga.

David is from a hospitality background, which includes working at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

In 2001, he met his soulmate Alisha on Great Keppel Island. Westpac Sydney was where David began his career in banking working over the next seven years in Sydney, Newcastle, Gosford and Maroochydore.

But David and Alisha had the travel bug so during this period they also worked ‘on and off’ in hospitality from the Great Barrier Reef to the Sunshine Coast. Then they moved to the UK for a year in 2008. David taking leave without pay.

Bad timing: the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008. David briefly worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland, but there was a mass staff culling. Back to his hospitality roots, David worked for the infamous Walkabout Shepherd’s Bush Pub.

“And I did some labouring on the Twickenham Rugby Stadium, which was being refurbished”.

David and Alisha returned to Australia after a year.

“I ended up back at Westpac in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in 2008, which links into how I got to the Pacific.”

David applied for the job as Westpac credit manager in the Cook Islands. Whilst he missed out on that job, he was offered the credit manager position in Samoa.

“We arrived in Samoa soon after the tsunami of 2009, which was devastating to businesses. It was an interesting entrance into Pacific banking as the credit manager in Samoa.”

In Samoa for three and a half years, David was promoted to head of business banking.

In 2010, David and Alisha got married – in the Cook Islands. Married on

a motu at Pacific Resort, they honeymooned in Aitutaki.

In 2013, as head of business banking for Westpac in Samoa an arrangement was made to swap jobs with David’s counterpart in the Cook Islands.

“It was only meant to be for a year.”

David, Alisha and their one-year-old son Ryan left for the Cook Islands in April 2013: “One year, turned into two. In the third year Westpac transitioned into BSP Cook Islands. On transition day, 10 July 2013, I took up the role of Country Head”.

Today David and Alisha have four children Ryan 10, Hudson 8 and Milan 5, number four, Kianu, arrived in August 2022.

David said he was particularly proud of his two boys who built a vaka canoe under the watchful eye of renowned Cook Islands master carver, Mike Tavioni, who teaches traditional vaka-making.

“They spent eight to nine months building the vaka outside of school hours.”

David wins the Round Rarotonga Road Race in 2020 The boys Ryan and Hudson launch their vaka with Papa Mike Tavioni David with daughter Milan
“It was only meant to be for a year.”
Image: Tabby Berg Image: Island Love Photography Photography
Image: Island Love
Island Life

David said he enjoys working with the BSP Financial Group.

“What I like about the BSP model is it’s fit for purpose for our conditions here in the Cook Islands. We have more flexibility to adapt to the local requirements, and to fill the void where the opportunities exist”.

For example, BSP has more ATMs and Eftpos in the Cook Islands than other banks “BSPs 14 ATMs are a convenience for thousands of visitors and locals.”

David said the BSP Financial Group is working on a new core banking system.

“That is the bank’s engine. At the moment we are running on the legacy systems we had prior to the transition. We’re preparing ourselves to implement a brand-new core banking system anticipated in 2023. It will provide a level of service comparable to any developed country in the region. It will bring apps, digital banking solutions, and more user accessibility.”

David Street is well known in the local road racing communities of the Cook Islands. We asked him about his love of the sport.

“Coming to the Cook Islands I knew that Round Rarotonga Road Race existed, so I thought that I’d try that. My first race was 2013”.

The 31km Round Rarotonga Road Race caters for social, recreational

and competitive runners: “It’s one of the island’s great runs, and quite a spectator event too!”

“I thought that a top 10 finish was possible. It culminated for me winning in 2020 and 2021. Also, I got a second place in the Aitutaki Marathon, then a first place. And, last year a first place in the 2I kms race too.”

“In 2021 I entered the new Ariki Adventures Challenge Raro, which is a 5.8km SUP, a 7.4km run over the Needle, then 44 km mountain bike ride. It’s done in teams of two. My teammate and I finished second in the inaugural race.”

David’s other sporting passions in the Cook Islands include golf, lawn bowls and body surfing.

“BSP does its fair share of sport, community and tourism sponsorships in the Cook Islands.

“We do a lot through the schools with our financial literacy program, partnering with the Ministry of Education”.

“In schools we have the ‘Go Green’ campaign, and we help collect and distribute up to 700 gifts to less fortunate children through the annual BSP Christmas Giving Tree.”

Every year BSP set aside an allocation for a community-based project, and they sponsor the Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Industry Awards.

The bank also lends its name to BSP Netball in Paradise, and the BSP Aitutaki Marathon. BSP also sponsor to Motu 2 Motu (Aitutaki), the Round Rarotonga Road Race, and the Air New Zealand Rarotonga Triathlon.

David said BSP is a unique bank with a strong commitment to the Pacific region.

“BSP is here to stay; to expand and improve services, and to assist with the growth and prosperity of the Cook Islands.”

Image: Charlotte Piho Photography The Street family: Milan, Alisha, Ryan, David and Hudson. The latest addition, Kianu, was born in August 2022.
14 ATMs 2 Branches 480 EFTPoS Online Banking COOK ISLANDS

Five things you need to know about buying Black Pearls in the Cook Islands

Why are black pearls so called?

Because they grow in the black lipped oyster (pinctada margaritifera)

When the oyster shell is ground and polished you can see the spectrum of colours. So, the pearls are not black as such but range in colour from aubergine, to champagne to peacock green.

What is special about Cook Islands black pearls?

Most Cook Islands black pearls are produced in the pristine lagoon of the northern atoll of Manihiki. The depth of the lagoon, the water temperature, the current, provide ideal conditions for growing black pearls. They are unique because of their amazing variety of colours.

How do black pearls compare with other pearls in value?

They are second only to the Australian golden pearls ‘South Seas’ pearls.

What is a ‘cultured’ black pearl?

We help the process along by implanting a nucleus (like a round bead) into the gonad or water sack of the oyster. The oyster’s natural instinct is to expel it, but if it doesn’t the oyster is trying to accept this foreign object so it creates a solution called nacre to coat or layer over the nucleus to try to accommodate this irritant.

What are the basic guidelines for buyers of black pearls?

We value each pearl on its size, shape and quality. The quality of a pearl is determined by its lustre and

how clean the surface of the pearl is. So, we look for any imperfections on the pearl and the sheen or lustre of the pearl and grade it accordingly. To judge the lustre of a round or symmetrical pearl, the sharper the definition of your reflection the better the lustre.

This contribution is courtesy of Lesley & Temu Okotai, Farm Direct Pearls, Harbour House, opposite Avatiu Harbour.

Image by David Kirkland
20 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Shopping

Lesley& Temu

An aerial view of Manihiki Farm Direct showroom at Harbour House Farm Direct owners, Temu & Lesley Okotai
Okotai Harbour House, Avatiu,ph20635 email:
“If you want to look great and feel on your getaway – idCK is the place to shop! We stock a wide variety of brands with a focus on natural fabrics with lots of vibrant colours – just the way we dress here in the Islands.”
Rachel from idCK, Avarua
Banana Court,
Fashion for the Tropics, LULA SOUL bohemian resort wear, exotic summery prints, vibrant patterns and colours, and natural fabrics. Dresses from $119.00 Men’s souvenir cotton shirts available in four prints $34.90 Men’s CARVE shorts $99.90 Cook Islands-Style

Hit the beach or pool in style with our swimwear and beachwear for men and women; great range of swimsuits and cover ups.

MENA overswim $290.00

SASS swim wear from $54.90

Men’s CARVE shorts $119.00

Men’s AS tees from $26.00

SASS the label Feminine, flirty and fabulous for trend fashion for all occasions.

Sass dress $109.90

Cook Islands unique currency

The currency in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD), with some local notes and coins too.

Cook Islands issues $3 notes and triangular $2 coins. You can’t change Cook Islands money outside the Cook Islands, so remember to change them before you leave, unless you want to keep them as souvenirs!

The Cook Islands $3 note, with the iconic image of Ina and the Shark (pictured), is often sold online for over $50. According to the Cook Islands News in January 2022, this note was up for the worlds ‘banknote of the year’. The award given for artistic merit, imaginative design and security features.

This is where it gets interesting as the note’s design was based on a painting by the late Cook Islands contemporary artist, American, Rick Welland, who lived and painted on Rarotonga for 28 years before moving to Mexico.

In August 2022, the $3 note was given a ‘fresh look’ when the Ministry of Finance

and Economic Management reprinted the note after it had been severely depleted due to its popularity as a souvenir.

Cook Islands News quoted Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown as saying: “The iconic image of Ina and the Shark has long been a part of Cook Islands folklore and legend, and I am delighted with the design of the new note.”

A great memento from your holiday in the Cook Islands, if you can find one!

Ina and the Shark by Rick Welland Image: Cook Islands Three dollar Cook Islands notes
COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Collector’s Item

Dine with the locals, in their own homes

Enjoy an entrée, main course and dessert where each course is hosted in a different home.

This popular dining experience offers an insight into the life of locals, whilst providing a 3-course meal featuring authentic cuisine. It’s called Rarotonga’s ‘Progressive Dinner’. A driver-guide takes care of the transport including pickup and drop-off at your accommodation.

Guests share local food delicacies and traditional dishes with the locals in their own homes. Learn about the Cook Islands way of living and culture, enjoy the local music and singing as well. The Progressive Dinner is very much a casual and unique local experience.

What to expect on a typical evening: tropical gardens, buffet feast, Cook Islands family gatherings, local sweets and fruits, Atiu coffee, and the sounds of local ukuleles, guitar and voices of the small string band.

You certainly won’t wind-up the night feeling hungry!

This is an escorted mini-bus tour where the conversation flows genuinely between guests and the host families. The food is abundant, and the families are real.

The Progressive Dinner circuit is well established and has been in existence for many years.

Operated by Cook Islands Tours on Mondays and Thursdays, 5.30pm-9.30pm, the Progressive Dinner costs $99.00pp adult, $70.00 (6-11yrs). Call 20 639 to book.

26 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Island Life


Recognised as one of the most spectacular cultural shows staged in the South Pacific, the award-winning Ta Vara Nui Village Over Water Night Show and Buffet Dinner offers a unique perspective in the concept of Island Night shows.

Most recently winning the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the coveted Cook Islands Tourism Awards, Te Vara Nui was forced into hibernation for two years during the pandemic. In July 2022 the show made a much-anticipated return to Rarotonga’s entertainment scene.

Today, from the moment you step into Te Vara Nui Village you will engage with local Maori people

who will share their stories and their heritage; and Rarotonga’s finest dancers and musicians will entertain you as they perform by flaming torchlight on floating and fixed stages within a waterfall garden.

Before the show, Te Vara Nui presents an appetizing islandwestern fusion buffet dinner, which in itself is spectacular!

Located in the heart of the Muri, the Te Vara Nui’s Spectacular

Over Water Night Show and Buffet Dinner is an authentic cultural delight, unique in many ways.

As they say at Te Vara Nui: “This special place of tribute to our distinctive culture and its breathtaking setting will remain in your memory long after you return home”

Te Vara Nui’s Spectacular Overwater Show happens in Muri every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening. T: 24 006; E:; or book online at

Images by: David Kirkland
Island Show

In Avarua a groovy café that hums!

Where they deliver tasty treats from a tiny kitchen

Why groovy?

Because The Café is home to the Vinyl

Revival Club that has a staggering collection of 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and Polynesian vinyl records. Select and play your own music, or listen to the music others have chosen. Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch Monday to Saturday, The Café serves up particularly good espresso coffee, homemade cakes and tasty fresh food, including vegetarian and vegan options.

“Great coffee, cakes and delicious menu in the unique surroundings of the Beachcomber building. Our friendly cafe is quite popular with both locals and visitors,” said Ian Wheeldon, who co-owns the café with his wife Claire.

“If you’re a big fan of the vinyl, you can attend one of the regular Vinyl Revival Club discos around the island. Just ask in The Café if there is one on whilst you are visiting Raro”.

Island Life

Eating Drinking In Rarotonga

The List

Here is a comprehensive list of eating, drinking and entertainment outlets in Rarotonga.

* Denotes places that are featured in the Eat & Drink section of this guide.


21.3 Vaiana Bistro & Bar

Nikao 24 526

Barefoot Bar*

Pacific Resort............................ 21 003

Captain Andy’s Beach Bar

Rarotonga Resort.................... 25 800

Hula Bar* Islander Hotel 21 003 Luna Bar Avarua 51 558

Mal’s Bar* Edgewater Hotel 25 435

Margaritas Bistro & Bar* Avarua....................................... 29 924

Ocean’s Bar*

Crown Beach Resort................. 23 953

OTR – On the Rocks

Avarua 25 077

Outrigger Beach Bar* The Waterline Restaurant 22 161 Rehab Nightclub Avarua 55 517 Roadhouse Bar & Grill Arorangi.................................... 23 322

RSC Beachfront Bar Muri 27 349

Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar* Aroa 22 166

Trader Jacks* Avarua 26 464

Trio’s Garden Bar Avarua 20 400

Wilson’s Beach Bar* Castaway Resort 21 546


Rarotonga Brewery Nikao ........................................ 26 657


Are Kai – Aroa Café

Airport........................................ 21 723

Beluga Arorangi 27 788

Bite Time Café Punanga Nui Market 23 577

Body Fuel Café Punanga Nui Market 23 575

Bus Stop Café Cooks Corner 21 567

Café Ariki Avarua Back Road.................... 22 772

Café Jireh Opp. Airport 24 776

Charlie’s* Akapuao Beach 28 055

Cook Islands Coffee Company Matavera.................................. 50 646

Deli-Licious Café* Muri 20 858

Flying Turtle Café Arorangi 87 961

La Casita Café

Muri........................................... 20 693

Le Bon Vivant (LBV) Muri............................................ 28 619

Love Café Matevera 75 139

Micheles Café Punanga Nui Market 28 889

Reefside Rarotonga Punanga Nui Market 26 889 Soul Café Tupapa 27 070

The Café* Beachcomber, Avarua 21 283

The Lazy Trout Avarua 22 025

The Lucky Rooster Eatery* Avarua 22 215

The Hidden Spirit Café Titikaveka 55 432

The Mooring Fish Café Opp. Night Market Muri 54 795

The Rickshaw Café Muri 22 232

The Village Eatery Vaimaanga 27 183

The Waffle Shack Punanga Nui Market 50 713

Tuakata Café & Catering Avarua 50 713

CLUBS (visitor’s welcome)

Rarotonga Bowling Club Avarua 26 277

Cook Islands Game Fishing Club KiiKii 21 419 Rarotonga Golf Club Black Rock 20 621

RSA (Return Servicemen Association)

Nikao......................................... 20 590

Rarotonga Sailing Club Muri Beach 27 349


Crown Beach Resort Arorangi 23 953

Edgewater Resort Arorangi 25 435

Highland Paradise Maungaroa 21 924

Rarotongan Resort Muri 25 800

Te Vara Nui Village Muri........................................... 24 006

The Islander Hotel Nikao 21 003


Bond Liquor Store Avarua 21 007

CITC Liquor Avarua 28 380


Punanga Nui Market Avarua (Mon-Sat)

Muri Night Market Muri (Sun, Tue, Wed, Thu)


Going Troppo Nightlife Tour

Rarotonga................................. 25 325

Progressive Dinner Tour* Local homes 20 639

Rehab’s Raro Pub Crawl Rarotonga................................ 29 700

Sunset Cocktail Happy Hour Hop Tik-e Tours 28 687

discover paradise EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR Edgewater Resort & Spa

Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar


Alberto’s Restaurant*

Arorangi.................................... 23 597

Antipodes Restaurant Black Rock 76 918

Aqua Café Muri Beach 22 779

Bluewater Grill Sanctuary Rarotonga 25 900

Captain Andy’s Beach Bar & Grill Rarotonga Resort 25 800

Islander Restaurant & Bar*

The Islander Hotel 21 003

Jalapeños Restaurant Club Raro 22 415

The best place to watch Rarotonga’s Most Stunning Sunset.

Kikau Hut Restaurant* Arorangi 26 860

Laguna on the Beach* Muri 29 926

Little Polynesian Restaurant Titikaveka 24 280

Moana Restaurant & Bar Titikaveka 26 189

Nautilus Restaurant Muri.............................................25 125

Also known for it’s seafood meals.

Oceans Restaurant & Bar* Crown Beach Resort................. 23 953

On the Beach Restaurant & Bar Manuia Beach Resort...............22 482

Sandals Restaurant & Barefoot Bar* Pacific Resort............................ 20 427

Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar* Muri Beach Club Hotel 23 000

Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill* Edgewater Resort 25 441

Tamarind House Restaurant Oceanside Tupapa.......................................26 487

The Anchorage Restaurant & Bar Sunset Resort 23 004

The Waterline Restaurant & Outrigger Bar* Arorangi..................................... 22 161

The Yellow Hibiscus* Palm Grove.............................. 20 002

Tumunu Restaurant & Bar Arorangi 20 501

Tuoro Tapas Bar Black Rock 21 233

Vaima on the Beach* Vaimaanga 26 123

Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar* Castaway Resort...................... 21 546


Alberto’s Restaurant Arorangi 23 597 Chicken Magic O’oa 26 209

Cook Take Away Punanga Nui Market.............76 672

Kai & Co Punanga Nui Market 87 479

Kai Pizza Avarua 23 336 Kai Tumeke Titikaveka.............................. 20 623

KAPS Matevera 27 747

Kavera Central Kavera 27 962

Mae-Jo’s Cafe Takeaway Avarua 26 621

Mama T’s Takeaway Arorangi................................. 25 733 Oasis (24/7)

Nikao 27 145

Palace One Takeaways Avatiu Harbour 21 438

Rima’s Hot Bread Café & Takeaway Ruatonga 24 270 Sea Salt Takeaway Avatiu Harbour..................... 23 956

The Pacific Fish & Chip Shop Arorangi 78 261

Vili’s Burger Joint Matavera 28 850

Vili’s Golden Wok Matavera 22 222

Wigmore’s Superstore Vaimaanga............................ 20 206

Breakfast 8am - 11:30am

Lunch 11:30am - 2pm

Dinner 6pm - 8:30pm

Happy Hour 4pm - 6pm

30 VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023
P 21546 W E
AO VAIMAANGA NGATAnGIIA MURI TU PAPAAVARUA ARORANGI RUTAKI TITIKAVEKA NIKAO MATAVERA19 17 22 23 3 24 2120 4 7 26 6 5 14 13 15 16 1112 2 18 1 25 8 Location Venue 1. The Lucky Rooster Eatery 2. Margarita’s Bistro & Bar 3. Trader Jacks Rarotonga 4. The Café 5. Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar 6. Te Vara Nui Village (Island Night) 7. Sandals Restaurant & Barefoot Bar 32, 35 8. Deli-Licious Café 33 9. Laguna on the Beach 35 10. Charlie’s Rarotonga 33 11. The Yellow Hibiscus Restaurant & Bar 36 12. Vaima on the Beach 36 13. Highland Paradise Cultural Show 37 14. Shipwreck Hut Bar 33 15. Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar 33, 36 16. The Waterline Restaurant & Outrigger Beach Bar 32, 36 17. Tumutoa Umu Kai & Fire Show 37 18. Crown Beach Resort Island Night 37 19. Ocean’s Restaurant & Bar 35 20. Edgewater Resort Island Night 37 21. Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill 36 22. Mal’s Bar at Edgewater Resort 32 23. Alberto’s Restaurant 35 24. Kikau Hut Restaurant 35 25. The Islander Hotel & Hula Bar (+Island Night) 32, 35 26. Progressive Dinner (various locations) 37 Venue Details in Following Pages ISLANDER HOTEL & SPA ROOMS RESTAURANT & BARS ISLAND NIGHT, AIRPORT TRANSIT LOUNGE, WIFI ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR | TEL 21003 | Featured Eating & Drinking Places

Barefoot Bar at Pacific Resort Muri

Enjoy the Barefoot Bar overlooking the lagoon and sip an amazing cocktail or mixed drink that Barefoot staff have become famous for. Listen for the sound of the conch shell heralding the start of Happy Hour at 4pm, but if you miss out then join the team again for the twilight Happy Hour at 8.30pm!

T: 20 427

Oceans Bar at Crown Beach Resort

Enjoy a casual and stylish atmosphere undercover or on the beach at Ocean’s Restaurant at the Crown Beach Resort. It is a place where people come together to relax and unwind. Oceans Bar is open daily with a great offering of drinks and food, and happy hour from 4.00pm-6.00pm featuring $2.00 off all drinks!

T: 23 953


Hula Bar at the Islander Hotel

The Hula Bar is popular beachfront hangout and nightclub overlooking the Pacific Ocean at The Islander Hotel. Located opposite Rarotonga International Airport, Hula Bar offers cocktails, wine, spirits and a great selection of beers –draught and bottled. Top DJs, live bands, and international concerts. Rarotonga’s favourite hotspot!

T: 21 003


Mal’s Bar at Edgewater Resort

Named after Mal Meninga, legendary rugby league player and old friend of the Resort, Mal’s Bar is open 10am to midnight. A nice place to be any time of day, or just waiting for the sunset. Enjoy the wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including a fine collection of international wines, local and imported beers and spirits, as well as a range of juices and exotic tropical cocktails.

T: 25 475


Outrigger Beach Bar at Waterfront Restaurant

The Outrigger Beach Bar is a wonderful new addition to the Waterline Restaurant in Arorangi on Rarotonga’s sunset coast. Perfect for a beachside cocktail and a romantic sunset lit dinner. Rustic and intimate, the new Outrigger Beach Bar offers a range of beers, wines & cocktails. Wine & dine with an ocean view. Open Tuesday to Sunday.

T: 22161 or 53167

BARS 7 18 25 16 20

Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar at Aro’a Beachside Inn

The Shipwreck Hut is an authentic beach bar situated right on the sand at Aro’a Beachside Inn. Perfectly positioned to enjoy the sunset sipping a famous ‘jam-jar cocktail’ or cold beer. Open daily from 5.00pm, the Shipwreck Hut offers a range of drinks and bar meals. Live music.

T: 22 166


Trader Jacks

Located on the waterfront at Avarua Harbour, Trader Jacks is a drinking ‘institution’ in the Cook Islands. Great place to enjoy water views and meet both locals and visitors. The restaurant overlooks the ocean, and specialises in seafood. The bar is a well-known ‘watering hole’ offering pizza. Opens 11.00am.

T: 26 464


Wilson’s Beach Bar at Castaway Resort

Great location for a bar, right on the beach at Castaway Resort in Arorangi on Rarotonga’s sunset coast. Interesting bar menu that includes Yakitori skewers, seafood dishes and pizza. Under cover and alfresco drinking and dining areas, all with amazing views of the lagoon and sunset. Open seven days, no place quite like Wilson’s Beach Bar.

T: 21 546


Charlie’s Rarotonga

“Good vibes all over!” Located on Akapuao Beach in Titikaveka on the south-east of the island, Charlie’s offers a casual dining experience Monday to Friday 12pm-3pm, then 5.00pm-8.00pm; Saturday 12pm-3pm. Famous for their massive fresh fish sandwich. Live music. Beach access everywhere. Book for dinner.

T: 28 055


Deli-Licious Café

Located on the main road in Muri, check out our ‘all-day’ breakfast menu and join us for awesome coffee, friendly service and great home-style cooking. Try our custard square and cheesecakelocal favourites. Open SundayFriday 7.30am-3.00pm. Wi-Fi available.

T: 20 858 Check us out on Facebook

Margaritas Bistro & Bar

Located on the main road in Avarua, near the Information Centre and next door to idCK, this casual Pacific-style café serves breakfast and lunch Monday to Friday 8am to 2pm. Delicious food, espresso coffee, cold beers, cocktails, wines and spirits. Nice little eatery and easy to find. Great place to watch the world go by!

T: 29 924

BARS CAFÉS 14 10 3 8 15 2

The Café

Located in the courtyard of the historic Beachcomber Pearl Market and Art Gallery in Avarua, The Café is known for its locally-roasted espresso coffee, homemade cakes, and all day menu featuring organic breads, bagels and croissants. Home to the Rarotonga Vinyl Revival Club, relax and choose your own music from the extensive record collection. Open Monday –Friday 9am – 3pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm.

T: 21 283 E:

The Lucky Rooster Eatery

The Lucky Rooster Eatery s a popular bistro & meeting place serving all day breakfast & lunch. Relaxed atmosphere & family friendly. Freshly cooked food & chilled drinks including barista coffee, smoothies, beers, wines & cocktails. Variety of catering platters available on request. Located downtown Avarua, next to CITC Shopping Centre & Pharmacy. Mon-Fri 8.30am-2pm, Sat 8.30am-1pm

T: 22 215 • E: contact@

Fb & Instagram: theluckyroostereatery Orders & Bookings:


Alberto’s Restaurant

Located between the Edgewater and Sunset resorts on the main road in Arorangi. Alberto’s is well known for their steak dishes but also offer seafood, chicken, pasta and a fresh salad bar. Small private functions catered for. Open Tuesday-Friday 5.30pm - 8.00pm. Takeaways Monday-Friday 5.30pm-8.00pm

T: 23 597 or 55 725


Islander Restaurant & Hula Bar

The Islander Restaurant & Hula Bar overlook the pool and the ocean offering cuisine made from fresh ingredients supplied locally, as well as imports from New Zealand. Open for breakfast from 8.00am, with an all-day lunch, and dinner featuring light meals to hearty options.

T: 21 003


Kikau Hut Restaurant

A fusion of European and Pacific flavours, the Kikau Hut, located in Arorangi, offers a top-rated friendly and casual dining experience. Open from 6pm seven days a week with live music on Mondays and a free transfer service available by prior arrangement.

T: 26 860 E: Fb: Kikau.Hut

Laguna on the Beach at Moana Sands Lagoon Resort

Located in the grounds of the Moana Sands Lagoon Resort with clear vistas of the pool, the lagoon and the ocean, this stylish, adults-only (12+) restaurant offers Polynesian-influenced cuisine made with fresh local produce, including seafood. Open for breakfast from 8.00am, lunch, and dinner to 9.30pm. Delightful dining experiences!

T: 29 926


Oceans Restaurant & Bar Crown Beach Resort

Relaxed private dining on the waterfront with vistas of the beach, lagoon and sunsets, Oceans Restaurant & Bar offers all-day dining including breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Breakfast from 8.00am-10.30am, lunch from 11.30am - 2.30pm, and dinner from 6.30pm - 9.00pm. Happy hour is daily from 4.30pm - 6.30pm.

T: 23 953 •


Sandals Restaurant and Barefoot Bar

Located in Pacific Resort at Muri, casual diners are welcome to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in Sandals Restaurant, or relax over a cocktail in the Barefoot Bar. The all-day menu (11am - 9.30pm) includes salads, sandwiches and meat dishes, with an la carte dinner menu in the evening.

T: 20 427 for dinner bookings.

RESTAURANTS 23 9 25 19 24 7

Silver Sands Restaurant & Lagoon Lounge

Located at the Muri Beach Club Hotel, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Silver Sands fuses traditional South Pacific cuisine with Western favourites. The menus feature fresh, local produce and a different theme each night. Lagoon Lounge is the perfect spot to kickstart the evening with a tropical cocktail.

T: 23 000


Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill Edgewater Resort

The Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill at The Edgewater Resort & Spa is conveniently located at the Resort’s entrance on the main road. Open seven nights from 5.00pm to 9.30pm, the air-conditioned Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill offers authentic Italian cuisine with a selection of pizzas, pastas and other signature Italian dishes.

T: 25 441

The Waterline Restaurant & Outrigger Beach Bar

Situated on Rarotonga’s sunset coast, Waterline Restaurant & Outrigger Beach Bar is perfect for an afternoon beachside cocktail or a romantic sunset lit dinner. Rustic & intimate, the new Outrigger Beach Bar offers a range of beers, wines & cocktails. Wine & dine with an ocean view. Open Tuesday to Sunday.

T: 22161 or 53167

The Yellow Hibiscus Palm Grove

The Yellow Hibiscus is an openair restaurant overlooking the garden at Palm Grove. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is served 8.00-10.00am, light lunch 12.00-2.00pm, and a la carte dining from 6.00pm Monday to Saturday, with live music on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Sunday there is a BBQ with live entertainment.

T: 20 002 • E:

Vaima on the Beach

Located in Vaimaanga, Vaima has indoor & outdoor dining options offering a range of entrees, mains and desserts served with casual elegance. Indoor seating has ocean views and local artwork. Pizzas are popular: dine in or take away. Full bar service. Open Wednesday - Monday (closed Tuesdays) from 3pm - 9pm.

T: 26 123 E:

Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar Castaway Resort

‘The best place to watch the most stunning sunsets.’ Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar is known for its seafood meals, Japanese menu, Yakitori skewers & nightly themed menu. Open daily for breakfast 8am – 11.30am; lunch 11.30 – 2pm, dinner 6pm

– 8:30pm. Happy Hour is 4pm –6pm. Live music Friday & Saturday 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Sunday 5pm –8.30pm

T: 21 546 • E:

RESTAURANTS 5 11 21 12 16 15

Progressive Dinner

The Progressive Dinner Tour takes you to the homes of Cook Islands families to share their tasty local food, and their stories. This is a relaxed wine and dine experience visiting three homes for entrée, mains, and dessert. When enjoying your meals at each home, you will be delighted by the sounds of local ukuleles, guitar and voices of the small string band that will accompany you throughout your local dining experience. Monday and Thursday from 5.30pm.

T: 20 639 •



An entrancing, tropical destination with dining options to suit every traveller’s taste. Whether it’s indulging in chic beachfront dining, sipping cocktails poolside, or embracing love with private dining, Pacific Resort Hotel Group has you covered. Our properties offer an exceptional standard of cuisine for an unforgettable dining experience.

VENUE SHOWS COST BOOKINGS Crown Beach Resort Thu $55.00/$30 Child. Show only $15.00 23 953 The Edgewater Resort & Spa Tue, Sat $65.00/$25.00 Child 25 435 Highland Paradise Cultural Centre Mon, Wed, Fri $130.00/$65.00 Child 21 924 The Islander Hotel Tue $55.00/$25.00 Child 21 003 Te Vara Nui Village Tue, Thu, Sat $115.00/$55.00 Child 24 006 Tumutoa Umu Kai & Fire Show Mon, Wed $99.00/$49.50 87 608 ISLAND NIGHT SHOWS ON RAROTONGA They are colourful, energetic and entertaining, and combined with a buffet-style feast, great value for money. Always book to avoid disappointment. A great night out! (Prices are correct at time of publication, but reconfirm with venue at time of booking) 26


The Village Eatery(Cafe and Restaurant) Information storyboard Arorangi CICC Information Storyboard Tuoro (Black Rock) Information Storyboard Nikao CICC Information Storyboard
38 COOK ISLANDS b c d ae
39 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 f g h i j k Representative’s Residence Motu Beachfront Art Villas BeachRarotongaBungalows Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel & Villas Villas Cars & Bikes Banana Court (Are Manuiri) Information Board Avarua CICC Information Board Takamoa Theological College Muri Lagoon Arore Heights MURI BEACH Aroko Bungalows Sokala Villas Manea Beach Island Car & BikeHire AV IS Pacific Resort Te Vakaroa Villas Muri Beachcomber Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas Aremango Guest House Nautilus Resort & Restaurant Nautilus Resort & Restaurant Tiana’s Beach Villas Blue Lagoon Villa Pacific Car & Scooter Hire CaptainTama's Lagoon Cruizes Polynesian RentalCars & Bikes Muri Beach Hideaway LBV Muri Deli-licious Café The Rickshaw Café Muri Beach Resort & Aqua Café Muri Beach Club Hotel Silver Sands Restaurant The RaroSpaBuggy ToursRaro Quad Tours Muri Beach Club Hotel Silver Sands Restaurant The Spa Raro Buggy ToursRaro Quad Tours Koka Lagoon Cruises Pacific Village TEM Store KiteSUP Watersport Centre Ariki Holidays

Go to Town in Avarua

Nestled on the north coast of Rarotonga wedged between rugged volcanic mountains and the Pacific Ocean is Avarua, the main township of the Cook Islands. It is the centre of government, commerce, and the legal system.

Avarua means ‘two harbours’ in the local Maori language.

With a population of around 5,000, Avarua is a thriving business and shopping hub that includes the popular Punanga Nui Market on the waterfront next to Avatiu Harbour.

Whilst enjoying a pleasant stroll along the waterfront, view the wreck of SS Matai. Take a walk along the main street, Ara Maire

Nui, where you will find abundant shops selling island products, clothing, and black pearls. There is also a shopping centre and supermarket in town.

Head along Are Tapu Road and take a turn at the wonderful Beachcomber building into Makea Tinirau Road for a walk into Rarotonga’s historic precinct.

Makea Tinirau Road was built over 150 years ago. This road is home to some of the oldest

and most interesting buildings (and graves at the CICC) in the country.

Of course, explore the back roads of town too for more delightful encounters with Rarotongan lifestyle.

There is so much to do during a day in town! After your walks, you’ll welcome the choice of the many cafés, restaurants and bars that are very much part of Rarotonga’s tropical lifestyle.

View from Avarua foreshore on Are Tapu Road The Avarua Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) on Makea Tinirau Road Downtown Avarua
Island Life T E A R A MAIRENUI DRIVE T O AIRPORT R U A T O N G A R O A D A R A T A P U R O A D M O S S R O A D CONSTITUTION PARK V I C T O R I A R O A D V A K A T I N I R O A D T U T A K I M O A R O A D S T J O S E P H ‘ S R 0 A D ARA METUA T A K U V A I N E R O A D M A K E A T I N I R A U R D TAV Pacific Clothing Lazy Trout Restaurant Avis Vodafone Paka's Pearls Next Tattoo National Museum & Library Paradise Inn Bergman Gallery Soul Café Te Tika Bio Active Oils (CITC Pharmacy) CITC Shopping Centre YACHT MARINA & FISHING BOATS Raro Reef Sub Eco Marine Tours Blue Water Tours Dawn Breaker GameChartersFishing Marlin Queen Fishing Charters Rarocars Port & Cargo Sheds Shipping & Customs CITC Liquor CITC Supermarket Avatiu Sports Grounds CITC Building Centre Start of Cross Island Track Rongohiva Water Sports The Bond Liquor StorePolynesian Tattoos Cook Islands The Little Red Gallery Kai Pizza PunangaNuiMarket Eateries,Stalls,Culture,Shops Island Craft Factory & Florist Ariki Café Polynesian RentalCars & Bikes Goldmine Fave Designs CIPS / Jaycar Electronics No.1 Currency JetsaveTravel Treasure Chest Polynesian Rental Cars & Bikes Island Craft Foodland DOWNTOWN AREA POLICE STATION BUS TERMINAL COOKS CORNER • Cook’s Fudge Factory • Perfumes of Rarotonga • Busstop Cafe AVARUA HARBOUR WRECK OF MAITAI Vodafone • Internet • SIM Cards • Phones • POST OFFICE The Computer Man Office of the Prime Minister The Lucky Rooster Eatery CI Optics BANANA COURT • The Good Life • i.d. CK • Margaritas Bistro & Bar Trader Jacks Empire Cinema Courthouse NZ High Commissioner Australian High Commissioner Immigration Office Bounty Bookshop Central Motel Pare O Tane Palace of Makea Theological Hostel Auditorium UPTOWN AREA BEACHCOMBER The Café Moana Gems & Art Gallery University of the South Pacific Prime Foods HARBOUR HOUSE • Farm Direct Pearls • Cook Islands Tours Island Car & Bike Hire Reefside Café The Waffle Shack BTIB (Business Trade Investment Board) Body Fuel Café Bite Time Café Palace Takeaways Michelles Café Kai & Co Akura Fishing Charters Cook Islands Museum & Library CIPS Image & Copy Centre 1 2 e f g 1 2 e f g AVAT I U H A R BO U R Businesses & Hotels Cafés & Restaurants Toilets Historical Place Petrol Station KEY LEGEND WiFi Avarua TOWN Banana Court (Are Manuiri) Information Board Avarua CICC Information Board Takamoa Theological College Information Board ANZ BSP Bank

Team effort wins the ‘Supreme Award’ for Koka

During the pandemic Koka Lagoon Cruises was announced the winner of the coveted 'Supreme Award' at the most recent Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Industry Awards. The Award was earned before the pandemic.

Koka Lagoon Cruises’ Serena Hunter was pleased to have attended the award event when her team won the ‘Supreme Award’.

“We had a large table of past and present crew. We were all excited to win the Supreme Award. It was testament to the amazing crew we have, as well as past crew members who built Koka into what it is,” said Serena.

“We are so happy to be operating again. Koka has come back stronger than ever post pandemic I am happy to say. It has been a challenge getting started again. It was a tough two years with the boats sitting idle, and a couple of staff lost to NZ. But we are back on our feet. We see that visitors are very happy to be in the Cooks.”

We asked Serena to describe a cruise with Koka today.

“It’s probably best described from feedback we get from visitors. For example, here is a recent TripAdvisor review from a family.”

‘If you want a fun-filled fantastic day out on Muri lagoon, this is the operator to go with! These guys are incredible!! They cruise out through the lagoon with songs and music set the tone, stopping to enjoy a snorkel with plenty of GT's and huge clams to admire. We then set off for the island (motu) lunch which was the absolute highlight of the day. The BBQ and food were great, the fun and laughter even better. Then there was the show which was an absolute blast! The family loved it from two years to 68 years of age!”

“I think that pretty much describes what we’re about, and why we have also won the ‘Tourism Visitor Experience Award’ twice!”

The Village Eatery(Cafe and Restaurant) Representative’s Motu Beachfront Art Villas Moana Sands Hotel Villas Cars & Bikes Information storyboard Takamoa Theological College Muri Lagoon Arore Heights Aroko Bungalows Sokala Villas Manea Beach Island Car & BikeHire AV IS Pacific Resort Te Vakaroa Villas Muri Beachcomber Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas Aremango Guest House Nautilus Resort & Restaurant Tiana’s Beach Villas Blue Lagoon Villa Pacific Car & Scooter Hire CaptainTama's Lagoon Cruizes Polynesian RentalCars & Bikes Muri Beach Hideaway LBV Muri Deli-licious Café The Rickshaw Café Muri Beach Resort & Aqua Café Muri Beach Club Hotel Silver Sands Restaurant The RaroSpaBuggy ToursRaro Quad Tours Koka Lagoon Cruises Pacific Village TEM Store KiteSUP Watersport Centre Ariki Holidays Koka Lagoon Cruises Supreme Award
d e f g h

An authentic experience of Cook Islands heritage at Museum Cook Islands & Library

If you want to experience authentic Cook Islands material culture to understand how traditional maori society functioned, take yourself to Museum Cook Islands, located down Makea Tinirau Rd, opposite the University of the South Pacific, in an historic part of Avarua, sometimes referred to as the ‘creative hub’ of Rarotonga.

Built in 1963, the facility (a combined library & museum) was the first of its kind in the Cook Islands. It was largely built with funds raised by interested parties in the community, on land donated by the then ariki (chief) of the district, Makea Nui Teremoana

Ariki. The building was opened by her on 22 December 1964. The exhibits in the museum were set up by one Mr Riccarton of Canterbury Museum, New Zealand.

Many of the country’s artifacts had either been destroyed by over-zealous missionaries who arrived in the 1820s, or some of the more interesting artifacts had been taken to Europe, where they languish in overseas museums today. Museum Cook Islands was very fortunate to come into existence at a time when the last of these artifacts were still in the country and was able to acquire them.

There’s a whole lot of history going on at Museum Cook Islands (MCI):

•a plethora of ancient gods, canoes, stone adzes, wooden spears;

•Cook Islands and Pacific art; •textile crafts;

•a multitude of pictures and photographs; •40,000 books.

Check us out at

Communicate with us at phone: 26468

Hours: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9am-1pm

Prior to this, a call had gone out to all islands in the Cook Islands for authentic artifacts to put in the museum. The call was heeded and many of the rare, remaining wooden and stone artifacts in these islands were donated to the museum.

Other artifacts include woven articles, costumes, shells, photographs and metal objects, including the wrought iron anchors of two sailing ships. As a non-profit museum, the entry fee is kept at an affordable $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.

Located on Makea Tinirau Rd, opposite University of the South Pacific, Avarua

Postal: PO Box 71, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Wooden items include spears, ceremonial adzes, kumete (bowls), tiki-atua (gods), urunga rakau (headrests), and an atamira (chief’s seat). Stone items include a ceremonial orb, slingstones, canoe anchors, adzeheads, and penu (pounders).

The public library has a collection of about 40,000 books, including junior readers, young adult books, thrillers, chick lit, historic, classic fiction, nonfiction and academic books for adults. The library makes an effort to update its books every few weeks. Visitors are invited to be temporary members of the library for a fee of $20. Membership lasts 6 months and a $10 refund is made upon visitors returning all their books (up to 6 books can be borrowed at a time).

Opening Hours are: Monday/ Wednesday/Friday 9am-1pm. We look forward to seeing you!

MCI preserving our nation’s heritage since 1964. Avarua Harbour Makea Tinirau Rd ConstitutionAveT a put a pu a e a R d Ara Tapu USP Cook Islands Centre Trader Jacks Bar & Grill National Auditorium Beachcomber Gallery We are here CICC Church



Whether you are an experienced diver or totally new to diving, Adventure Cook Islands in Aroa offer scuba diving trips, refresher dives, intro dives, dive courses, and even blackwater diving at night. For non-scuba divers, there is freediving and snorkelling trips to Rarotonga’s outer reef.

They also offer technical diving courses and training.

Explore further, dive deeper and extend your range

For experienced scuba divers wishing to expand their knowledge and dive skills, Adventure Cook Islands offers a range of technical diving courses and rebreather training through different technical diver training organisations.

If you are interested in learning to plan and safely conduct decompression dives, use multiple gases or dive with a closed-circuit rebreather, then go and see Patrick Jaletzky. As the Director of Sea Operations

at Adventure Cook Islands, he is the only technical diving instructor in the Cook Islands offering these courses: “Even though recreational diving trips and training are our ‘bread and butter’, there has been an increased interest in our technical diving courses lately,” said Patrick.

Explore Rarotonga’s hidden gems

In addition to technical diver training, the company also offers rebreather support for experienced mixed gas rebreather divers wishing to explore the deeper parts of our reef.

“Rarotonga’s deep drop-off’s offer incredible diving just minutes away from shore”.

Beyond recreational diving depths, stunning, colourful soft corals and massive sea fans can be found, as well as some of the rarest tropical reef fish in the world, like the peppermint angelfish or the elusive narcosis angelfish.

Sea fans and soft coral on deep drop-off, taken at 80 metres Soft coral looking up the drop-off, taken at 90 metres

Adventures In Paradise

In the picturesque tropical island setting that is Cook Islands it easy to find countless ‘Adventures in Paradise’, especially if you enjoy the great outdoors and the island lifestyle.

Here are just a few ‘must dos’ to consider on your holiday, in our little paradise.


Diving and snorkelling

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP)

If you’ve always wanted to try scuba, or you’re an experienced diver, diving in Rarotonga and Aitutaki is widely accessible in both the lagoons and open water. Snorkelling conditions are ideal in the shallow lagoons. Operators offer equipment rentals, lessons and courses. Marine life abounds in the Cook Islands.

Game fishing

The pristine ocean that surrounds Rarotonga and Aitutaki offers a perfect opportunity for big game fishing. Marlin, sailfish, wahoo, mahi-mahi and yellow fin tuna are often among the catch of the day. Charter a fishing boat for a half-day or full day. Cook Islands is one of the less expensive game fishing destinations in the world.

There are guided day and night SUP tours in Muri, and individual rentals available in Muri and in Aitutaki offering quality equipment and experiences. White sand beaches and safe, crystal-clear lagoons make stand up paddle boarding an idyllic opportunity to enjoy the beautiful lagoons of the Cook Islands. Must do!

Lagoon tours are a must!

On Muri Lagoon, there are two brilliant glass-bottom boat tours available, both cruises promise a day of fun for couples and families alike with snorkelling, live entertainment, and a BBQ lunch. On Aitutaki with its massive lagoon it’s no wonder that there are several lagoon cruises on offer, including smaller charters.


Hiking around the islands

Cycling is a great option

Enjoy the natural environment through the discovery of Rarotonga’s rugged interior on a guided tour, or on a recognised hiking trail. The mountains and rainforest are stunning; the views of the interior and surrounding lagoon are exceptional. Aitutaki’s hikes are much less challenging. Ask for local advice and plan your hike.

Get off the beaten track

Cycling around the islands is easy as the main roads are mostly on the flat. Some accommodations have limited numbers of bicycles available to borrow, but if you want a guaranteed bicycle or electric bike, you can hire by the day or the week. In Rarotonga there are also guided cycle tours, including mountain bike tours.

There is more to Rarotonga than beautiful beaches and blue lagoons. For those wanting the ultimate ‘off-road’ adventure, try the Muri-based buggy tours and quad tours. Get off road, get dirty and enjoy the experience of one, or both, of these fun packed adventures. They are popular so book early!

The pulse of Rarotonga

Every Saturday morning the Punanga Nui Market in Avarua becomes the most exciting and vibrant place on the island. Presenting a wide range of local foods, arts, crafts and souvenirs, there is also a live cultural performance mid-morning. This is wonderful place for photographers, foodies and funloving visitors. Not to be missed!

Exploring you thinking of

Rarotonga’s inland treks? Before doing so, please consider our safety points: Wear strong footwear Take a jacket & drinking water Advise your accommodation or host of your intentions Ask a local for advice Allow at least 3-5 hours walking time for the trek Do not rely on mobile service whilst on the trek, reception is unreliable Explore with at least a party of three Be advised - considerable physical effort is required on parts of the trek Plan to be back down before it gets dark Do not attempt treks if it has rained or rain is forecast If you are unsure, book a guided tour with a local professional Check your footwear is clean from plant debris or seeds to stop invasive species entering new areas FOR EMERGENCIES CALL 999

TOURISM INEconomic Recovery Mode

COVID 19 took its toll on the Cook Islands tourism industry when borders closed in March 2020. Subsequently, industry leaders, including Sue Fletcher-Vea - the then President of the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council - optimistically faced the many challenges triggered by the pandemic.

Sadly, Sue passed away suddenly in May 2020 and the role of President of the Council transferred in these unhappy circumstances to its vice president, Liana Scott. Liana is the General Manager of the Muri Beach Club Hotel and operator of self contained homes and villas, and an adventure tour company.

“I had big shoes to fill, and coupled with that we were going through a pandemic that had brought the Cook Islands to its knees,” said Liana.

“Our economy relied so much on tourism. More than 75% of our GDP is attributed to tourism. That was suddenly taken away”.

Not long after the pandemic hit the Private Sector Task Force was formed to deal with the issues thrown up by the uncertainty. Stakeholders included the Chamber of Commerce, the Banking Association, and the Tourism Council.

“We needed to be able, collectively, to lobby government. The Task Force was chaired by Fletcher Melvin from the Chamber, and I was vice chair.

“The goal was to make sure businesses were going to make it through the pandemic”.

Liana said the Task Force was fortunate in that the Government got on board quickly providing

subsidies for fundamentals such as power, interest, mortgages, and wages.

“The tourism industry was in mild panic mode not being certain they would be able to pay bills and staff. Wage subsidy was a big component of that. And, when the 20th of the month came around, expenses payments and VAT became due. That’s when the impact of COVID was felt the most. People worried, and some had mental health issues coming to terms with the implications of the sudden lockdown.”

According to Liana, businesses reacted differently depending on the nature of the business, their financial status, size and their dependency on visitors.

“Some hibernated completely, others closed for refurbishment or improvements, others opened with new hours and less staff, others were less affected.

“It was almost like everyone was given a forced holiday where there was an opportunity to have a look at your business from the outside in, and perhaps make some changes.”

The Private Sector Task Force met regularly and it ensured the Prime Minister and the Government were alerted to issues of concern. Liana said they released their response plans quickly.

“Businesses were able to decide whether to stay open or to close. Many businesses continued to operate because they needed cash flow, or had stock on hand. The wages subsidy assisted those businesses.”

Whilst borders are now open, Liana said the Task Force still meet monthly, primarily to discuss economic recovery mode.

“The Task Force now is exploring ways to stimulate the economy, and to get back on track. The economy is buoyant at the moment; the bounce back rate has been high.

“If anything, COVID has taught us a few lessons on being flexible and being able to adapt quickly to situations and to make the changes necessary.”

On the immediate future of tourism in the Cook Islands Liana said:

“I’m still surprised at how many Kiwis come here for the first time.

It’s been really great seeing first timers venture this way rather than their usual destinations like Europe, Fiji or Bali. It’s been an opportunity to convert them into returnees.

“We just need to make sure that we continue to stand behind our products and services as an industry, and deliver them well”.

Liana Scott , President of the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council BY: ALASTAIR BLOUNT
Island Life

The creation of TeTika skin care is a beautiful story

Filled with the mystique, splendour and respect for the traditions of the Cook Islands people.

Dr. Graham Matheson grew up in the Cook Islands in the 1990s playing rugby and rugby league where players frequently sustained injuries that were treated with traditional medicine, which resulted in inexplicable and speedy recoveries.

Graham chose medicine as a career, graduating from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) medical school as a doctor, with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering. He completed his PHD studies on the effects of traditional Cook Islands medicine.

The Cook Islands traditional custodians, the Koutu Nui, and Dr. Matheson embarked upon a 10-year research program into regenerative traditional medicines under an agreement considered world’s best practice.

The science of these ancient medicines is at the heart of Te Tika BioActive Cook Islands Oils. Graham is a founding partner of Te Tika.

TeTika means ‘truth and integrity’ in the Cook Islands language is the culmination of a thousand years of tradition, and a decade of advanced research.

Today, Te Tika is a luxury skincare product range with the key ingredient being Bioactive Cook Islands Oils. These remarkable oils have a rejuvenating effect on the skin.

Dr. Matheson’s sister Jenny Henry

runs the Te Tika business day-today in the Cook Islands.

“Our hero product is Te Tika Bioactive ‘Face and Body Oil – Sunset Glow. It’s popular with both our female and male customers,” said Jenny.

“With our Face and Body Oil, it’s simply the bioactive combination of the plants we use, that we do know triggers the skin to go into healing mode, which generates new skin that is smoother.”

The full range of Te Tika Skincare is available at CITC Pharmacy in Avarua.


“Tvati is used to regenerate bone and soft tissue using the power of nature and traditional medicine,” said Dr Matheson.

“It is the researched, refined, concentrated and patented

Dr. Graham Matheson Image by: Cook Islands Sun
48 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Health & Beauty
Te Tika product image

evolution of the Cook Islands Traditional Maori Medicine, Te Vairakau Ati. It’s the result of years of research and development of the traditional plants used to treat bone, cartilage and soft tissue injuries”.

Maddison who states: “I’ve been using Tvati oil daily now for quite some time and I’ve got to say the effects are amazing. Prior to using Tvati I was walking around daily with a knee brace on. After using Tvati I’ve been able to put my knee brace away and literally getting around now pain free. Proof is in the pudding. I’m able to ride my bike like I used to be able to in my youth. It works!

Tvati is grown, harvested, processed and packed in the Cook Islands.

On there are many testimonials, including one from motorbike stunt rider, Robbie

According to Graham Matheson, the research and development demonstrated that the topical application of these plant extracts influenced the biology of healing bone, the details of which are contained in the PhD completed and published at University of New South Wales under the supervision of Professor W R Walsh (Bill) who is a recognised world expert in bone

regeneration and orthopaedic research.

The extract and its effects have been awarded patents in the major markets of the world.

Tvati is used to treat bone, cartilage and soft tissue.

For more information visit tvaki. com or email

“Tvati is used to regenerate bone and soft tissue using the power of nature and traditional medicine,” said Dr Matheson.
Tvati product image
OILS ANDS PHARMACY AVAILABLE AT Inspired by traditional, scientifically-proven, Cook Islands regenerative medicines A key ingredient in the TeTika® Skincare range, Bioactive Cook Islands Oils are the result of intense research into the traditional Cook Islands medicinal practices. These remarkable oils have a rejuvenating effect on the epidermis of the skin. See the full range of the TeTika® Skincare products at CITC Pharmacy in Avarua. Inspired by traditional, scientifically-proven, Cook Islands regenerative medicines A key ingredient in the TeTika® Skincare range, Bioactive Cook Islands Oils are the result of intense research into the traditional Cook Islands medicinal practices. These remarkable oils have a rejuvenating effect on the epidermis of the skin. See the full range of the TeTika® Skincare products at CITC Pharmacy in Avarua. • AVAILABLE AT Access & Benefit Sharing

Rarotonga offers a wide variety of spa and wellbeing options. Try one (or more), and the experience (s) will be remembered as a highlight of your holiday to the Cooks.

Most spas around the island have their own little ‘quirks and perks’, so don’t be shy to ask for their

Enjoy some of the best spas in the South Pacific

spa and wellbeing lists, or have a good chat to the spa receptionists.

You may simply chose a spa based on its proximity to your accommodation, but you should also consider budget, the range of offerings, the style of service, the surroundings, and the overall atmosphere.

On your search, you will find spas with special offerings such as hydrotherapy tubs, steam rooms, sauna, and Vichy shower,

manicure, pedicure and makeup artists. Generally, they are all pretty good value by world standards.

Once you have made your selection, and to totally enjoy your spa and welling experience, take your time, and be in a relaxed state of mind before your arrival. And, to maintain your comfort, avoid having too much food in your stomach beforehand.

Enjoy some of the best spas in the South Pacific whilst you are in Rarotonga.

Spa Ariki at

Spa Ariki at

Offering a range of services perfect for anyone looking to relax in paradise.

Offering a range of services perfect for anyone looking to relax in paradise +682 23953

+682 23953

Don't miss out on our monthly specials!

Don't miss out on our monthly specials!

An hour or two at a spa will give you a chance to truly relax and enjoy your vacation in the Cook Islands. You will appreciate how much better you feel after a massage, a body-wrap and scrub, a facial, or many of other indulgences on the spa menu - whether you are male or female!
Deep tissue massage at The Spa (Muri Beach Club Hotel) Spa Ariki at the Crown Beach Resort The Spa at Edgewater Resort & Spa
Health & Beauty

To the people of the Pacific the coconut palm is the ‘tree of life’ because every part of the palm helps them in some essential way.

Coconut palms are a renewable organic resource. The word Rito has several meanings: first, it is the name of the young fronds that grow from the heart of the coconut tree. This fibre is used for finely woven traditional Cook Islands hats and mats; that is why there is a weave pattern on Rito Cook Islands skincare packaging.

Rito also means ‘the source or essence of something’. Rito products are distinctive in that Rito make their coconut oil and skincare products in Rarotonga.

Take Rito home

Visitors to the Cook Islands enjoy taking home gifts for friends and relatives, but struggle with what to buy that is authentically Rarotongan.

The skincare products made with cold-pressed virgin coconut oils by Rito Cook Islands are a good option.

You can visit Rito Cook Islands at their workshop-plant in Tikioki near the Fruits of Rarotonga and Muri, or drop in to their retail hut at Punanga Nui Market on any Saturday morning.

Rito Cook Islands beauty and health products are made with cold-pressed virgin coconut

oil. The range includes coldpressed virgin coconut oil, tamanu oil, soaps and skincare products.

Rito products are also available from CITC Pharmacy in Avarua.

Rito at Punanga Nui Market Coconut Palm
Naturallyactiveskincare made on the islandofRarotonga Vi s i t u s 1 5 0 m o n t h e M u r i s i d e o f t h e Fr u i t s o f R a r oVisit us 150m on the Muri side of the Fruits of Raro P h o n e + 6 8 2 2 0 1 3 4 o r e m a i l i n f o @ r i t o c o o k i s l a n d s c o mPhone +682 20 134 or email Health & beauty from the tree of life
Rito Coffee & Sugar Body Scrub, coconut, macadamia oils and scented with vanilla

Body Movement with BRYNN

Brynn AchesonNooroa is co-owner of KiteSUP Watersports based in Muri, and a fitness mentor with various class locations around the island under the signature of Body Movement with Brynn, including Gentle Yoga, Mat Pilates, and Paddle Board Yoga.

You’re American, why do you live in the Cook Islands?

I grew up outside of city limits; a real country girl. I love small towns with a closeknit community vibe. I really appreciate the strong sense of family, identity and culture in the Cook Islands. I also have a home, business and husband here.

Are fitness activities better to do in the morning?

Not necessarily. I always say to people, “choose a fitness time and regimen that you can commit to and be consistent

with.” We are all designed differently and we have busy lives that demand certain things from us. It’s important to invest in your health by putting yourself first when it comes to fitness and eating well.

Whilst on holiday, is it good to work out every day?

I find that a lot of people coming on holiday are needing to de-stress and recharge from a stressful work environment and the uncertainty we have all felt over the past two years. The intensity of the workout will determine if you should do

it every day. It’s always good practice to listen to your body and ask yourself, “how is my energy today, how is my body feeling.” If you are training every day and not resting and recovering you run the risk of injuring yourself.

What sort of fitness or healthy activities should a visitor consider on holiday?

Activities such as swimming, walking, yoga, Pilates, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, learning to kiteboard or wing are all fantastic ways to get in fitness while on holiday.

Brynn Acheson-Nooroa Beach yoga

Where do you conduct most of your body movement and fitness activities?

I offer group classes open to locals and visitors at various locations around the island. I also have a private home studio offering more specialised and individualised workouts for my personal training clients.

How can exercise and fitness activity help mental health on holiday?

Moving your body through fitness or activity is meditation in motion. The evidence is clear

that moving your body is a crucial part to keeping a healthy mind. A healthy mind also helps feed a healthy body. Do you remember the last time you worked out and said, “I really wish I didn’t do that workout?” Most likely never because we always feel good after doing some sort of movement.

In a week or ten days what results could a visitor expect to see or feel?

This is a challenging one to answer. Exercise and a good diet are both required to see the most results. Most people tend to relax

their eating habits and indulge a bit more while on holiday. If you are just starting a workout, then be conservative and realistic so that you can stay consistent. You will probably be a bit sore from the new movements, but you will most likely feel more energetic, happier and proud of yourself. If you are already working out regularly then you will help maintain your fitness during your holiday so you don’t undo all the good work you’ve put in.

To book an individual spot in a class, or as a group, visit or call 51407

... a lot of people coming on holiday are needing to de-stress and recharge from a stressful work environment”
SUP Yoga Body movement with Brynn
pampering in paradise ... relaxing massages, therapies & beauty treatments
EMPLOYER OF Resort & Spa
THE YEAR Edgewater

Meet a Cook Islands contemporary artist with a wicked sense of humour

At the age of 25, Timothy Manavaroa Buchanan, whose mother is a Cook Islander, returned to Rarotonga in 1987 after 17 years in New Zealand.

Tim has endured as a artist in the Cook Islands since the early nineties.

“Before becoming a full-time artist, I was restoring and running the Banana Court,” said Tim.

Banana Court was the first hotel in the Cook Islands, opened in 1905 with six rooms. It was badly flooded and damaged during Cyclone Sally in 1987.

“I wanted to restore the building. The manager was retiring and I convinced the tourist authority that I had a vision for restoring and reviving it to its heyday as an entertainment hub, and I succeeded.

“I had lots of ideas including started a string band competition. When Cook Islanders have a drink, they pull out ukuleles and guitars, and start singing. So, I thought: let’s have a competition to see who is the best”.

According to Tim, the career of Brother Love, one of the bestknown names in Cook Islands music, was launched at Banana Court.

Tim was with Banana Court for five years.

“I’ve been drawing and sketching and creating for as long as I can remember. It was my best and favorite subject at school,” said Tim.

Some say that Tim’s early works appear to be inspired by Gauguin during his French Polynesia period.

“Sure, he was one of the early modernists dabbling in Polynesian culture and appropriating Polynesian things like motifs. I have reappropriated.

One of Tim’s best-known early paintings is The Musicians, which was inspired by the Sunset Specials, a popular band that came out of the string band competition.

Following on from Banana Court, Tim moved to the Ministry of Cultural Development.

“I was charged with developing contemporary Cook Islands art, but with no budget. I had to find sponsorship”.

Tim approached local businessman Brian Baudinet to seek sponsorship for a local artist. Brian had previously seen one of Tim’s paintings in an exhibition on the verandah at Banana Court and offered to sponsor Tim.

“They interpreted our culture, and then I reinterpreted it back, particularly in the early days when I was finding my style.”

Tim said the main comparison between his work and that of Gauguin is the subject matter.

Tim grabbed the opportunity: “Brian Baudinet became my patron for two years and effectively launched my career as an artist.”

So, when was the first time Tim felt like a commercially viable artist.

In the nineties a revival of the Cook Islands contemporary art movement began led by returning Cook Islands artists, including Tim Buchanan. Tim Manavaroa Buchanan

“When my wife at the time was pregnant, we had to go to New Zealand. I had to raise funds to be able to do that so I sold one of my paintings.

“I heard later that the person I had sold it to was made a substantial offer for the painting, but she wouldn’t sell.”

It was then that Tim realised that there was value in his paintings: “I’ve managed to maintain a steady income since that time.”

As a sideline Tim has also been a location scout for the movie industry including The Other Side of Paradise, and more recently Gary of the Pacific

“Jack Cooper recommended me for Gary of the Pacific. Trader Jacks were doing the catering for the crew.

Tim has had commissions from the government and the Airport Authority.

A painting by Tim depicting travelling Polynesians features at the entrance to the Rarotonga International Airport departure lounge, complementing Ted Nia sculptures.

“Ted Nia was charged with coming up with artwork for the new airport renovation, and he approached me to do the departure area wall.

“He was an acclaimed contemporary artist in his own right. Ted was a superb carver, superb painter, and something of a character.”

“The first Kata cartoon was about some of our local people upset about a tourist sun bathing topless. I thought, this is ironic! Back when the missionaries arrived, we were all walking around topless and they got us to cover up; a hundred years later, we’re now telling tourists to do that!”

The Kata cartoon appears daily, except Sunday.

“I enjoyed the work because I was collaborator for someone else’s creative vision.” But Tim’s mainstay is still art.

“In recent years I took up a residency at Tamanu Beach resort in Aitutaki. I did a series of paintings for them, and came up with three different styles that I had never worked with before.

“One of them I was quite pleased with; it didn’t look like anything our Polynesian neighbors were doing. It was something that was uniquely Cook Islands.”

The piece Tim created for the airport was produced on board: “I actually cut into the board so it’s part sculpture and part paint.”

The majority of Tim’s work is commissioned for private collections: “Which is why I haven’t been able to accumulate a body of work for a show.”

A lesser-known fact about Tim Buchanan is he has been the cartoonist for Cook Islands News since 1994 under the pseudonym of Kata. Kata means ‘to laugh’ in Maori.

“Normally it’s on the news of the day, and is it often about politicians. They’re my favorite subject.”

Tim said that when he first started, the politicians didn’t know the identity of Kata.

“Early on I did a cartoon mentioning parliament unfavorably, and they used that as a pretext to smoke me out!

“The cartoon was about the police arresting one of our handicap people, who go

When he first started, the politicians didn’t know the identity of Kata
View to Maina motu The Stringband

wandering. They had arrested this person for being of unsound mind and locked them up. And I thought that’s poor. So, I depicted the police turning up at the door of two old people. The mama said to the papa: ‘the police are here to arrest someone for being of unsound mind. And the papa replied: ‘they’ve got the wrong address; parliament is down the road.”

According to Tim, the prime minister at the time Sir Geoffrey Henry believed parliament should not be mocked, so Kata was revealed following a subpoena and summons. That incident did not deter Kata from his irreverence, and Kata is eagerly sought out daily,

especially by the locals (and the politicians).

So, when are we going to see a Tim Manavaroa Buchanan exhibition?

“In next two or three years. I’ll include a retrospective and a show of new work. I’m also inclined to have an exhibition of Kata cartoons.”

In the meantime, Tim’s artwork can be seen at various locations including the Rarotonga Airport departure lounge, Cook Islands Museum & Library, Tamanu Beach resort, the foyer of the Rarotongan Resort, and the restaurant at Trader Jacks.

You’ll also find some of Tim’s artwork on colourful postcards available from Bounty Bookshop and Island Craft in Avarua.

As far as the near future is concerned: “I’ll keep painting. I want to do more timber sculpture and some stone sculpture”.

Four Kata cartoons from Cook Islands News

A day in Raro


“A great day out”

Operating Monday to Saturday departing Rarotonga at 8.00am, returning at 5.30pm, the day tour is perfect for visitors who are staying on Rarotonga, but who want to experience the beauty of Aitutaki’s world-famous lagoon.

At a cost of only $493.00 (adult) and $246.50 (2-11yrs), the tour includes transfers from/to your accommodation (or a designated pick-up point); return flights; a short tour of Aitutaki; a six-hour cruise in a covered catamaran with facilities; a visit to One Foot Island; towels and snorkelling equipment; BBQ lunch; tea, coffee, water; live music and cultural demonstrations.

Book with Air Rarotonga online (, call 22 888, or see Air Rarotonga at the airport, adjacent to the departure counters.

View of One Foot Island from Air Rarotonga aircraft.
Air Rarotonga’s allinclusive Aitutaki Day Trip from Rarotonga is simply a great day out!

Visit Aitutaki … and love a little paradise

You will often hear that a holiday to the Cook Islands is incomplete without a visit to Aitutaki.

Famous for its vast blue lagoon and palmfringed beaches, Aitutaki is more peaceful and much less crowded than Rarotonga. Popular with honeymooners and couples, Aitutaki is a fifty-minute flight from Rarotonga. It’s a wonderful little paradise with lots to do…or nothing to do!

The ‘lots’ include snorkeling, scuba diving, wind surfing, paddle boarding, game fishing, bone fishing, cycling, eating and drinking, whale watching and walking.

The ‘nothing’ is the pure

delight in the peace and tranquility the island offers. Aitutaki is distinctively an island of relaxation and rejunination. Island time rules!

Aitutaki has a population of around 2000 people and no dogs! The first of the Cook Islands to embrace Christianity in the early 1800s, the island has the oldest church in the Cook Islands, and some of the biggest banyan trees.

If you are unable stay-awhile in Aitutaki, at least go for the day!


Wet & Wild in Aitutaki

Wet & Wild owner-operator Quinton Schofield loves his job in Aitutaki, and it shows.

Anything to do with water and a boat, that’s us. All things Wet and Wild!

“Visitors can do just about everything with Wet & Wilddeep-sea fishing, spear fishing, kite boarding, wake boarding, water skiing, tube riding, snorkelling, island hopping,

sightseeing and even whale watching.

And, Wet & Wild provide a water taxi service too.

“The best thing about Aitutaki is that is a long way from the rest of the world. It is a beautiful and remote place, with one of the most beautiful lagoons on the planet,” said Quinton.

“When visitors leave, they say: ‘Oh well, it’s time to go back to the real world!’ But I think they

all have it wrong. I think that this is the real world, and this is the lifestyle we should all have, and this is how it should be. For me, Aitutaki!"

T: +682 31 651



Wet & Wild kiteboarding Boat charters Whale watching
60 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Relax with a cold drink while you enjoy the cold breezes and ocean view. Enjoy a simple all-day menu, or a-la-carte dinner menu featuring local seafood and Asian flavours. BAR & GRILL AITUTAKI The Aitutaki
Our well-maintained and modern eet includes • small 4 door hatchback cars • 8 seater MPV's • automatic scooters Phone: (682) 31379 • • Aitutaki Map Aitutaki Akitua Angarei Ee Mangere Papau Tavaerua Iti Tavaerua Nui Akaiami Muritapua MoturakauRapota Tekopua Tapuaetai Motukitiu Maina WRECK OF ALEXANDER AITUTAKI LAGOON Hospital SnorkelingChurch PetrolAccomodation Some features may not be exactly located. Please ask locally before undertaking hiking, snorkelling, swimming or water sports outside of recommended areas. SwimmingPlace of interest KEY LEGEND Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort Ranginui's Retreat Platinum Cruising Aitutaki Wet & Wild Aitutaki OOTU BEACH Aitutaki Village & Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar Akitua Popoara Rentals Boatshed Bar & Grill Popoara Ocean Breeze Villas Koru Cafe Inano Beach Bungalows Airport Terminal Aitutaki Marine Research Centre Ranginui Sunset Black Pearl Charters Maungapu 124m Aunty Odee’z Takeaway Vaiorea Beach House Paradise Cove Etu Moana Beach Villas Tauono s Garden Café Tamanu Beach Resort Restaurant and Bar Rino’s Apartments Vaikoa Units Aitutaki Beach Villas AMURI Pacific Resort Aitutaki Rapae Bay Restaurant Black Rock Cafe & Bar Sunny Beach Lodge Amuri Pool Villa UREIA ARUTANGA Rino’s Beach Bungalows & Rentals Paparei Bungalows Vonnias Aitutaki Air Rarotonga REUREU HOSPITAL Wharves Police Station Avatea Café Wharf Reef Motel NIKAUPARA VA PEKA Piraki lookout WaterTank Vaipeka Community Hall Baxters Waterworld Bishops Cruises Araura School Power Station VAIPAE Dive Aitutaki (Bubbles Below) Teking Lagoon Tours TAUTU Marae Te Koutu Pt 2 km1 km 3 km0 Golf Club Wharf Angarei Ee Mangere Papau Tavaerua Nui Tavaerua ti Seaside Lodges Neibaa’s Store Amuri Guesthouse Heineken Store Spiders Petrol Station Matriki Beach Huts T&S ArtworX WaterTanks Vaipae SportsField Bonefish E2’s Way TNM Store Wet & Wild Aitutaki ATM Aretai Beach Villas Post OfficeATM Aquila Store Aquila Rentals WiFi Hotspot Aitutaki Escape Gamefish Club Maina Superstore


Also known as Enuamanu (land of the birds), Atiu lies a mere 187 kilometres northeast of Rarotonga; yet it is a world apart first spotted by Capt. James Cook in the 1770s.

Only forty-five minutes by air from both Aitutaki and Rarotonga, Atiu’s population is around 400; most live in five villages spread out from the centre of the island on a flat central plateau.

Located at the edge of the plateau are chaletstyle lodges known as Atiu Villas, made almost entirely of local native timbers and materials, featuring the polished woods of mango, coconut, red peanut, acacia, cedar, Java plum and other tropical trees.

Surrounding the plateau is a ring of taro water gardens, and then the jungle-clad makatea (fossil coral reef). Notched into the cliffs of makatea are over two-dozen beaches, pristine and secluded.

A restful island for those who love being off the beaten track.

Anatakitaki Cave is a highlight for many visitors Taungaroro Beach. Enjoy your own secluded beach.
62 Your hosts Roger and Kura will make your stay an exciting adventure Phone: (682) 33 777 | Email: On-line bookings at - Free email & internet For more information on Atiu Island visit Accomodation Place of interest KEY LEGEND Vai Piake Landing Atiu Villas & Kuras Kitchen Tumai Beach MaraeRima Rau Burial Cave Lake Teroto Wreck of SV Edna MAPUMAI TENGATANGI AREORANGATIARUA TEENUI Some features may not be exactly located. Please ask locally before undertaking hiking, snorkelling, swimming or water sports outside of recommended areas. Hospital Church Accomodation Place of interest Walking track Road (not recommended) Swamp area KEY LEGEND Vai Piake Landing Areora Cafe Tepoonui Tumunu Kopeka Lodge Kia Orana Bungalows Atiu Villas & Kuras Kitchen Aretou Tumunu Tumai Beach Taungaroro Beach Raka’s Burial Cave Taparere Lodge Oravaru Landing Orongo Marae Taunganui Harbour Konakonako Landing Airport Totiko Landing Pari Aniu Whistling Holes Tarapaku Landing Oneroa Beach Takauroa Landing Matai Landing TeTau Atuokoro Landing Coral Garden Karanga Nui Beach Ara’oa Beach Avarua Landing Ōrongo Ivirua Tamarua Oneroa Power Station Vai Anga Petrol Station Air Rarotonga Babe’s Store Hospital Tua atiRock Pools KeiaTaro Gardens Tãpãti Battlefield Auraka Bakery IviruaTaro Gardens School Ara Moana Bungalows Ana oTautua Caves & Battlefield Makatea Cl iff Scenic Viewpoint (looking inland) LakeTiriara Scenic Recreation Activitries Tuatini Caves Tukoropa Vaitotara School Babe’s Hotel Mangaia LodgeBluesky + Post Office TV Station Public Card Phone Palace Mangaia Villas Iotepui Battlefield Te ruaere Caves Airport INLAND TRACK TO TAVENGA RANGIMOTIA (Highest point on the Island) MaraeRima Rau Burial Cave Lake Teroto TheThree Grottos Anatakitaki (Cave of the Kopeka) Capt. Cook landed 3 April 1777 HOSPITAL
Image by: Sandee Cook
63 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Stay-A-While in The Cook Islands Your choice of accommodation Choose from packaged Hotels & Resorts, or more personal Luxury Villas and Self-Catering homes and apartments, or maybe Backpackers and Budget establishments. There is a wonderful variety available, particularly in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. This symbol on a listing is your assurance of service and hospitality from members of the Cook Islands Tourism Accreditation and Quality Assurance Program. The most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of ‘accredited’ accommodation in the Cook Islands can be found on the website of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation in the Accommodation section. RAROTONGA 64 AITUTAKI 70 ATIU 71 MANGAIA 71 OUTER ISLANDS / PA ENUA 71


Aro’a Beachside Inn Aroa

Absolute beachfront in an idyllic location on a white sandy beach and beautiful crystal clear lagoon, on the western sunset shore of Rarotonga. Units are tastefully appointed with private decks, all have stunning views of the beach and lagoon. Enjoy swimming, snorkelling, relax in a hammock, or enjoy a cocktail at the Shipwreck Hut. Telephone: +682 22 166

Crown Beach Resort & Spa (See ad on inside front cover)

Located on the sheltered sunset coast of Rarotonga where 5 acres of manicured gardens meet the pristine Aroa beach that caresses a sparkling turquoise lagoon. Our spacious air-conditioned villas and suites present king bedrooms that are decorated with neutral fabrics and soft textures. This intimate adults-only boutique resort is renowned for its fantastic beach location, fine food, and relaxed ambiance.

Telephone: +682 23 953

Crown Beach Resort Beachfront Pool Villa
64 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Map Location Page No RAROTONGA HOTELS & RESORTS 1 Aro’a Beachside Inn 64 2 Crown Beach Resort 64 3 Castaway Resort 65 4 Muri Beach Club Hotel 65 5 Sunset Resort 66 6 The Islander Hotel 66 SELF CATERING RAROTONGA 7 Coral Sands Apartments 67 8 Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape 69 9 White House Apartments 71 AITUTAKI HOTELS & RESORTS Tamanu Beach 70 A D APU VAIMAANGA NGATAnGIIA MURI TU PAPAAVARUA ARORANGI RUTAKI TITIKAVEKA NIKAO MATAVERA 1 2 8 4 5 9 7 3 6 RAROTONGA HOTELS & RESORTS

Castaway Resort Arorangi

Castaway Resort is located on the western side of Rarotonga on the sunset coast, approximately 10 minutes’ drive (5.2km) from Rarotonga Airport on the main road (Ara Tapu). Castaway Resort offers four room types to choose from that make up a total of 18 rooms on-site including a beach house. Home to the popular Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar.

Telephone: +682 21 546

Central Motel


Telephone: +682 25 735

Club Raro Resort


Telephone: +682 22 415

Edgewater Resort & Spa


Telephone: +682 25 4355

Ikurangi Eco Retreat


Telephone: +682 25 288

Little Polynesian Resort


Telephone: +682 24 280

Manuia Beach Resort


Telephone: +682 22 461

Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel

Titikaveka Telephone: +682 26 183

Moana Sands Beachfront Villas Vaimaanga Telephone: +682 26 294

Moana Sands Lagoon Resort


Telephone: +682 26 189

Muri Beach Club Hotel (See ad on back cover) Muri

Designed with the taste of discerning travellers in mind, Muri Beach Club Hotel stands out from the rest through its modern facilities & well-appointed rooms with a Polynesian flair, 24-hour service & carefully considered layout, ensuring a sanctuary for privacy & escapism. Muri Lagoon is Rarotonga’s most scenic destination doubling as your aquatic playground for superb & safe water activities.

Telephone: +682 23 000

Muri Beach Resort Muri Telephone: +682 22 779

Nautilus Resort


Telephone: +682 25 125

Pacific Resort Rarotonga


Telephone: +682 20 427

Palm Grove


Telephone: +682 20 002

Sunset Resort Arorangi

Idyllically set on the shores of a sheltered lagoon this intimate beachfront resort enjoys stunning sunsets. All studios and suites are self-catering and are situated either on the beachfront overlooking the lagoon or beside either of our two swimming pools. Set amid lush tropical gardens, our open-air restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Telephone: +682 28 028

Sanctuary Rarotonga

Aroa Beach

Telephone: +682 25 900

The Edgewater Resort & Spa


Telephone: +682 25 435

The Islander Hotel & Hula Bar Panama

Onu Bay Holiday House

Arorangi Telephone: +682 71 478

Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa

The Islander Hotel is located oceanfront opposite Rarotonga Airport. Surprisingly affordable, the large hotel rooms are decked out with a king bed and single bed, ensuite bathroom, tea & coffee making facilities, flat screen TV with movies, lounge, air conditioning, kitchenette and views of tropical gardens that lead to the South Pacific Ocean. Great dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Telephone: +682 21 003

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium

Aroa Beach

Telephone: +682 25 800



Black Rock Telephone: +682 28 873

Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas

Muri Telephone: +682 55 720

Motu Beachfront Art Villas

Titikaveka Telephone: +682 24 682

Muri Telephone: +682 22 551

Sea Change Villas

Titikaveka Telephone: +682 22 532

Serenity Villas

Arorangi Telephone: +682 71 478

Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa

Muri Telephone: +682 28 150

Te Vakaroa Villas

Muri Telephone: +682 25 593


Aito Apartments

Muri Telephone: +682 20 029

Anchor’s Rest

Betela Beach Telephone: +682 25 427 or 55 250

Anchor’s Sand Tikioki


Arapati Holiday Homes


Telephone: +682 25 761 or 54 966

Ariana Bungalows


Telephone: +682 20 521

Ariki Bungalows


Telephone: +682 27 955

Arcadia Retreat


Telephone: +682 55 289 or 55 678

Avana Waterfront Apartments

Avana Telephone: +682 20 836

Aro’a Beachfront House


Aroa Kainga Bungalows

Aroa Telephone: +682 22 246

Aroko Bungalows


Telephone: +682 23 625

Atupa Orchid Units


Telephone: +682 28 543

B’s Beach House


Telephone: +682 76 781/53 782/21 646

Bella Beach Bungalows


Telephone: +682 26 004

Blackrock Villas


Telephone: +682 21 233

Blue Lagoon Villa Black Rock

Telephone: +682 25 2321 or 22 6270

Casa Del Sol Villas

Titikaveka Fb: CasaDelSolCookIslands Telephone: +682 55 321

Charlie’s Villas


Telephone: +682 28 056 or 54 007

Clear Water Lagoon View Villas


Cook Islands Holiday Villas Telephone: +682 55 271 or 52 321

Cooks Bay Villas

Vaimaanga Telephone: +682 22 922

Dorothys Muri Beach Bungalows Muri Telephone: +682 21 400

Emily’s at Panama Panama

Coral Sands Apartments Arorangi

Situated on the Western (sunset) side of Rarotonga, Coral Sands Apartments is only a 20-metre stroll to the white sandy beach, and walking distance to great bars and restaurants. The modern complex of seven boutique apartments (choice of one or three bedroom) can cater for couples, families or larger groups.

Telephone: +682 58 296

Hawaiki Villas

Tikioki Telephone: +682 22 130

Heliconia Hideaway

Titikaveka Telephone: +682 55 795

Heron’s Reef

Matavera Telephone: +682 26 488

Iro’s Beach Villas


Telephone: +682 27 821

Island Bay Villas

Muri Telephone: +682 22 616


Island Harmony Cottage


Telephone: +682 27 140 or 57 694

JJ’s Retreat


Telephone: +682 70 137

Kaireva Beach House


Telephone: +682 25 207

Kakera Apartments


Telephone: +682 20 532

Kia Orana Villas


Kiikii Inn & Suites


Telephone: +682 21 937 or 72 610

Kings Beach Villa

Telephone: +682 21 458 or 55 627

Kura’s Kabanas


Telephone: +682 27 010

Lagoon Breeze Villas


Telephone: +682 22 020

Little Oneroa


Magic Reef Beachside Bungalows


Telephone: +682 27 404

Makayla Palms


Telephone: +682 22 936

Mama Ru’s Beach Bungalows


Telephone: +682 29 066

Manea Beach Villas

Muri Telephone: +682 25 336

Mountview Lodges

O’oa Telephone: +682 29 491

Muri Beachcomber

Muri Telephone: +682 21 022

Muri Beach Cottages

Muri Telephone: +682 23 666

Muri Beach Hideaway

Muri Telephone: +682 29 005

Muri Beach Villa Muri

Muri Lagoon View Bungalows

Muri Telephone: +682 55 089

Muri Lagoon Villa

Muri Telephone: +682 25 2321 or 22 6270

Muri Lodges Limited


Muri Heights Villas

Muri com Telephone: +682 20 466

Muri Hillside Guest Houses

Muri Telephone: +682 55 769

Muri Retreat Apartments

Muri Telephone: +682 24 141

Muri Shores

Muri Telephone: +682 52 325

Napa Beachfront Hideaway



Natura Properties

Various locations

Telephone: +682 21 003

Ocean Spray Villas


Telephone: +682 23 000/2300


Paradise Holiday Homes


Telephone: +682 79 795

Raina Beach Apartments


Telephone: +682 23 601

Rarotonga Beach Bungalows


Telephone: +682 27 030

Rarotonga Villas


Telephone: +682 28 601

Rarotonga Daydreamer Escape Vaimaanga

Sands Villas

Titikaveka Telephone: +682 25 363

Seaside Beachfront Villas Matavera Telephone: +682 50 137

Seaspray Beach Villa Tupapa Telephone: +682 28 288 Sokala Villas Muri Telephone: +682 29 200

Sunhaven Beach Bungalows Arorangi Telephone: +682 28 465

Sunrise Beach Bungalows Turangi Telephone: +682 20 417

The Black Pearl of Puaikura Kavera Telephone: +682 23 537

The Cooks Oasis Holiday Villas Arorangi Telephone: +682 28 213

The Reef Motel Blackrock Telephone: +682 24 280

Tiana’s Beach Villas Muri Telephone: +682 24 404

Tropical Sands Turangi Telephone: +682 23 564

Secluded and intimate piece of paradise, set amongst lush tropical gardens. Tranquil pool setting with private individual outdoor living; snorkel in crystal clear lagoon nearby. Quiet and private while being convenient to a supermarket, café and restaurant. Six self-catering, spacious apartments; ideal for relaxing after exploring the magic of Rarotonga.

Telephone: +682 25 965

Rendezvous Villas Muri

Telephone: +682 22 130

Ta’akoka Muri Beach Villas Muri Telephone: 55 082

Te Kaka Retreat Tupapa Telephone: +682 22 119

The Beach Lodge Titikaveka Telephone: +682 23 333

Tuoro Holiday Villas Arorangi Telephone: +682 25 2321 or 22 6270

Turangi Lagoon Villas Arorangi Telephone: +682 25 2321 or 22 6270

Vai Villas Vaimaanga Telephone: +682 23 333

Vaiakura Holiday Homes Arorangi

Telephone: +682 70 289


Whitesands Beach Villas


Telephone: +682 22 919

White House Apartments Arorangi

Rarotonga Backpackers


Telephone: +682 21 590


Hotels & Resorts

Tamanu Beach


Located a short walk from beautiful Aro’a Beach are the family friendly, self-catering White House Apartments. Whether you want to spend your days relaxing on the beach, by the pool, or exploring the many activities & restaurants of the island, our two x 2 bedroom/2 bathroom apartments are the perfect place to unwind.

Telephone: +682 58 296


Aremango Guesthouse & Cottage


Telephone: +682 24 346

Backpackers International



Telephone: +682 21 847

Tiare Village


Telephone: +682 23 466


Aitutaki Escape

Amuri Telephone: +682 31 906

Etu Moana Boutique Beach Villas

Amuri Telephone: +682 31 458


Aitutaki Beach Villas


Our beautiful beachfront resort features 23 bungalows, conference facilities, spa and massage therapy services, two fresh water swimming pools, a beachfront bar and restaurant, and a gift shop.

The resort offers four accommodation options including studio garden rooms, and one-bedroom lagoon view rooms. Our beachfront rooms are water’s edge, a stone’s throw from our lagoon. Telephone: +682 31 810

Aitutaki Private Island Resort

Akitua Telephone: +682 31 200

Aitutaki Village

O’otu Telephone: +682 31 526

Pacific Resort Aitutaki

Amuri Telephone: +682 31 720 Telephone: +682 31 650

Aitutaki Seaside Lodges

Amuri Telephone: +682 31 056

Amuri Sands Amuri Telephone: +682 31 130

Aretai Beach Villas

Amuri Telephone: +682 31 645

Inano Beach Bungalows

O’otu Telephone: +682 31 758

Kuru Club

Amuri Telephone: +682 58 555 or 56 213


The Reef Motel Aitutaki


Telephone: +682 24 280

Paparei Beachfront Bungalows


Telephone: +682 31 837

Paparei Bungalows


Telephone: +682 31 837 or 73 275

Paradise Cove Lodges


Telephone: +682 31 218

Popoara Ocean Breeze Villas

O’otu Telephone: +682 31 739

Ranginui’s Retreat

O’otu Telephone: +682 31 657

Ranginui Sunset


Telephone: +682 31 651

Rino’s Beach Motel

Ureia Telephone: +682 31 197

Sunny Beach Lodge Amuri

Telephone: +682 31 446


Gina’s Garden & Beach Lodges

Tautu & Akaiami

Telephone: +682 31 058

Matriki Beach Huts Amuri

Telephone: +682 31 564

Petero’s Place

Nikaupara Telephone: +682 31 762

Vaikoa Beach Units Amuri Telephone: +682 31 145



Manihiki Lagoon Villas


Telephone: +682 43 123

Tiare Cottages


Telephone: +682 35 270

Ri’is Retreat


Telephone: +682 35 181



Tarakore Penrhyn

Telephone: +682 42 015

Atiu Villas

Areora Telephone: +682 33 777

Kopeka Lodge


Telephone: +682 33-006 or 50 121


Babe’s Guest House

Kaumata Telephone: +682 34 092

Mangaia Villas


Telephone: +682 34 885

72 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 Rarotonga Airport Departures & Arrivals 1 Domestic Baggage Claim Area 2 Air New Zealand Travel Centre DEPARTURES 3 Premium Check-In (International) 4 Air New Zealand Check-In (International) 5 Jetstar Check-In (International) 6 Air Rarotonga Check-In (Domestic) 7 Air Rarotonga Travel Centre 8 Departure Gate Domestic Flights 9 Domestic Arrivals & Departure Hall 10 International & Domestic Check-In 11 Trolleys 12 Café 13 Toilets 14 Gardens 15 Government VIP Lounge 16 Koru Lounge 17 Security & Emigration 18 International Departures 19 Gate 1 20 Gate 2 21 Café 22 Duty Free 23 Shops 24 Toilets ARRIVALS 25 International Immigration 26 International Baggage Claim 27 Customs & Security 28 Baggage Carousel 29 Duty Free (Arrivals) 30 Meet & Greet 31 Car Rental & Tour Offices 32 Lockers 33 Quarantine Office PARKING 34 Car Park Pay Station 35 Car Park P 36 ATM $ 37 Taxis and Transport Rarotonga Airport LEGEND 21 29 24 25 26 2728 28 30 ARRIVALS ARRIVALS GATE 36 $

Disclaimer: Reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information in this airport layout is accurate; no responsibility is accepted for inadvertent errors, or omissions.


COVID-19: Vaccination requirements no longer apply for travel and entry to the Cook Islands by aircraft (and sea vessels). Normal immigration requirements apply.

Except New Zealand passport holders, a passport needs to be valid for at least six months past the arrival date in the Cook Islands

Duty free allowance (18+ years) is 2 litres of alcoholic beverages or 4.5 litres of beer; 200 cigarettes or 20 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco

Duty free may be purchased on arrival before Customs & Immigration, and on departure

Importation of fruit and vegetables by passengers is prohibited

All baggage is cleared at Rarotonga

Departure cards are required for passengers 15+ years departing Cook Islands on international flights

There is no departure tax payable as it is included in international tickets

Subject to change.

73 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 2 3 4 5 6 78 9 10 11 12 12 13 1516 17 18 19 20 22 23 32 34 35 DEPARTURES CAR PARK MAIN ROAD DEPARTURE GATES P P 37 37 1 14 14
33 31 31

F Farm Direct Pearls ad 21

Fashion for the Tropics 22 Fitness through Body Movement 52

Getting around 16 Goldmine ad idCK ad 23

Island Car & Bike Hire 7

J Jean Mason 42

K Karla Eggelton 10 55

Koka Lagoon Cruises ad 41 Liana Scott

M Muri Beach Club Hotel ad 76 Museum Cook Islands 42

Netball in Paradise 2022 9

O Pacific Resort Rarotonga ad 37

Perfumes of Rarotonga ad 25 Platinum Cruises Aitutaki 59

Popoara Rentals ad 61

Progressive Dinner Tour 26

Rarotonga International Airport 72

Rarotonga Rentals ad 17

RentRaro ad 65

Rito Cook Islands Skincare 51


Spa Ariki 50

Spa, the enjoyment



Takurua Island Feast & Cultural Show 57

Te Tika BioActive Oils story 48

Te Tika BioActive Oils ad 48

Te Vara Nui Village 27

The Boat Shed Bar & Grill ad 60

The Café 28

The Islander Hotel & Hula Bar ad

The List of Eat & Drink 29

The Lucky Rooster Eatery ad 35

Tik-e Tours ad

Trekking Tips 46

U V Vodafone 12 Vodafone ad 13 Water Safety tips 6 Y Z

74 COOK ISLANDS VISITOR GUIDE | 2022-2023 With over 30 years experience Full and complete knowledge We are with you right from Local company, sensitive CAREY WINTERFLOOD With over 30 years experience in the Cook Islands and offshore Intimate knowledge of Local laws, rules and Government regulations Local Company, sensitive and discreet CRAIG GRAHAM : Raro Office +(682) 81965 DEBRA GRAHAM : Raro Office +(682) 51720 CAREY WINTERFLOOD—R.E.I.Q : Australian office +(61) 0478568642 | Option 2 A Accommodation 63 Adventure Cook Islands ad 43 Adventures in Paradise 44 Aitutaki 57 Atiu 62 Atiu Villas ad 62 B Bishops Cruises ad 58 Black Pearls 20 Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar 58 BSP ad 19 Buchanan, Tim Manavaroa 54 C Calendar 8 Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes 45 Castaway Resort ad 30 CIPS Electronics ad 24 Cook Islands Contemporary Artist 54 CITC 14 Cook Islands Real Estate 74 Cook Islands Tourism 10 Cook Islands Tourism Information 75 Cook Islands Quality Assured 75 Cook’s Island Bus 17 Crown Beach Resort ad 2 Currency 24 D David Street 18 Discover Marine & Wildlife Centre ad 44 Diving 43 Driving 16 E Eating & Drinking section 31 Edgewater Resort F&B ad 29 Edgewater Resort Spa ad 53 Event 8
4 H I

Cook Islands Quality Assured

The Cook Islands Quality Assured accreditation programme is designed to set minimum standards and guidelines for best practice. It will give you confidence when choosing where to stay, what to do and how best to experience the Cook Islands.

Wherever you see this logo you can be sure that the accommodation, restaurant, rental company, day spa, wedding and event planner, tour or activity operator, has met minimum requirements to assure you of good service, good facilities, safe practices, and of course friendly Cook Islands hospitality. We highly recommend that visitors use their services.

Visitor Information Centre

When in the Cook Islands you can find our Visitor Information Centre’s on Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Atiu.

Visit our friendly team for more information on things to do, places to eat, cultural experiences, travel to the Pa Enua and events happening on the island.

Opening Hours


• Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm

• Saturday 10:00am to 1:00pm


• Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm


• Monday to Friday 9:00am to 1:00pm

How to contact Cook Islands Tourism?

Cook Islands Tourism has offices in Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu and a combined office for New Zealand and Australia based in Auckland.

We also have in market representatives for the Americas, Northern Europe, Southern Europe and the United Kingdom.

Cook Islands

RAROTONGA PO Box 14, Rarotonga +682 29435

AITUTAKI PO Box 3, Aitutaki +682 31767 ATIU +682 33435

International NEW ZEALAND +64 9 366 1106

AUSTRALIA +64 9 366 1106




VISITOR GUIDE | www . m u r i b e a c h c l u b h o t e l. comPhone 23000 to book The Spa
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