fishing God

Rarotonga

Cook Islands

 

 Hotels

Paradise Inn:
  • Just a short walk east of town on the main road
  • Ceiling fan & stand fan
  • Refrigerator
  • Gas range
  • Pots, pans, toaster, coffee maker, dishes, etc.
  • Coffee, tea, sugar, cream provided free of charge.
  • Microwave and ice maker in common area
  • TV room with VCR
    • International news 5:30-6:30pm
  • NZ$ 70 single
    • half fare to keep your room past 10 am for late night flights.
  • All major credit cards
  • paradise@oyster.net.ck
  • http://cookpages.com/ParadiseInn/   

 

panorama from deck

CLUB RARO: 

 

   
   

 

DINING:  There are lots of restaurants on Rarotonga.  Many are open only in the evening, but you should look at a current guide for Rarotonga before making up your mind because they are all within 30 minutes by bus or car.

On Saturday morning (7:30am--noon) the locals set up stalls on the west end of town in the Cultural Park.  There is a wide variety of prepared food at good prices.  [PHOTOS]

TRADER JACKS: Trader Jack's is an institution.  I'd heard about it from people throughout the South Pacific many times before I arrived on Rarotonga.  Meals, services, and prices could be from a beach side restaurant in Florida or California.
STAIRCASE:  Open 6:30 pm. Closes Wed, Thurs,& Sat at midnight (2am on Friday).
Wed -- all you can eat buffet & salad
Thurs -- Island night Food & show (NZ$25)
Fri -- Steak night  (Live band/karaoke)
Sat -- BBQ on the deck (Live band/karaoke)

 

PORTOFINO: On the main highway in Avarua near the Paradise inn.  Opens at 6:30pm (Monday thru Saturday).  Considered one of the better restaurants on Rarotonga.  Air-conditioned.  Steaks, seafood, chciken, pasta & pizza.
THE CAFE:  A popular place for breakfast in Avarua.  Open 7:30am.  Maybe it is because of their "real coffee."
RONNIE'S: One of may little cafes in Avarua.
COOK'S CORNER CAFE: Open 6am-3pm (Monday thru Friday)  6am-1pm on Saturday.
WATERFRONT CAFE: 
  • Breakfast & lunch from 7:30 M-F (8:30 Sat)
  • Dinner 
    • 5pm to 7:30 Mon to Wed
    • 6pm Thurs & Friday night
PAULINA'S:  Right next to Trader Jacks.  Never saw many people here in the daytime when I was out walking about.
JUST BURGERS:  American style burgers starting at around NZ$ 4.  Located just a short walk east of Paradise Inn.
RARO FRIED CHICKEN:  Two branches, one next to the post office and the second near the harbor area west of town.  Food looked good and both always had customers
GETTING AROUND:
Bus: The buses take 1 hour to make it around the island. They run both ways Monday to Saturday hourly from 7am - 4pm.  Sunday 8am - 12 noon & 2pm - 4pm (clockwise only).  Night bus departs hourly Monday to Saturday at 6, 9, 10pm.  Friday night & Saturday night have late busses between 11pm and 1:30 am (see local schedule).
Rental Car: Lots of companies to choose from and prices starting at NZ $ 40.  Budget has: Nissan Laurel's for $56.30 a day, Jeeps for NZ $67.50, and Mazda MX5 convertibles for only NZ $ 67.50 also.  Prices include unlimited mileage, tax, and $2000 deductible insurance (full coverage for an extra $9).  You must have a Cook Island drivers license.  Just take your home license to the Police station and you get a photo drivers license good for 1 year for NZ $10.  Takes about 20 minutes.

Motorcycle:  At NZ $55 for four days, this is great value.  You must have a Cook Island drivers license (See Car above).  If you don't have motorcycle on your license from home you must take a drivers test for NZ $5.   

Rarotonga Rentals: www.rarotongarentals.co.ck 

Scootcars: These little things looked like fun.  They have two seats, seatbelts, windshield with wipers, roll bars, a removable top, and a lockable trunk.  The owner told me they will do 60kph! Ph: (682) 22-426  cutejag@oyster.net.ck 

Bicycle:  Mountain bikes are available for NZ $6 per day.
Taxi:  Tiare Transport (24 hour service)  Phone 55-217 04 29-629

 

INTERNET CAFES:

PACIFIC COMPUTERS:   Rate NZ$ 0.25 per minute.  Uses Net timer for accurate timing.  Faster than most places I have used in the South Pacific during the work week. Mon-Fri 8am--4pm, Sat 9am-noon, Sunday CLOSED.

TELE POST:  Rate NZ$ 1.75 for 5 minutes.  Don't believe their posted hours as I observed them open up to 1 hour late several day in a row.

PACIFIC GIFTS & SOUVENIRS:  Located inside Cooks Corner.  NZ$ 0.30 per minute.  This internet cafe is not on line full time.  Your time starts when you sit down even though it took over a minute to connect.  You also get charged for the time after you disconnect until the guy checks the computer.
TCI: 150 meters south of Cook's Corner (heading away from the beach).  NZ$1.75 for 5 minutes.  Open 24 hours. Tried to use this place on a Friday holiday.  First the guy wanted to know how many minutes I wanted to use?  I tried to explain to him it depended on the speed of his equipment and how much mail I had.  He didn't understand.  Then he powered up a computer with a monitor that was so out of focus I had to tell him to never mind.

MURI CYBER CAFE (BLUE ROCK?):  This was one of two internet cafes I saw near Muri Beach.  This one was open on a holiday and it was fast.  He charged only twenty cents a minute.  10AM--5PM (Mon--Sat) 1PM-5PM on Sunday.
LAUNDRY:   Snowbird Laundry.  Same day service.  Across from the port where the yachts dock and another branch on the west coast.
GROCERIES:

The kitchen in the Paradise Inn was good, so I decided to cook my own meals here.  The main grocery store in town, Foodland, had a limited selection.  But right on the west end of town is CITC Supermarket.  It has a great selection, almost as good as an American supermarket.

Surprisingly hard to find fresh fish on Rarotonga or Aitutaki. 

Some Grocery Prices

WHAT'S GOOD:
  • Saturday Morning Market (see Dining above for photos)
  • Prices on rental vehicles
  • Wide variety of restaurants
  • The showers in Paradise Inn, great pressure & lots of hot water
WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD:
  • The beaches are not great for swimming.
WHAT TO DO:
  • Nightlife tour
    • Friday 2030-0200
  • Trekking
    • Pa's Mountain Walk
      • strenuous hike that "requires a certain standard of fitness."
      • see ancient carvings
      • bring a drink & mosquito repellant
      • lunch provided
      • 0930-1500 Monday, Wednesday & Friday
    • Pa's Nature walk
      • Tuesday & Thursday
      • Not suited for those with knee problems
    • NZ$ 55 each
  • HASH (on Monday's)
  • Lawn Bowling
  • Cricket
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Horse Riding
  • Reef walking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba
  • Snorkeling
    • I went snorkeling near Muri Beach.  Visibility was only about 7-10 feet near shore and 15-20 feet near the barrier reef.  Some nice schools of fish and a few very big fish when you get near the reef.  Not much live coral, but still worth an hour.  Hard to stay in longer because the water was very cold.
  • Tennis
  • Windsurfing
  • 4WD tours to top of highest mountain
    • NZ$ 45
    • Ph 22-200
  • Quad bike adventure  (South side of the island)
    • 10am, 1 pm, 3 pm
    • NZ$50
    • Ph 22-200
  • Day trip to Aitutaki
  • Cultural Village
    • 0940-1400 Monday, Wednesday & Friday
  • Lagoon Cruise
    • 1100-1500 week days
  • Shopping

Misc Photos