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Rarotonga Cook Islands Cruise Port Guide


As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered to the north shore. Depending on conditions you might be tendered to the west side of the island which is further away from Avarua but plenty of resorts nearby.

More often than not tender operations will be aborted due to sea conditions.

The town of Avarua is within walking distance, where you can find shopping and restaurants. Rarotonga is made up districts containing several villages located mainly around the coastal fringe of the island. Avarua is the main village on the northern side of the island and has most of the population and services.

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Monthly Climate Averages for Rarotonga Cook Islands



Rarotonga is by far the most populated of the Cook Islands and is the capital, located in the southern group of islands. Locally known just as Raro.

Rarotonga Cook Islands is one of the most enchanting of the South Pacific destinations. Many describe it as the Hawaii of yesterday - great for a holiday, easy to explore, lots of accommodation, plenty of good independent restaurants and enough attractions and day tours to keep you busy. There is something very unique and exciting in travelling around the island on a moped with the wind in your hair, passing local villages and colorful houses with the fragrance of sweet scented flowers all around.

A 15 minute walk from the tender dock, located along the north coast of Rarotonga is Avarua, capital of the Cook Islands. The town has a number of shops and restaurants as well as all the regular facilities, including banks, post office, and grocery store.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

Tour operators are around at the tender dock.

The most popular way to travel is by moped and for just a few NZ$ for a day's moped hire, most tourists give it a go.

On your way to Avarua you will see a bus stop where you will take one of the two buses that circle the island every hour. The cost of a round trip ticket is $7ND. Busses run on both directions, you can take either one. The trip takes about 45 minutes. The anti-clockwise buses break for lunch, and don't run Saturday afternoons, Sundays, early mornings or in the evenings. The clockwise buses do not run on Sunday evenings either. The sign on the front of the bus states its direction.

It pays to compare your cruise line tours here.

Nearby Places:

Visitors can choose to windsurf, kayak, scuba-dive, take a glass-bottom boat, go deep-sea fishing or simply swim, snorkel, or sunbathe. To enjoy all sorts of water sports, Muri Beach Lagoon is the most popular tourist spot on the island.

Shopping and Food

Along the way to Avarua you will pass the colorful Punanga Nui Marketplace.

The Cook Islands is the second biggest producer of black pearls in the world.


The New Zealand Dollar is the local currency supplemented with attractive and multi shaped local coins and our unique Cook Island Three Dollar Note.

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Wi-Fi hot spots are available in Avarua, and now widely found at the resorts, hotels, and many restaurants. You are never more than a few minutes from one, but there is no free access.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

On sundays everything is closed, except for a few restaurants.

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