Rarotonga, Cook Islands – Island Talk Tuesday

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Photo by Bob Linsdell

About Rarotonga

Rarotonga is the capital and most populated island of the Cook Islands, a group of 15 islands in the Oceania region of our world. The Cook Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean with Fiji toward the west and Tahiti towards the east. Rarotonga has the international airport (RAR) which has connections with smaller jets to reach the other 14 outlying islands. RAR opened in 1975 and is situated close to the nearby roads so locals get a great view of incoming planes. That’s the landing strip below.

How Do I Get Here?


The flight is about 10 hours from Los Angeles, California and about 14 hours from Hong Kong, China. It’s the recommendation to go for at least 7 days (not counting fly time) and include 1 additional island so you get the most out of your trip.

The four airlines that fly to Rarotonga are: Air New Zealand, Air Rarotonga, Air Tahiti, and Virgin Australia.

What Is There to Do?

cook islands photoPhoto by Christina Spicuzza

The Cook Islands are made of volcanic form and consist of beaches, mountains, and jungles. There is a blue lagoon that surrounds the outside of the island. Tourism and water activities are vital to one’s life on the island – fishing, scuba-diving, kayaking, boating, wind surfing etc. Majority of the islands’ income is from us tourists.

With Rarotonga only being 32km in circumference, transportation includes mostly buses and scooters. There is a bus that goes clockwise around the clock, and a bus that goes counterclockwise. Sounds easy to get around! You can rent cars and scooters, but the law is strict so No Drinking and Driving!

Rarotonga boasts about 100,000 visitors per year! It is a great place for weddings and honeymoons too.

rarotonga resorts photoPhoto by arriba

There are no high rises, so if you’re looking for 5 star accommodations, you will need to look into renting private villas to obtain the similar service.

Music is a great part of their culture as well as dancing, festivals, songs, hymns and life in everything they do! They recently finished celebrating Maire Maeva Nui, which is a 10-day festival celebrating their Declaration of Independence from 1965.

Climate and When to Come Visit

Rarotonga and the rest of the Cook Islands are in the same time zone as Hawaii – 6 hours behind Standard Eastern Time for Americans.

Here’s what their climate is like so you can know before you go –

May through October – cooler and much rainier (they’re south of the equator) with temperatures ranging from 22 – 27°C Celsius / 71- 80° Fahrenheit.

November through April – warmer and more humid with temperatures ranging from 26 – 30°C / 78.8 – 86° Fahrenheit.

Have you been to Cook Islands?

4 Replies to “Rarotonga, Cook Islands – Island Talk Tuesday”

  1. […] to win a 5 night stay at these Pacific islands through Islands Magazine. Paradise, volcanic land, clear waters and air fare included! Click here […]

  2. The beautiful island of Rarotonga and its well-known landscapes thanks to the movie The Lord of the Rings and Hobit

  3. True, the flight will cost a lot but if you save miles you can probably get to California very easily and pay from there! That’s my plan for the future, rack the miles up

  4. French Polynesia and the cook islands look lovely, I dare not look at the flight time from the UK! I hope to visit one day, maybe when I am rich?!

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