Thank you for visiting our FAQ Page! If there’s information you’re seeking that cannot be found either here or on our retreat homepage, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our absolute best to get answers for you. Rest assured that your health, safety and comfort is our #1 priority. The following is some helpful information to get you started on your journey.
Absolutely! Just as with any place though, there are always things to be aware of, such as the following: Don’t linger under coconut trees laden with fruit for extended periods of time (not joking!); when engaging in watersports, look out for shallow-lying coral heads; It is advisable to wear reef shoes and shuffle your feet when entering and walking about in the shallows of the lagoon so as to avoid coral cuts and stonefish stings. Jelly fish and blue-bottle are also seen on occasion and should be avoided if encountered.
Mosquitos are a nuisance primarily during the rainy season (we’ll be visiting during the dry season). Nonetheless, it’s recommended to have mosquito repellant handy. These pests are most active at dawn and dusk, with the dengue mosquito being active during daytime.
A common traveler’s ailment is stomachache and/or diarrhea caused by drinking untreated tap water or lack of hygiene surrounding hand-washing. While visiting Rarotonga, drink and brush teeth with bottled water only and wash hands frequently. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you for use when warm, soapy water is unavailable for hand washing. Food poisoning / foodborne illness is extremely rare here, so don’t be afraid of sampling the local cuisine!
This is a personal choice. I’ve traveled to many developing countries without immunizations, and will do so for Rarotonga too. Instead, I take natural / holistic measures to build my immune system prior to traveling and use common sense when it comes to being aware of health risks wherever I go. In our Rarotonga Guest Guide, I’ll provide extensive instructions for naturally preparing your body to be in a foreign land, but for those who choose to opt for immunizations and wish to learn more, you can view the CDC recommendations for travel to the Cook Islands by following this link.
You’ll need to check with your insurance company to determine if you’ll be covered while traveling. Be advised that if your current health insurance does not provide coverage during travels abroad, we strongly recommend that you acquire supplemental insurance in case of emergency. Our provider of choice for travel insurance is Travel Guard.
There’s really no bad time to visit Rarotonga! The weather is lovely and warm all year round. Rainy season is from November to April, so we’re not expecting much rain during our stay. That said, it is the tropics and rain showers can occur any time of the year. During August, the average high is approximately 77 degrees fahrenheit, the average low is about 68 degrees fahrenheit, and average rainfall is approximately 2 – 3 inches. Water temperature averages a perfect 77 degrees fahrenheit.
Yes, English is the primary language spoken in Rarotonga, so no need to learn foreign language skills in order to travel easily throughout this island nation. Cook Islands Māori is the official language of the Cook Islands, it’s origins derived from an east Polynesian language indigenous to New Zealand. In fact, many Rarotongans have thick kiwi accents, as they are close neighbors and have a shared history and cultural similarities.
UTC 10:00. The Cook Islands are 10 hours behind GMT. Daylight savings time is not observed, so the clock doesn’t go back or forward at any time. To check local time from wherever you’re at, use this handy time zone converter.
The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the primary form of currency here. The Cook Islands also has its own currency in circulation alongside the NZD and it is of equal value, though it is not legal tender outside the Cook Islands and cannot be exchanged anywhere else in the world. For the most up-to-date exchange rates, please use this currency converter.
There are limited ATMs and banks on Rarotonga. When making an ATM withdrawal, be sure to check the screen to see how much you might be charged. Some of the banks levy a hefty fee. Credit and some debit cards are widely accepted, but having a small amount of cash on hand is recommended. A 15% VAT (value-added tax) is included in the price of most goods and services. Etiquette tip: haggling over prices is a no no.
Check with your cell phone provider to determine what kind of coverage you’ll have under your plan and whether or not roaming and data fees apply.
The Cook Islands telecom provider is Bluesky Cook Islands Ltd. International calls to USA, Canada, the UK and Australia cost $10 NZD for talk up to 1 hour, plus an additional connection fee. International calls to New Zealand cost $5.00 NZD for talk up to 1 hour and an extra 40 cents connection fee applies. The cheapest option for making overseas calls is to purchase a Kia Orana phone-card from the local Telecom or convenience store.
Other Bluesky services include the sales of SIM cards, top ups and data packages, as well as mobile phones and equipment at their retail outlets. There is a Bluesky sales desk located within the arrivals terminal at the airport. The Bluesky Teleshop in Avarua is open from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday with early closing at 1:00 pm on Saturdays. Bluesky in Muri is open Monday – Friday with limited hours available on the weekend. A booth is also available every Saturday morning at Punanga Nui market in Avarua. Wifi cards, Kokanet cards and Bluesky top ups / data packs are also sold at a number of retail outlets around Rarotonga.
Yes. Free wifi is available at our accommodation and is widely available at many spots around the island, but you’ll need a converter to charge them up. The electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plug adaptors are the same as the ones used in New Zealand and Australia.
Check out our Travel Info page for tips on how to get from point A to point B.