Rarotonga - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Rarotonga


The largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga is home to nearly three quarters of the archipelago's 20,000 citizens, most of whom live in settlements along the coast. Home of the capital, Avarua, the island is also the most popular tourist destination in the Cook Islands.

Avarua is the only major town, and with a population of only 5,000 even that is small and contains a few restaurants, bars and shops. Rarotonga's attractions are not urban ones, however, but lie in the spectacular natural beauty of the island. The interior of Rarotonga is a stunning mixture of jagged mountains and lush green jungles that give way to the sparkling white sand beaches before meeting the clear blue waters of the South Pacific.

Snorkelling and scuba diving, along with other watersports, are the most popular activities in Rarotonga. The circular island is nearly surrounded by coral reefs that contain tropical fish, octopi, eels, and other colourful marine life. Aroa Lagoon, Fruits of Rarotonga Beach, and Black Rock are popular areas for snorkelling and scuba diving. The reefs and lagoons make Rarotonga less than ideal for surfing, but creates perfectly calm areas for swimming, like the idyllic Muri Lagoon.

Information & Facts

Cook Island Maori is widely spoken by locals, but English is in common use.

The currency of the Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Foreign currency exchange is available at the airport and two banks in Avarua, ATMs are also available in Avarua and are slowly becoming more widespread. American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted at restaurants and hotels in the main towns, and travellers cheques in small denominations as well as major foreign currencies can be exchanged at larger shops and hotels. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm. Australian dollars are the preferred currency for travellers cheques.

Local time is GMT -10.
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