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Rarotonga for families

11:30 AEST Thu Jul 29 2010
It's not a secret that Catriona adores the Cook Islands. These days she is thinking of family holidays and went there to see what's in store for holidays with a little one in tow.

The Cooks is a collection of 15 islands in the centre of the Pacific. Rarotonga is the capital and it's the first port of call for holiday makers.

One road circles the 32 kilometre radius and if you are planning on renting a vehicle, you must pop into the police station to get yourself a licence. It's a simple a cheap formality and could save you some bother. Just remember to have your Australian licence with you.

Punanga Nui Market

Always a good place to get the feel of where you are is a town's markets. This one is the biggest and opens every day except Sunday at 7am. Saturday is the busiest day. You will mix with locals and tourists buying up local produce, arts and crafts and traditional Cook Islander foods such as raw fish marinated in coconut. Delicious. Keep your eyes open for a 'must have' — local black pearl!

Self-catering accommodation is popular in the Cook Islands and there are plenty of supermarkets you can visit to stock up.

Hawaiki Villas

These two new villas are on Rarotonga's south-east coast in Titikaveka. They are absolute beachfront at the popular snorkelling spot, Fruits of Rarotonga. They are decked out to be your home away from home. They have two bedrooms, a modern kitchen, television and DVD player, and without having to leave the comfort of your villa, choose from local and international cuisine which will be delivered to your door.

Barbecue on the deck overlooking Tikioki Lagoon and enjoy the use of kayaks and snorkelling gear.

Villa Vacations manage Hawaiki and other properties in the Cook Islands. Check their website for other options.


Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.


Hawaiki Villas start at $305 a night. An additional person costs $25 up to a maximum of four persons per room. The rate includes use of kayaks and snorkeling gear and fruit platter.

Air New Zealand is now offering a direct service from Sydney to Rarotonga twice a week. There are flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide via Auckland.

Air New Zealand has one-way fares from:

  • Sydney $367
  • Brisbane $481
  • Melbourne $511
  • Adelaide $585

Sales and validity dates apply.

Prices correct at July 29, 2010.

For further information

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476

Hawaiki Villas
Box 346
Cook Islands
Ph: 0011 682 22136

Cook Islands Tourism

Visas: Not required for tourism visits up to 31 days. Visas for business visits can be issued on arrival. Passports must be valid for the duration of the stay.

Electricity: 240 volt 50 Hz AC. The same 3 pin plugs as used in Australia.

Time zone: GMT — 10 hours.

Currency: The New Zealand dollar.

Telephone code: +682.

Cook Islands

It is recommended travellers to Cook Islands see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and best discussed with your doctor. For further information visit

User comments
My husband and I went to Cook Islands on our honeymoon some years ago and it was just beautiful in every way. We stayed at the Rarotongan Beach Resort which was absolute beachfront which has water activities and a kids club with various activities to do. One thing not to be missed is a trip to Aitutaki island, this is one thing we were glad we did. Just fantastic. People are friendly and only too eager to help you out. Will be planning a trip to the Cook Islands again for our ten year anniversary coming up soon.
Hi, This storw was great. Can you please tell me what the name and location was of the lagoon that was featured. Thanks
Great story, has made me add the Cook Islands to my places-to-visit list! What is the name of the song at the very beginning of this video?

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