Lets face it, it is hard to start a holiday without being able to check in to your accommodation & getting changed into relaxing holiday gear.
Getting to your hotel is usually arranged when you book your accommodation, and will either be with the accommodators own transport, or by arrangement with a specialist transfer operator, or by taxi.
Now that you have settled in, you can start exploring and enjoying our home island.
The following is intended to help you enjoy your visit without mishap.
As beautiful as Cook Islands scenery is - and sometimes distracting, driving can be a little hazardous, and it is wise to keep a watchful eye on the road. The islands animal population, [especially dogs and chickens] can dart out in front of you without warning as can small children.
Coconut trees and other trees lining the road can be another hazard to watch out for especially during strong wind gusts. Be sure not to stop & rest under these as coconuts can drop at any time, resulting in damage to vehicles and/or people.
There are very few footpaths for pedestrians to use, so please be wary when passing by them. As a rule of thumb, always walk on the side facing oncoming traffic. In the Cook Islands this means walk on the right hand side of the road. In this way you can see what is coming towards you & drivers can see you easier too.
Road rules are strict when it comes to drinking and driving, so it is best not to risk spoiling your holiday.
Lastly, if you would prefer to relax & be driven around rather than drive yourself, buses and taxis are available.
Aitutaki has Rental vehicles available to allow you to explore its exclusive attractions. Don’t forget - Uncle Jeff can arrange rental vehicles for your use on arrival. This can be arranged either with your accommodation booking or later.
As the entire island of Rarotonga is only 32 kilometers in circumference, getting around is easy. There are two main roads on Rarotonga, you can circle the island on the Ara Tapu sealed road, through the villages and past the beaches; or you can take the older inland road, which winds through fields of taro, pawpaw, bananas and local farmlands.
A variety of transport options are available, from rental bicycles, motor bikes or cars, to public buses.
In the Cook Islands we drive on the left side of the road and road rules are similar to Australia and New Zealand. The official speed limit is 50 kph except for specific areas like Avarua, Muri and school zones, where a speed limit of 30 kph may apply. Motor Cyclists must wear a helmet when driving at speeds above 40 kph, however a new law about to come into force will require all Motorcyclists under the age of 25 years to wear a helmet.
Visitors over 16 years of age can drive in the Cook Islands on their current overseas license for up to six months, unless the license expires, is revoked, suspended or disqualified in that time.
Visitors using their overseas license are allowed to drive only the class of motor vehicle they are entitled to drive in their home country.
If a visitor wants to ride a scooter or motorbike in the Cook Islands and is not licensed to do so at home, he or she will need to obtain a Cook Islands Driving License (either Class A covering motorbikes/scooters or Class AB covering both regular vehicles and motorbikes/scooters). This involves a practical test at the Police Headquarters in Avarua and the payment of NZ$20 license fee plus NZ$5 practical test fee.
Vehicle Hirers can issue a temporary permit to a driver whose current license does not cover motorbikes/scooters, for up to 24 hours, to enable them to obtain a Cook Islands drivers license from Police Headquarters.
Requirements may vary between hire companies.
Visitors whose license is written in a language other than English will need an accurate translation.
Riding the bus is a great way to get around. Once on board, just sit back and relax while you travel to your destination. Buses routes all originate from run outside the Cooks Corner Cafe in the town center and run close to most accommodations, making it a simple matter to catch them. You can hail the bus to stop from anywhere on the main road, and as there are two buses running in opposite directions around the island, you never need to wait more than about 30min for the next to come along.
Clockwise buses depart from Cook’s Corner Terminal on the hour, every hour, from 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday. On Sunday the Clockwise Bus runs from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 midday, and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..
There is No Sunday Night bus, and on Public Holidays, buses will run as per the Sunday Timetable.
Anti-clockwise buses depart from Cook’s Corner Terminal at every half past the hour from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Saturday Anti-clockwise buses depart from Cook’s Corner Depot from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m..
Night buses depart from Cook’s Corner Terminal on the hour, every hour, clockwise only, from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
There is no anti-clockwise night bus.
Cook’s Island Bus Passenger Transport Ltd can be contacted on 25512, 9am to 4pm or 20349 after hours.
The Cook Islands Taxi Association (CITA) consists of privately owned taxi operators who have partnered together with the aim of improving the standard and delivery of taxi services on Rarotonga. The taxi association strives for excellence and will always do so with a Cook Islands smile and hospitality.
Licensed taxi’s operate under a constitution, code of conduct and carry 3rd party insurance. Taxi services are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The taxi association can be contacted on email at CITA.firstname.lastname@example.org with pre bookings accepted in advance with written confirmations.
Getting to Islands such as Aitutaki is easily arranged with the local airline Air Rarotonga. Flights to southern group islands in particular are frequent and convenient.
Flight Schedules and fares can be viewed or booked on: Air Rarotonga