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RAROTONGA AND THE COOK ISLANDS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What kind of money will I need in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands?

The currency used in Rarotonga and in the Cook Islands, is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). The Westpac and ANZ Banks in Avarua are open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 3.00pm. In addition visitors can exchange travellers’ cheques and principal currencies at larger stores and hotels. Banking facilities are also provided at the airport for currency exchange and cashing of travellers’ cheques. They are open for the arrival and departure of all international flights. Major credit cards are accepted throughout Rarotonga, at most shops and restaurants.

Will I be able to use my cell-phone when I’m staying in Rarotonga?

Global roaming is available on the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Can I check my emails and access the internet while I’m in Rarotonga?

Wi-fi internet access is available throughout our Rarotonga resort. Cards can be purchased from reception, and two internet booths are available in the games room.

What type of clothing should I pack for my Rarotongan vacation?

Comfortable and casual attire is the standard at the Edgewater Resort and Spa. The same can be said for most places around Rarotonga, depending on the occasion. Church services call for modest, respectful dressing, and it is not advisable to wear brief attire around towns and villages in Rarotonga or the outer islands. Topless sunbathing is not customary and may offend.

Can I use my Eftpos card when I’m shopping in Rarotonga?

Eftpos facilities are becoming more widespread throughout local Rarotonga businesses and cash advances on major credit cards are accepted. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) are available on Rarotonga and for your convenience an ATM machine is located in reception at Edgewater Resort & Spa. Cards acceptable for cash withdrawals are Visa, MasterCard or any card issued overseas carrying the logos Cirrus, Plus or Maestro.

Will I need to buy a plug adaptor for my devices?

The voltage in the Cook Islands is 240 volts DC/50 cycle, as in Australia and New Zealand, three-pin plugs are used while two-pin adaptors may sometimes be required.

How can I get out and experience more of Rarotonga’s sights?

It's easy to get around Rarotonga and transport is never a problem when it comes to catching the sights of the island. You can travel by a local bus, hire a car, scooter or bicycle and friendly locals are more than happy to provide you with directions, if you need it. Taxis are also available at all hours and it is advisable that you book one to avoid unnecessary delays. Drivers drive on the left side of the road and must have a valid Cook Islands driver's dicense, which can be obtained by presenting your own driver's license at the local police station in Avarua. If you'd like to drive a scooter, you will be required to take a short test at the police station and all drivers must be 21 years old or older. The police station is open from 8.00am to 3.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am to 12.00pm on Saturdays for obtaining your local driver's license. Rental cars, scooters and bicycles are available at the resort and the island buses come directly to reception for your convenience.

What is ‘island time’?

Forget about the clock, you're here on holiday! The relaxed and laidback lifestyle of the Cook Islands means you can take time to enjoy yourself and give in to the stress-free Pacific way. While friendly and efficient guest service is of utmost importance at The Edgewater Resort, Rarotonga, please take into account that things may tend to occur at a slower pace than you're used to in your own daily life.

What is the local language?

The local language is Cook Island Maori, but English is widely spoken and understood.

I love to shop – is there plenty to browse if I’m staying on Rarotonga?

Rarotonga's main shopping centre is only 8km away from our Rarotonga resort, in the Avarua township. There is a selection of souvenir shops, department stores, supermarkets, bars, cafes and restaurants as well as the essential services such as banks, pharmacies, post office and police station. The Black Pearl boutiques in town and around the island are not to be missed and are usually open for business from 9.00am to 4.00pm on weekdays and 9.00am to 12.00pm on Saturdays. For an open-air shopping experience, you can sample tasty local food and stroll through arts and crafts stalls at the Punanga-Nui Market, which is held on the wharf on Saturdays from 6.00am in the morning to around midday. For basic requirements, a convenience store is located on-site.

Do I need to tip?

It is not customary nor is it expected for patrons to tip the service staff in the Cook Islands. However, if you feel that one of our staff has performed exceptionally in helping make your stay enjoyable, please feel free to tip accordingly.

Should I be worried about the native wildlife?

You can rest assured that there are no poisonous or seriously harmful animals or insects in the Cook Islands. The clicking noise in your guest room or Rarotonga villa is only the local moko (gecko), which is completely harmless and feeds on insects. They usually come out in the evenings and are actually a great help in eliminating more bothersome bugs like mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are present but not to a worrying degree and can easily be warded off by wearing insect repellent.

To protect your feet from coral or from standing on a stonefish, it is best to wear reef shoes when wading, reef walking at low tiding or snorkelling. Local stonefish are rare, but they are spiky and can be hard to spot, so it is best to play it safe and avoid a painful injury, by covering your feet.



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