Here are some tips you may find useful to know before embarking on your journey to Rarotonga.
Language – English is spoken by almost everyone in Rarotonga and Cook Islands Maori is the local language.
Tipping – This is not customary in the Cook Islands and will not be expected of you anywhere.
Beach Towels/Snorkelling Gear – Are provided here at the resort for our in-house guests.
Sunscreen/After Sun/Mosquito Repellent – All are quite expensive to buy here and it is recommended that you bring these with you when you come over.
Swimming – It pays to bring your own reef shoes. This will protect feet from sharp coral and the occasional stonefish lurking about!
Money - Most places take credit cards but smaller places and roadside stalls like cash. ATM's can be found in various places around the island and the closest one to Castaway Resort is about 5 minutes walking distance.
Food/Drink – Supermarket food in Raro is not cheap as much is imported so be sure to pack your favourite food/drink/condiments for a decent amount of money saving while on your trip!
Saturday/Sunday – Avarua (main town centre) shuts down at 2pm on Saturday and doesn't open again until Monday. PLEASE NOTE: Most places on the island will be shut on Sundays as it is customary in Rarotonga to keep Sundays as a day of rest.
Saturday Morning Markets – Fresh produce, local food, local arts and crafts and cultural entertainment all in the one place! It is a great place to stock up on all your fresh fruit and veges and even try some of the local dishes.
Wi-Fi & Cell Service – Our cell phone company (Bluesky) charges up to $10 per megabyte for data in the Cook Islands!! However, you have an option to buy a local sim card preloaded with txt, calling minutes and data (usually $49), or purchase Wi-Fi packages starting from $5. Make sure to turn off all automatic app updates in your settings otherwise those will begin to download once you connect to Wi-Fi and will eat up your wifi/data before you even get a chance to check your email.
Tap Water – While tap water on the island is filtered, it is still recommended that you first boil the water and cool it before drinking it.
Dress Codes – Dress in the island is casual without causing offense; definitely no topless sunbathing and cover up when visiting towns or villages. When packing for your holiday to Rarotonga, bear in mind the tropical temperatures. Even in our winter, the temperature rarely drops below 18˚C.
Transport – Scooters, cars and bicycles are available for hire. Public buses are also running at scheduled times. There are a number of Taxi Services here although more of the phone and book variety and not likely to be seen waiting in public areas for customers.
Riptides, Currents and Passageways - There are a number of open passages in our reef here on Rarotonga. The currents at the mouth of these openings are extremely strong and should not be underestimated or taken lightly even if you are a fairly confident swimmer. Exercise caution and keep away from these areas when swimming at our beaches. If you are within a fair distance of any of these passages and can feel a persistent current coming on, we advise you to move further down the beach away from the opening in the reef as it is a big ocean out there and it may take a while to find you!