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Rarotonga...
Flights
You can fly to Rarotonga with Air New Zealand from Auckland, Los Angeles, Fiji and Tahiti. Several flights are available most days of the week.

Currency
Rarotonga uses New Zealand dollars as the primary currency.

Banks
The following banks are available in Rarotonga: ANZ, Westpac and Western Union. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) are available in some areas.

Business Hours
Business hours in Rarotonga are from 8:30 to 4:30, Mon to Friday and 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays.

Telecommunications
Telecom is the major telecommunications provider in the Cook Islands. Internet cafes are available for checking your emails.

The international phone code for the Cook Islands is +682.

The Villas have local phones connected. The phones are toll barred, however local calls are possible. The contact phone number is written on the phones which can be given to family/friends to call inwards as the Villas can receive toll calls. Another good option is to purchase a calling card (a Kia Orana Card) which can be used from the Villa phone to make a toll call.

Mobile phones can be connected through the Kokanet service.

Some important phone numbers are:
• New Zealand Consulate office = 22 201
• British Consulate office = 26 662
• French Consulate office = 20 919
• Police station (Avarua) – 22 499
• Immigration = 29 347
• Information = 29 435

Roads
There is a main road around the perimeter of the island. The maximum speed for this road is 40kmh in the built up villages and towns and 60kmh in the open areas. To drive you are required to obtain a licence from police headquarters in Avarua, which costs $10.

There are two buses that travel the Island constantly (in opposite directions).

Scooters are available for hire and make a great fun, cheap way to travel the Island.

Rental cars are also available for the larger groups or the less adventurous.

Stay Duration
You can stay in Rarotonga for up to 31 days with only the need for a valid passport and a return ticket. Should you wish to stay longer visas can be obtained for extra months (up to a maximum of 3 months).

People
The main culture in the Cook Islands is Cook Islands Maori (Polynesian).

The people are very friendly and easygoing. Music and dance is popular and there are a variety of shows that display the culture to visitors. The main language spoken on the Islands is English as well as Cook Island Maori.

Food
A lot of the food in the Islands is imported from New Zeland. The main local dishes include a “Umakai” which is where food is cooked in an underground oven (similar to the New Zealand Hangi).

Seafood is popular as well as fresh fruits such as pineapples, bananas and pawpaw.

Wildlife
There are no dangerous animals or insects on the Cook Islands

Medical
There are modern hospital services on the Islands with well-trained medical staff.

Doctors and dentists are available 24 hours a day.

Activities
There are a variety of activities available on the Islands, these include:
• Snorkelling
• Canoeing
• Sailing
• Diving
• Lagoon cruises
• Horse riding
• 4WD safaris
• Fishing
• Soccer
• Softball
• Tennis
• Cricket
• Tramping
• Kayaking
• Windsurfing
• Swimming
• Golf
• Squash
• Big Game Fishing
• Softball
• Rugby
• Rugby League
• Bowls

Tipping
It is not customary to tip in the Cook Islands.

Climate
The Cook Islands enjoy a warm climate with plenty of sunshine hours. The cooler months are June and July where the minimum temperature still remains above 15 degrees Celsius. December through March are the warmest months and are also the wettest months.

Light clothing is all that is required for most months although a sweatshirt may be required in the cooler periods.

Electricity
230 volts, 50hz