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Avarua

Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia Cook Islands Avarua

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Introduction

Avarua Harbour Rarotonga

Avarua Harbour Rarotonga

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Avarua on Rarotonga is the capital of the Cook Islands and has a total population of around 2,700 inhabitants. It is located in the north of Rarotonga Island. It is the main commercial centre on the islands and apart from some hotels and supermarkets it is a centre for trade and fishing. On Saturday there is a big open market where you can buy some handicrafts as well as your daily needs. The town hasn't got much more to offer, but obviously this is not the place to go when you are visiting the Cook Islands, but the international airport is located here, meaning you will find yourself in or around town for a day or so, before flying to for example Aitutaki.

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Events and Festivals

  • Punanganui Market - Early on Saturday morning is the best time to visit this outdoor market. There are plenty of locally produced arts and crafts, pearls and clothing. The market is a great place to sample some of the local Cook Island dishes, including home baked coconut, rolls and locally caught fish. The market closes at noon.

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Getting There

By Plane

Rarotonga International Airport (RAR) is 3 kilometres west of Avarua. There are only a few airlines flying to the Cook Islands and their routes are subject to change.

By Bus

The bus stop is at Cooks Corner in Avarua and the starting point for the two services. One runs clockwise around the island, the other anti-clockwise.

By Boat

There are no regular boat services to Avarua. Several cruise ships anchor in the Cook Islands each year, visiting Avarua.

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Getting Around

By Car

Hiring a car in Avarua is fairly simple. There are several agencies such as Avis and Budget, but you might prefer to favour a locally owned company which have better prices. As the island is small, the better way to see it is by hiring a scooter. These are widely available in Avarua and around the island. For cars or scooters, you will require a local Cook Islands driving licence. These can be bought from the police station in the town and cost NZ$20 (2009 price).

By Foot

Avarua is a small town and walking is the best option.

By Bike

When in the town, park the bike and walk between the various shops and attractions.

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Eat and Drink

Avarua has plenty of places to eat. Trader Jack's is set right on the water with an bar and restaurant open to the elements. Close by are The Steps bar and for evening meals only, Portifino's.

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Sleep

Although Avarua is the capital of the island, almost all of the accommodation is situated elsewhere on the island. Don't be misled by seeing a P.O. box address in Avarua for accommodation, as the actual location is unlikely to be in the town.

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Keep Connected

Internet

The Telepost office in the centre of Avarua has half a dozen terminals, which can be used in 15 minute time blocks. A couple of the cafes in the town have wireless wi-fi access.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

There are several public telephones outside the Telcom office in the centre of the town. These accept cash for local calls and credit cards for international services. International calls from these public telephones are very expensive.

Post

The Cook Islands Post Office is just off the main street in Avarua and Telepost on the main street both sell postage stamps. Telepost is an agent for courier services.

References

  1. 1 Air Tahiti Website (Sourced:Feb 10, 2011)

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This is version 11. Last edited at 13:08 on Feb 10, 11 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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