Visitors Guide P

Pacific Resorts

The Pacific Resort in Rarotonga is located right on beautiful Muri Lagoon with safe blue-green waters spreading across to small uninhabited motus (islands). It has all the facilities you expect from a quality four-star resort. There’s a range of accommodation options and the one bedroom beachfront villas are ideal for couples. Koromiri is one of the motus across the lagoon (you can wade across at low tide) and it’s a perfect spot for a sand-between-the-toes wedding. (More info..)

Its cousin, the Aitutaki Pacific Resort is a stunning property that, while expensive, seems value for money. There has been great attention to detail in furnishings and design for privacy and the service is superb. There’s a swimming pool and poolside bar and a new spa/massage facility. (More info..)

Palm Grove

Palm Grove is a small and charming property on Vaima Beach. There are 10 garden units with a pool and, across the road, 8 beachfront bungalows. The units are fully self-contained and there’s a restaurant on site. The snorkelling and swimming is good here.

Papua Waterfall

Also known as Wigmore’s Waterfall, this is a popular hiking destination, starting from the Vaima area. Of course, you can start at Avatiu but you will have to cross most of the island to get there. Be sure to take insect repellent.

Paradise Cove Bungalows

These are good value 2 star bungalows on the sunset side of Aitutaki. They have light cooking facilities (electric frypans) and are handy to Crusher’s Bar & Restaurant. The main attraction here is the stunning white beach. It’s a good place for that Robinson Crusoe experience with comfort. The only drawback is that the units are a bit close together, but the budget price compensates for this.

Passports

Your passport should have six months validity from your arrival date. If you lose you your passport go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Government Office Building behind the Post Office,

Pearls

See Black Pearls.

Pharmacies

See Chemist.

Population

People give varying numbers for the Cook Island population, probably because so many are transient. Let’s say 14,000 with 9,000 on Rarotonga (5.000 of them in Avarua). Three times as many Cook Islanders reside in New Zealand or Australia where there’s a wider range of employment opportunities. In the past, the local government has tried to manipulate the population statistics to hide a massive exodus to New Zealand caused by an economic crisis in 1996. A tourism boom which began after the civil coup in Fiji in 2000 forced many resorts to import low-wage Fijians to do service jobs most Cook Islanders aren’t willing to do for the kind of money on offer. The Cook Islands Statistics Office has more detailed information available.

Postal Services

The post office in Avarua on Rarotonga will hold general mail for 28 days and doesn’t charge you to pick up letters – which is surprising for a somewhat cash-strapped government. Telepost (CITC Shopping Centre) sells stamps, telephone cards (public phones outside – dial 00 for international access) and has a fax send and receive service as well as Internet access. On Aitutaki the post office is in the Administration Centre and sells phone cards (public phones also outside), has a fax service and sells Aitutaki postage stamps. These can only be used to post letters from Aitutaki and are not accepted on Rarotonga.

Puaikura Reef Lodges

Located on the south western coast  of Rarotonga, just metres from a white sandy beach, Puaikura Reef Lodges are perfect for  families, couples, singles, groups and anyone looking for value accommodation. Set in tropical gardens there are 13 self-contained studio and one-bedroom units.  There is a swimming pool, BBQ and gazebo so it lends itself to mixing with other guests.  Tour bookings are easy at the activities centre next door.

Public Toilets

There are public toilets in Avarua at Cooks Corner, across from the police station and the Punanga Nui Cultural Market.

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