Visitors Guide R

Radio

On Rarotonga 103.3 on the dial will give you Radio KC FM and 630 on the AM dial will give you Radio Cook Islands. This station, along with the Cook Islands Herald and Television Cook Islands is owned by the Pitt family. In other parts of the world this could be considered broaching cross-media ownership laws.

Raemaru (Mount)

Mount Raemaru (340m) is easy to spot – it has a flat top. If you believe the legend, the previous ‘pointy’ top was relocated to Aitutaki by warriors. You can climb to the top for some excellent views but a guide is recommended and the final climb to the summit can be dangerous.

Raina Lagoon Villas

This is a quiet retreat on the west coast of Rarotonga with six self-contained villas (lagoon view and beachfront) with well-equipped kitchens, air-conditioning and garden showers. No children under 12.

Raro Tours

Raro Tours provide a lot of resort transfers and around island tours.

Rarotonga

Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands but is still small (32km around). The interior has dramatic mountains, often covered in clouds. A reef circles the island and there are some lovely white sand beaches on the southern part of the island and Muri Lagoon is stunning. All beaches on Rarotonga are public so don’t feel like you are trespassing on Pacific Resort property at Muri. While it is a ‘tropical paradise’ with lush greenery and swaying palm trees as well as resorts, shopping and nightlife, other islands have even more ‘untouched’ beauty.

Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

The Rarotongan is a large property with all the facilities you would expect from a top resort. There’s an excellent beach (Aroa), a tropical spa and a dive centre opposite (see below). The kids club is excellent and the beachfront suites offer couples privacy and romance. There is a honeymoon bungalow that is almost a resort within the resort offering total privacy and luxury. It is also one of the few South Pacific resorts that is wheelchair accessible. (More info..)

Rarotongan Dive Centre

The Rarotongan Dive Centre is an accredited PADI dive operation that offers introductory dives to dive courses. While owned by the Resort across the road, they service all resorts and have two dives per day and night diving. They have 40 dive sites to choose from, including three wrecks and, because of Rarotonga’s round shape there’s always a calm spot if the weather’s a bit rough. Phone Sheryl or Huw John for a booking on 20 238 or 25 800 (mobile 55 238).

Reef Shoes

While spots like Muri Lagoon (Rarotonga) and One Foot Island (Aitutaki) can give you the warm water and sand-between-the-toes experience, taking a pair of reef shoes is recommended. There may be urchins, stonefish and other marine nasties lurking in parts, coral can cut and there’s no guarantee that someone hasn’t thrown a bottle overboard.

Religion

The Cook Islanders, on the whole, are deeply religious. The majority belongs to the Cook Islands Christian Church that was founded by the London Missionary Society in the 1800’s. There are also Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon and Baha’i churches. Visitors may attend church on Sundays (the locals dress up for church, as should you) but if you only want to sample the wonderful hymn singing, stay outside. If you go inside you will be expected to stay for the whole service. On Rarotonga, visit a branch of the Cook Islands Christian Church. The CICC in Avarua (1853) has Sunday services at 10:00am and the limestone CICC church (1828) in Arutanga on Aitutaki is worth a visit.

Resorts

See Accommodation or individual properties.

Restaurants

See Eating Out.

Rino’s Beach Bungalows

Rino’s offers four apartments in a two storey house and two bungalows beachside close to Aitutaki’s main town of Arutanga. There’s also a three-bedroom house across the street that Rino rents out for $450.00 per week (up to 6 people). It’s a pretty relaxed place.

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