Rarotonga Airport is the most popular point of entry to the Cook Islands. Located three kilometres west of the capital Avarua on the island of Rarotonga, it handles more than 100,000 passengers every year.
A former World War II base, Rarotonga Airport has open to the public since 1974 with regular improvements and expansions to accommodate more passengers and larger aircraft like the Boeing 747. Its most recent refurbishment was completed in 2010.
The airport's single terminal handles domestic flights between the Cook Islands with Air Rarotonga and international flights from around the world. Air New Zealand flies year-round from Auckland, Los Angeles and Sydney with seasonal flights from Christchurch. Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia also fly from Auckland, while Air Tahiti flies from Papeete.
Due to its small size, Rarotonga Airport has limited facilities, but you'll still find many of the essentials you need before or after your flight. Every passenger over the age of 18 has a duty-free allowance up to $750 to spend in the stores, and if you're heading home you can buy souvenirs of your trip. There's also a selection of dining options open during the day.
If you just want to relax while waiting for your flight, you can do so in the Domestic Gate Lounge, International Gate Lounge or Air New Zealand Koru Lounge if you're a premium passenger or Koru Club member.
Getting to Avarua city centre
Cooks Buses travel in a circuit around the island, stopping at Rarotonga Airport every 30 minutes. Whatever distance you're travelling, single tickets cost $3, return trips are $5 and an all-day pass is $10. You can also buy a book of ten tickets or a family day pass for $20.
Taxis charge by the meter, with every kilometre adding around $4 to your fare. A taxi to Avarua should cost $10-$12, while resorts in Aroa and Muri cost around $40. You'll find taxis at the rank outside the arrivals area. Taxi companies include Areiti, Kia Orana and MLT.
Avis and Polynesian Rentals have counters in the arrivals area if you want to hire a car from Rarotonga Airport. More companies can be found outside the airport, including Fun Rentals and Rarotonga Rentals.
It's difficult to get lost on Rarotonga, with a single main road circling the island. To get to Avarua, head east down Ara Metua and turn right onto Nauparatoa Road. The maximum speed limit on the island is 50km/h.
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Please note: all information is correct as of November, 2016.
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