first transport concern should be how to get from the airport to your accommodation.
All accommodation places will provide some form of transportation, they may pick
you up or, organise for someone like Hugh Henry Tours to transfer you. And if they
don't or, you haven't organised it, then there are vehicle rental offices and taxi's
outside the terminal. The taxi's are vans, so there's lots of room to cart your
luggage and long items like surf boards. They aren't yellow either, as some of you
would normally expect.
It takes about an hour to drive around Rarotonga, and about half a day if you want to brave the elements and walk or cycle around it. There are several bicycle stands around the island, especially around the hotels and backpacker hostels. Some accommodation places provide their own bicycles. Some bicycle stands will pick you up and drop you back at your accommodation if you rent their bicycles. Bicycles are the cheapest form of transportation starting at $10 per day.
As for public transport, the bright yellow Cook buses circle the island in both directions every half hour. The bus fare is $3 per trip. So that you aren't left in a lurch or, hitchiking in the middle of the night, make transportation arrangements for after midnight and Sunday when the buses are not operating. Hitchiking is safe but not something you should make a habit.
If you are going to drive then you need to get a Cook
Islands drivers license. We have three categories when we issue
driverís licence in the Cook Islands as follows:
The roads are very simple to drive on because there is only one main road and one inland road encircling the island. There are no traffic lights, only one roundabout, the speed limit is 40km/hr in the town and inner villages, and 60km/hr in sparsely populated areas. The inland road or, backroad as it's known is very narrow and in most places only wide enough to allow one and a half cars in either direction. It can also be dangerous as there are a lot of corners hidden by foliage, and lots of dips and hills. The trick is to drive slowly around the corners and over the hills.
Avis and Budget franchises have found their way to the heart of the Pacific and along with other local rental companies have an assortment vehicles to rent, like jeeps, vans, cars, motorcycles and bicycles.
Many visitors who come to the Cook Islands have never ridden a motorcycle, but its within most peoples budget, its faster than a bicycle and it gives you a thrill. When you pick up your motorcycle from the rental company, they will explain the ins and outs of working the bike. There are three problems with visitors and motorcycles that you must be aware of. The first is 'dogs'. Dogs roam freely and should one cross the road while you are on it, don't try to dodge the dog because you are likely to get hurt. Trust me, a lot of visitors have ended up meeting the tarseal. Just keep straight ahead and let the dog do the dodging. The second is what is known as the 'Rarotongan tatoo', or muffler burns. Many Cook Islanders have them. If you are not aware of this, the muffler of a motorcycle is mounted on the side of the bike and it gets very hot when you drive it, so be careful getting on and off, and if the bike falls, jump clear. The third is the 'panic attack'. I know its hard to think when you panic, but you must try not to rev the throttle when you are trying to stop, that's what the foot brakes are for. In case of panic, release the throttle and step on the brakes, you don't want to 'kiss the road' now do you.
Don't drink and drive.
Main Office Downtown Avarua next to the police station.
Airport OfficeOpen for all international flights.
Main Office (682) 20 895
Polynesian Bike Hire
BT Motorbike & Bicycle Hire
Vaine's Bicycle Hire
Cooks Island Bus
A's Taxi's Phone: (682) 27 012
T & A Transport Services
Hugh Henry Tours
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