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Your 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:

12 months @ $10.00..
 5 years @ $30.00.
10 years @ $50.00.
These licences for each class of motor vehicle eg: motor cycles, motor car, light or heavy trade, Taxis, Passenger Service
etc expires on the applicantís date of birth. A new driverís licence is issued on the applicant date of birth.

If the applicant was born on 30 November 1986, a renewed licence:
will be issued on the 30th November 2006,
to expire on the 30th November 2007 if for 12 months.
to expire on the 30th November 2011 if for 5 years.
to expire on the 30th November 2016 if for 10 years.

If a licence was issued on the 1st January 2006 for a motor cycle or car for some unknown reasons, that licence will expire on the 30th November 2006 because that is the date of birth of the holder, even though it is less than 12 months. All classes of licence are to expire on date of birth of each applicant or holder.

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.

Drive Safe  

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.

Car | Bike | Public Transport | Taxi's | Transfers

Car Rentals

AVIS Rent-A-Car
Explore Rarotonga in a variety of quality vehicles at unbeatable rates. Cars, jeeps, mini buses, motor bikes or push bikes. Unlimited kilometers. Optional collision damage waiver. Free pickup from hotel/motel. Major credit cards welcome. Contact our friendly staff or book through any AVIS office worldwide.

Main Office Downtown Avarua next to the police station.
Open Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 8am-12noon
Ph: (682) 22 833 or 22 853
Fax: (682) 21 702

Airport OfficeOpen for all international flights.

Rarotonga's leading car rental company.

Main Office (682) 20 895
Budget Rentals (682) 20 892
Edgewater Resort (682) 21 026
Rarotongan Hotel (682) 20 838
After Hours (682) 25 260 or 23 888 or 21 284
Fax(682) 20 888

Rarotonga Rentals
Classic MG sports cars, island jeeps and sedans. Classy wheels for your holiday at the most competitive prices.
Phone (682) 22 326 or after hours (682) 20 126.

Tipani Rentals
Car and bike rentals, opposite the Edgewater Resort.
Phone (682) 21 617 or afterhours (682) 26 458 or fax (682) 25 611.

Bike Rentals

Polynesian Bike Hire
A Yamaha 80cc and 100cc is the easiest way to get around and beat the heat. Call us for the best rates in town. We also hire mountain bicycles. Available from Budget Rentals.

BT Motorbike & Bicycle Hire
Phone: 23 586

Hogan's Rental
Between Egdewater and Rarotongan Resort Hotels. Open 7 days. Cars, motorcycles, mountain bikes.
Phone: (682) 22 632 or Fax: (682) 23 632.

Tara's Rental
Hire a motorbike from this island hut next to Are Mango Hostel.

Vaine's Bicycle Hire
Hire a bicycle on the main road opposite Vara's beach house. Free pick-up and return to accommodation.

Public Transport

Cooks Island Bus
Two buses circle Rarotonga every hour, the clockwise bus on the hour from 7am to 4pm and the anticlockwise bus at 25 past the hour from 8.25am to 4.30pm. Night buses operate from 6pm. Timetables are available from your hotel or your driver. Phone: (682) 25 512


A's Taxi's Phone: (682) 27 012
BK Taxi's Phone: (682) 20 019
JP Taxi's Phone: (682) 26 572
Lazaro Tekii Phone: (682) 20 529
MLT Taxi's Phone: (682) 21 397
Muri Beach Taxi's Phone: (682) 21 625
Ngatangiia Taxi's Phone: (682) 22 238
Parekura Taxi's Phone: (682) 26 490
Pokoinu Cab Phone: (682) 20 529

Airport Transfers

T & A Transport Services
For airport, restaurant & bar transfers.
Phone: (682) 26 490

Hugh Henry Tours
Meet and greet airport transfers.
Phone: (682) 25 320 or 25 321
Fax: (682) 25 420

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