Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) - Long Layover in Cook Island
Jul 12, 11, 8:20 pm
It looks like we will have about 15-16 hours layover at RAR (from early morning to evening) on Sunday in September.
- Any suggestions for activities ?
- Is there place to store our luggages at the airport?
- Any good eating places ?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
Jul 13, 11, 1:22 am
Good luck! I'm not familiar with RAR, but imagine it is similar to Pago Pago where I was stuck once due to a plane mechanical problem (cargo door could not be shut and new plane had to be flown in from HNL). The terminal was a hut that could hold 10% of the pax, and there were no facilities. The only hotel near the airport was closed for reconstruction (it had been hit by a plane missing the runway a few months earlier). So, it could be worse, but don't expect much in the way of airport facilities.
Jul 13, 11, 4:31 am
Rarotonga is a very small place and you may be hard pressed to fill in 15-16 hours if you are not checking into a hotel but there are a few activities which may interest you.
I visited there a couple of years ago and found the snorkeling spectacular but you may want to book ahead if it interests you. Another popular activity is to hire a scooter and drive around the island.
Here is a link to airport information, including luggage storage -
Tamarind House is popular restaurant which I can personally recommend. I attended a wedding reception there and the food was delicious.
Note that it is open for dinner only on Saturdays and closed Sundays.
If you would like something more casual there is a hole-in-the-wall fish 'n chip joint on a pier in the main town. Two other restaurants worth considering are the Mooring and Trader Jacks.
Hope you enjoy your short stay!
Jul 13, 11, 5:01 pm
I've been to the Cooks twice ... through its been 4-5 years.
Your biggest problem is that many services/businesses will not open on Sunday. There are one or two buses that circle the island once/hour. If operating you could store your luggage and catch a bus into the "big city" of Avarua and/or get off/on the bus, progressing around the island. However, in searching the internets ... I don't see any bus times for Sunday.
If you can make your way to Avarua then there are some minimal shops / restaurants ... but again, not sure how much will be open on Sunday.
Assuming you find a scooter rental shop open, circling the island on a scooter officially requires a Cook Island drivers license. Getting one for a scooter would require you to head to the Cook Island police station for a driving test ... though maybe rental shops could issue a temp license.
Finally, not sure which Sunday in Sept you'll be there, but there's a week long schedule of events Sept 22-28 associated with a road race where participants run around the island .... so if your Sunday is the 25th then things may be interesting.