Cook Islands’ time is GMT-10 hours, the same time zone as Hawaii. Do your calculation before arrival, as booking accommodation to start a day too early is a common mistake.
Yes. There is good snorkeling and enough lagoon to sit and enjoy the warm waters. We do have coral and at low tide its best to walk about down the beach for deeper waters.
Right across the road can be found Vibe Fish & Chips, a liquor & convenience store, beauty spa & a lively local bar/restaurant. Ten minutes down the beach is the hub of Muri Beach with a night market and lots of food/entertainment/activities for your enjoyment.
Life in the tropics includes free ranging dogs and chickens. While we do our best to keep our property rooster free, every once in a while we do have one make our home his. It is rare though and so our guests enjoy their sleep free of crows & barks.
Anytime between January and December is perfect as the Cook Islands enjoy a pleasant warm and sunny climate all year round. June to August are the cooler months, November to March marks the warmer season, with occasional tropical showers. The drier months, from April to November, average 26°C. The warmer, more humid and damp season is from December to March, with temperatures ranging between 22°C (min) and 30°C (max).
Coming to the Cooks
• Is your Passport up to date? A valid and current passport is required by all travellers to the Cook Islands. Make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity beyond the contemplated stay, in order to enter the country.
• Visitor Entry Permits: On arrival into the Cook Islands, a valid passport and return ticket will allow you a stay of up to 31 days. New Zealand citizens are eligible for a 90-day stay on arrival. You must have accommodation arranged before arrival.
• Getting around on Rarotonga It is very easy to get around using public transport. There are two buses which circle the island hourly; one clockwise the other anti-clockwise. The buses will stop anywhere along the main road. All you have to do is smile and wave them down.
• There are a number of taxi companies.
• Car and motorbikes can be hired (in fact there is a rental company over the road from Muri Beach Cottages). Bicycles can also be hired.
• We drive on the left and the maximum speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour. In villages and near schools it is 30kph.
• International visitors (over 16 years) can drive in the Cook Islands for up to six months using their overseas licence. You will only be allowed to drive the class of motor vehicle that you are entitled to drive in your home country. The overseas licence must be in English or a certified translation provided.
• If you are renting a scooter and if your licence does not show ‘motorbike’ you will need to go to the police station, have a test and get a Cook Islands drivers licence.
We use New Zealand currency and also have some local notes and coins with the same value as the New Zealand money but they can only be used locally. They include a triangular $2, a 12-sided $5 and a scallop-edged $1 coin and a $3 note. Great souvenirs.
There are three banks in town plus many ATMs. EFTPOS is available at most hotels and larger stores.
Western Union has an office in Avarua and in Muri offering money exchange and transfers.
• Muri Beach Cottages has a WiFi hotspot.
• We have local sim cards available for our guests to use. You can top these up at Vodafone in Avarua and at a number of stores around the island.
• (You can purchase a WiFi hotspot voucher from any Vodafone outlet or reseller anywhere in the Cook Islands, and also online at the Vodafone website. Prices range from $5 (expires after 3 days) to $50 (expires after 30 days). Visitor sim cards are also available at $49.)
• There are dozens to choose from. Check the information in the What’s On booklet in the units or on TripAdvisor which gives the distances from Muri Beach Cottages.
• The Night Market in Muri is very popular and has a variety of local and simple meals available for low costs.
There are shops over the road from Muri Beach Cottages. The Avarua town shops are open from 8am to 4pm Mon to Fri and Sat 8am 12. Saturday morning at Punanga Nui market is a must for local food, produce and handicrafts. If you want produce – go early.
Kayaks and snorkeling gear can be rented at a variety of places along Muri Beach. We recommend using protective footwear when in the lagoon, the coral is very sharp. There are stone fish in the lagoon, not many to be sure, but footwear will help protect in the unlikely event you step on one.
I have Tilo (cat) and two dogs, Bella (very timid) and Suki who is shy yet friendly. They love to wander around the property and come visit for a sleep, scratch or pet. If you are not fond of cats or allergic they will leave you alone if you let them know. Please do not feed my pets, nor strays that may either follow you or call around the property.
“The tan lines will fade, but the memories will last forever” – Unknown
“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Sometimes in the waves of change we find our true direction.” – Unknown