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Rarotonga is the most populous of the Cook Islands and is a destination that should be on the bucket list of anyone with a soft spot for picture-perfect beach holidays. Raro, as locals call it, is famous for its picturesque blue lagoons - a haven for travellers looking for a holiday where the main priority is relaxing by the beach.
Cheap flights from Auckland to Rarotonga can be found on Webjet, and travellers can also search through great holiday packages and deals.
What Are The Best Things To Do in Rarotonga?
Visit the Punanga Nui Market
If you find yourself in Rarotonga on a Saturday, make sure to visit the Punanga Nui Market. Sample fresh fruit and have some of the delicious, freshly-squeezed topical punch. However, a tasty and healthy breakfast is not everything the market offers. As well as local produce, the Punanga Nui Market is known for its selection of jewellery made from native black pearls; homemade souvenirs and unique pieces of clothing.
Sightseeing on a Scooter
Don’t limit yourself to sightseeing from inside a car or on foot; jump onto a scooter and discover the island from two wheels. Scooter is one of the local-approved ways of getting around, and renting one is pretty straightforward. Using a scooter to get around can give travellers the opportunity to see parts of the island that are usually off limits to cars and public transport - just make sure you're familiar with your travel insurance policy and its terms about scooter hire before setting off.
Snorkel at the Aro’a Marine Reserve
See a different side of Rarotonga by taking the plunge and exploring its underwater world with a snorkelling excursion. The Aro’a Lagoon Marine Reserve is a top spot on the island for getting up close to hundreds of species of tropical fish. You might also spot an octopus, clam or eel.
When is The Best Time to Visit Rarotonga?
This tropical island welcomes visitors all year round - a perk of having consistently pleasant weather. Temperatures peak in February with an average of 27 degrees Celsius, and the coolest month is August when the mercury averages out at 23 degrees Celsius. Rarotonga is at its most crowded between April and October. So, if you are booking cheap flights for travel in this time, it is wise to anticipate busier beaches and higher accommodation costs. A budget-friendly time to travel from Auckland to Rarotonga is between November and March, the island’s low season.
Travelling to Rarotonga from Auckland
There are around 10 affordable flights from Auckland to Rarotonga each day and all depart from the international terminal. These cheap flights to Rarotonga are operated by airlines including Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar. The best part: you will arrive to your dream vacation quite quickly, because most of the affordable flights from Auckland to Rarotonga last less than four hours! Departing from Auckland Handling nearly 70% of international air traffic in New Zealand, the Auckland Airport (AKL) is not hard to navigate.
Flights are serviced by two terminals – the International and the Domestic Terminal. The two terminals are about 500 metres apart but are well-connected by shuttle buses. Auckland Airport is located about 20 kilometres away from the city centre and it is serviced by several transportation options, including a convenient SkyBus. While a SkyBus serves the wider area of Auckland, there is an additional Express service that departs from Auckland’s CBD. It also operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The price of a one-way ticket is $18NZD.
Parking at Auckland Airport
Auckland Airport makes it easy for drive themselves to the airport, with two great parking options near the airport: an economy and a standard car park. Both offer covered and uncovered parking options and valet services. The economy car park provides a cheaper rate, however it is located a 10-minute walk from the terminals so make sure to allow for extra time when it’s time for your holiday.
Arriving in Rarotonga
The Rarotonga International Airport (RAR) is the main gateway to the Cook Islands for international travellers. The airport is located in the north of Rarotonga, and it’s situated only 3 kilometres away from the downtown area of the island.
Getting to Rarotonga from Rarotonga Airport
Public buses travel the island in two directions: clockwise and counter-clockwise. Choose the appropriate direction in accordance to the location of your accommodation. The buses depart every hour and the airport bus stop is just outside the RSA night club, across the car park from the terminal. A complete trip around the island takes slightly less than an hour. A one-way ticket is $3NZD. Taxis are also available and can be found next to the arrivals area of the airport.