Compare Cheap Airfares to Rarotonga, Cook Islands
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What is the history of Rarotonga?
There’s a rich Polynesian history and culture to learn about while holidaying on flights from Queenstown to Rarotonga. The first settlers to the Cook Islands were Polynesian and Maori ancestors, who arrived around 1500 BC. Their civilization thrived for more than 2,000 years, and in 5 AD, some Maori started migrating from the Cook Islands to New Zealand. The first European contact with the Cook Islands occurred in the late 16th century, and the first European settlement was established by Christian missionaries in the early 19th century. The Cook Islands became part of New Zealand in 1901, however officially gained independence in 1965. The Cook Islands maintain a close relationship with New Zealand. Learn more about Rarotonga’s history and culture by visiting attractions like Te Vara Nui Village, Cook Islands National Museum, and Highland Paradise Cultural Centre.
What are the best cafes and restaurants in Rarotonga?
Head to Kikau Hut to try delicious Rarotongan dishes while holidaying on cheap flights to Rarotonga from Queenstown. Dishes here are made with local produce and freshly caught fish – you can even bring in fish that you catch and the chefs will cook it for you! Some things to try include a seafood platter, slow-baked pork ribs, and Polynesian-style curry. Kikau Hut has indoor seating as well as outdoor tables set among tropical gardens. Live music performed by local artists happens on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings.
Beluga is an oceanside cafe located on the west coast of Rarotonga. Popular dishes to order include yellowfin tuna sashimi, pan-fried chilli prawns, and a catch-of-the-day fish cooked in garlic butter. Beluga also serves some Western-style fare, such as eggs benedict and pancakes topped with ice cream and maple syrup. Beluga is adjacent to a nice boutique where you can browse products from local artisans after finishing your meal.
Mooring Fish Cafe
Mooring Fish Cafe is an excellent dining spot for the seafood-lovers travelling on cheap flights from Queenstown to Rarotonga. The small restaurant is located directly on the beach, and diners can tuck into their meal while looking out over the scenic Muri Lagoon. Fresh seafood goes into dishes like sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Options you’ll find on the menu include crumbed mahi mahi with lime mayo, Cajun-spiced seared tuna, and fish and chips.
What is the cost of visiting Rarotonga?
Webjet offers great deals on hotels and rental cars to complement your cheap flights from Queenstown to Rarotonga. The average nightly rate for a hotel room is between $200 to $250 NZD. There are also high-end resorts and budget-friendly options - the latter starts at about $110 NZD per night. Hiring a car is an excellent way to explore Rarotonga and you can book your car with Webjet for rates starting from $60 NZD per day.
Public transport is available if you choose not to hire a car while holidaying on Queenstown to Rarotonga flights. The Rarotonga bus costs $5 NZD for a single ticket and $16 NZD for a day-long hop-on hop-off pass. You may also consider getting around Rarotonga by bike. Bike rentals typically cost around $16 NZD for 24 hours but you might be able to borrow bikes for free from your hotel.
There are plenty of fun water activities to budget for after booking tickets to Rarotonga from Queenstown. It costs about $15 to $20 NZD to hire a paddle board and $10 to $15 NZD for snorkel gear (although these are offered complimentary by some resorts). You can also take a guided snorkelling tour to discover the best spots. Tour prices vary but typically cost somewhere between $95 and $125 NZD for a half-day tour. Learn more about Rarotonga’s Polynesian culture at the Te Vara Nui Village. A tour costs $55 NZD for adults and $35 NZD for kids, and a tour plus a cultural show and dinner costs $135 NZD for adults and $65 NZD for children.
What airlines fly direct from Queenstown to Rarotonga?
No airlines currently offer direct flights from Queenstown to Rarotonga. You can catch a flight with Air New Zealand, which includes a stopover in Auckland.
How long does it take to fly from Queenstown to Rarotonga?
Flight times between Queenstown and Rarotonga International Airport (RAR) start at about seven hours and 40 minutes, including a stopover in Auckland.
When is the best time to fly from Queenstown to Rarotonga?
Winter is the best time to travel on Queenstown to Rarotonga return flights if you'd love to spend plenty of time outdoors without being too hot. Expect highs of about 24°C most days with plenty of sunshine and very little humidity – perfect for hiking, water sports, and other outdoor activities. Note that winter is the high season, so it’s the busiest time of year to travel on Queenstown to Rarotonga flights.
You can avoid the holidaying crowds by booking tickets to Rarotonga from Queenstown for travel outside of the high season. Autumn and spring overlap with the dry season, so you can still comfortably enjoy plenty of time outdoors. Consider booking cheap flights to Rarotonga from Queenstown for a summer holiday if you’re looking to save some money. This is the low season in the Cook Islands and when hotel rates tend to be lowest. Summer gets hot and humid with temperatures hitting about 27°C. There are also tropical rain showers but plenty of sunshine too.