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Joni Stone   Meet Joni, one of our travel experts for Cook Islands.

Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for nearly 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

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Rarotonga - Rarotonga.

See thumbnails of all photos for this point of interest.


Rarotonga is the vibrant centre of the Cook Islands and is where government resides. Circular and only 32 km in circumference, it is dominated by high mountain peaks which rise to 653metres from which lush rain forests cascade and provide a dramatic backdrop to a palm-fringed shore. The island is almost completely encircled by a reef, which harbours a lagoon of clear turquoise waters and many inviting white sand beaches. Beyond the reef, the indigo blue of the ocean provides a vivid contrast and a bountiful supply of fish.

There are two main roads on Rarotonga - you can circle the island on the Ara Tapu sealed road, through the villages and past the beaches; or you can take the older inland road, Te Ara o Toi, which winds through fields of taro, pawpaw, bananas and local farmlands.

The motor scooter is a popular, fun way to see the sights, however bikes, cars and jeeps are also available from local rental agencies. The "Island Bus" offers a convenient low cost method of transport, operating regular schedules around the island (in both directions). It will pick you up and set you down anywhere on request.

Avarua is the main town on the island and the commercial centre of the Cook Islands. During business hours, it has a friendly, bustling atmosphere together with a good selection of shops, banks, cafes and visitor facilities.

Avatiu Harbour, a short walk west of central Avarua on the north coast of Rarotonga has a constant stream of activity with private yachts calling in from all parts of the globe, fishing boats diving charters, inter-island freighting and many cruise liners frequenting the port.

Rarotonga's beautiful lagoon is sheltered by the reef that encircles the island. The lagoon offers a host of activities from wind and kite surfing, sailing, snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours. The open sea beyond the reef has great game fishing and diving.

All international flights arrive at Rarotonga Airport situated 4 kilometres from Avarua township. Their are many activities to be enjoyed in Rarotonga on both sea and land from treks into the mountains to historic walks there truly is something for everyone and every age.