Yes, there is a Bluesky Hotspot located at Palm Grove which reaches the common garden areas (restaurant and bar, swimming pool seating area, reception). Prepaid vouchers can be purchased from reception for NZ$5/US$3.50 for 200MB, NZ$10/US$7 for 500MB, NZ$25/US$17.50 for 1.5GB, and NZ$50/US$35 for 3GB. All usage is based on both upload and download. Prepaid vouchers can also be used at any of the hundreds of Bluesky hotspots around Rarotonga and on Aitutaki.
We recommend you download any media to your device prior to arriving to Rarotonga. Internet speeds and costs here do not making streaming a viable option. So, upload your movies and TV shows before you travel!
If you are interested in renting a motorbike during your stay, we have motorbikes onsite available for rental: NZ$22 for 1 day, NZ$20/day for 3-6 days, NZ$17/day for a 7+days. An additional $8 booking fee applies per rental. Please note you are required to have a valid motorbike license in order to rent a motorbike on Rarotonga. If your overseas license does not include a motorbike license, you will need to obtain a Cook Islands motorbike license from the Cook Islands Police Station. Appointments must be made in advance and licensing includes both a written and practical test. All drivers/passengers are required to wear a helmet at all times. A special note: if you have visited Rarotonga before and gotten a motorbike license, bring it with you on your next visit even if it is expired; then you can simply renew your license at the Police Station rather than having to go through all the testing requirements to get a new one!
Our local telephone company, Bluesky, offers a convenient visitor SIM for tourists. The cost is NZ$49 and the price includes 3GB of mobile data, 300 texts to anywhere in the world, and 300 minutes of international calling to almost anywhere in the world. Visitor SIMs can be purchased at the airport upon arrival or from the Bluesky offices in the main township of Avarua. All visitor SIMs are valid for 14 days.
In most cases, there is no need to prebook tours before you arrive. Most tours operate on a daily basis and only need to be booked the day before, and our receptionist is happy to book any local tours or excursions for you. However, if there is something you definitely don’t want to miss out on due to availability, just send us a quick email and we’ll be happy to make an advance booking for you.
There seems to be a misconception overseas that food and drink are very expensive on Rarotonga. However, take it from us: in the majority of cases, this isn’t true. As an example, fresh local tuna is NZ$25/kg (approx. US$8/pound) and NZ export quality ribeye is NZ$20/kg (approx. US$7/pound). But bear in mind that heavy perishable refrigerated items like fresh cheese will definitely be more expensive than overseas, due to the additional freight costs involved with importing perishables. We recommend you save the space/weight in your luggage and purchase any foodstuffs locally.
Rarotonga has heaps of cafes and restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes and budgets. For the most part, evening restaurant menu prices would be comparable to New Zealand or Australia – and even cheaper, in some cases. Mid-range restaurants will have main courses for approx. NZ$28 (US$20), with beers for NZ$6 (US$4) and bottles of wine for NZ$35 (US$25). Higher end restaurants will have main courses for approx. NZ$35 (US$25), with beers for NZ$7 (US$5) and bottles of wine for NZ$40 (US$28). There are also less expensive options like the Muri Night Food Markets, available Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sun evenings from 5pm.
If you expect to want a rental car during your visit, we highly recommend you book in advance to secure the lowest rate and to ensure a car is available for you; when the island is busy, most rental companies will run out of available cars. We recommend Island Car and Bike Hire www.islandcarhire.co.ck
Don’t stress. Advance online weather forecasts for Rarotonga almost always show rain. And they’re almost always wrong. There is difficulty with predicting advance weather here, as we are in the middle of nowhere. We wouldn’t recommend you put any stock in forecasts beyond the next 24-48 hours in terms of precipitation. And should you encounter some rain during your visit, there’s still plenty to do and the weather will still be warm!
Anytime! Rarotonga is a year-round warm weather destination, so there’s really not a bad time to visit. However, we do have seasons like anywhere else. You can expect our summer to be very warm and humid, with a higher chance of afternoon thunderstorms; daytime temps average 32/90F. Our winter comes with cooler and less humid weather, and consequently less chance of rain showers; daytime temps average 27C/80F.
Nope, save the room in your luggage. We supply beach towels for all guests, which housekeeping will happily exchange for you daily.
Palm Grove accepts children of all ages, and children age 5 and under stay for free. We are not large enough to offer a kids’ club, but we do have babysitting available in the afternoons/evenings. We have a small paddle pool attached to our children’s pool, and we have a selection of sand toys available from reception. We have highchairs for use at the restaurant as well. If you’re travelling with infant/toddlers, we recommend you visit www.cocotots.com They have a selection of infant/toddler items for rental at very reasonable prices, including prams, car seats, highchairs, and even age-appropriate toy chests. So skip the hassle of lugging everything with you from home!
Rarotonga uses 240V and a 2 (or 3) prong slanted plug, the same as New Zealand and Australia. If you are visiting from a country that uses 110V power, please ensure your device is dual voltage (110/240) or it will not work here without a power convertor. Palm Grove has universal plug adaptors available for purchase. However, we do not have power convertors. But most modern cell phones/tablets/laptops/digital cameras all have dual voltage chargers. If you are unsure whether your device will work here, please email us for clarification.
Yes, all of our bungalows have hairdryers in the bathrooms.
Yes, all of our bungalows have in-room electronic safes. If you are booked to stay at one of our offsite rental houses, these houses do not have safes, but we will happily store your valuables in the office safe at Palm Grove reception.
We use New Zealand currency, and there are also some Cook Islands coins in circulation (equivalent to New Zealand currency, but can only be used in the Cook Islands).
You can opt to bring a small amount of NZ$ with you upon arrival, if you wish. However, most businesses on Rarotonga accept Visa/Mastercard and there are ATMS available at the airport, in town, and several places on Rarotonga including right down the road from Palm Grove. We would recommend for security purposes that you do not travel with more cash than necessary.
No, not entirely. The Cook Islands is quite a religious country and observance of Sundays is more prevalent than you might be used to at home. As a result, all stores in town will close at about midday on Saturday and will not reopen until Monday morning. There will also be quite a few restaurants and some tours that choose not to open/operate on Sundays. However, most small convenience stores around the island will be open on Sundays and some tours and private restaurants will also be open. If you’re arriving on a Sunday or have a question about what you can plan to do on a Sunday during your visit, just send us a quick email and we’ll be happy to make some suggestions.
Our room rates include daily tropical breakfast buffet. The buffet includes 3 types of toast, 4-5 types of fruit, 4-5 types of cereal, banana bread, lemon bread, homemade yogurt, hard boiled eggs, 3 types of juice, coffee, teas, milk, and a variety of jams/spreads. For those that may want a cooked breakfast some mornings, we have a cooked breakfast menu available for an additional charge which includes eggs, omelettes, French toast, pancakes, and sides such as bacon, hash browns, mushrooms, and sausage. Breakfast is served daily 8am to 10am at our onsite restaurant, The Yellow Hibiscus.
Our onsite restaurant, The Yellow Hibiscus, is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The tropical breakfast buffet is included in our room rates and a cooked breakfast menu is available at an additional cost; breakfast is served 8am to 10am. Lunch is served daily 12pm to 2pm. A la carte dinner is served Monday to Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. Sunday evening is our popular BBQ night with choice of steak or fish; bookings are essential. We also offer live music on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Takeaway/room service meals can be ordered during regular restaurant hours only.
While morning and afternoon flights are available, some of the flights to Rarotonga arrive between 10pm and 2am. While our reception is not open 24 hours, our airport transfer driver can meet overnight flights and provide checkin upon arrival to the Palm Grove. Please contact us to book your airport transfers directly with us, whether your arrival is overnight or during reception hours. Overnight flight arrivals are required to book their room at Palm Grove for the night before.