Can I use my mobile phone there?
Yes. Most mobile phones work on roaming but that can be expensive. It is more economical to buy a local Sim card from Vodafone.
Is free Wifi available?
Free No – Pay Yes. We are a Vodafone Cook Islands hot spot. Service is available anywhere on the property ie inside/outside rooms, by the pool and on the beach. So while you’re hidden away on a south pacific beach you are only a click away from the rest of the world.
Is there a free shuttle service at the airport?
No – but there are buses.
Can I get a taxi at the airport?
Yes. Taxis are available.
Can I get a rental car at the airport?
Yes – but only if you have pre-booked with a rental company. Please be aware: We drive on the left side of the road.
How can I get a rental car or scooter?
We can arrange this for you when you check-in. Please be aware: We drive on the left side of the road and helmets are compulsory when riding a scooter.
Do I need to have a Cook Islands driver’s license?
Not if you hold a current license from your country. You can drive the same class of vehicles with that license. If you wish to ride a scooter and don’t currently hold a motorbike license, you will be required to apply for a Cook Islands ‘visitors scooter license’. This involves a theory and practical test and there is a fee to pay. Helmets are compulsory. Please be aware: We drive on the left side of the road.
Will there be someone to meet us at the airport when we arrive?
Yes – but only if you book our transfers.
Do we need to book transfers?
Yes, if your flight arrives at night between 5pm – 8am you will need to book Sunhaven transfers as reception is not open 24/7. If you arrive during day time between 8am and 5pm you can use any transport.
If my flight arrives during the night, can I access my room?
Yes – but as reception is not open 24/7 you will need to book the night you arrive and also book Sunhaven transfers. Our driver will meet and greet you at the airport and bring you straight to your room. Please note standard check-in time is 4pm. We highly recommend our guests arriving from Los Angeles or Sydney book 6am Early Check–in. You will be very tired from your long flight and might welcome a wee nap before you start your island adventure.
How far is Sunhaven from the airport and how do we get there?
On leaving the airport car park, turn left and continue for approx 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) heading south. We are halfway between the Edgewater Resort and the Rarotongan Resort on the right side (beach side) of the road.
What is your beach like?
We have a lovely soft white coral sand beach which is so deserted that at any time of day you can look left and right, and not see anyone else.
Can I snorkel and swim in front of the property?
Yes you can – however we recommend a better spot 5 minutes walk along the sandy beach.
Do you have kayaks for guests to use?
Yes – we have both single and double kayaks and we provide life vests.
Do we need to bring our own beach towels?
No – we provide one beach towel per guest.
Do we need to bring our own snorkeling gear?
No – unless you prefer to. We provide complimentary snorkeling gear and reef shoes.
Are your bungalows self contained?
Yes. All our rooms our fully self contained with full kitchen facilities.
Do you have 2/3 bedroom bungalows?
No. We only have one bedroom Bungalows and Suites which sleep up to four adults. The Suites are more spacious than the bungalows and most comfortable for four adults.
Can I book one night only?
No. Our minimum stay is 4 nights.
Can I book a specific room number?
We book rooms by category not by room number. If you want to be guaranteed a specific room number there is a $30 per night premium payable for this guarantee. This applies only to rooms 1, 2, 3, 7 & 8. However you can request one of these room numbers and we will try and give you that room if we can – for no extra cost, but no guarantee.
How and when do I have to pay for my room?
Bookings are only confirmed with receipt for payment of 50% deposit. The remaining 50% is due 30 days prior to arrival. We only accept Visa and MasterCard. Alternatively payments can be made by Direct Credit to our bank account. Account details by request.
Should I get travel insurance?
Yes – we highly recommend you have travel insurance as emergency health care is quite expensive for foreigners and
rental vehicle insurance excess is high. It also covers you for cancellation fees in the event you have to cancel your booking.
Are young families permitted to stay at Sunhaven?
No. Sunhaven is an adult only property. We do not accept bookings for babies or children 15 and under.
Is daily breakfast included with the room?
No – but we provide a complimentary arrival fruit breakfast pack for your first morning only. All other meals are your care.
Can I bring food into the Cook Islands?
If you are coming from New Zealand then yes you can. NZ travelers are permitted to bring packaged groceries and frozen meat into the Cook Islands. Honey and fresh fruit & vegetables are strictly prohibited. However if Customs and Agriculture check your bags and don’t like what they find you might loose it. It’s safer to just buy it here. Our supermarkets have everything you will need during your holiday. Remember you must declare any food on your arrival card.
Is the tap water safe to drink?
At Sunhaven YES. Our tap water is multi filtered UV sterilized and 100% safe to drink. Off the property NO.
Is there a safe in the room?
Yes. All rooms have a large laptop capable safe.
Do we need to bring a hair dryer?
No. Just ask for one at reception when you check-in.
Can we store our luggage with you when we check out at 10am?
Yes. Free of charge.
Do you have wedding packages or arrange weddings?
No. But we can connect you to a celebrant or wedding coordinator.
Do you allow couples to get married on your beach?
Yes – but only for our in-house guests. However your wedding guests must be limited to no more than four or five adults (no children) so as to not impact on our other guests privacy. If you do not have any wedding guests then someone here will be happy to be your witness.
Do I need to rent a car or scooter to get around the island or can I walk?
Not unless you are very fit. Rarotonga is 31.6ks (19.6 miles) in circumference so to see the whole island you will need some form of transport. Please be aware: We drive on the left side of the road.
Where is the nearest bus stop and what hours do the buses operate?
Public buses stop at our gate and operate Monday to Saturday 7am – 11 pm. Friday late night bus operates till 2am. Sunday 8am to 12noon & 2pm to 4pm.
Where can I purchase bus tickets?
On the bus. They sell one way, return or 10 x ride concession tickets.
Where is the nearest grocery store to Sunhaven?
Just 3 minutes walk down the road.
Are there any restaurants close to the property?
Yes. There are many very good restaurants within 3ks (2 miles) of Sunhaven. Some are within 1 to 1.5ks (under 1 mile) walking distance. The Pacific Fish & Chips shop is across the road. The Ship Wreck Bar is 5 minutes walk along the beach. So you see you won’t go hungry.
Are tea and coffee making facilities provided?
Yes. We replenish these daily.
Is your café open?
Is there a cafe nearby?
Yes. The very popular Beluga Cafe is just a 5 minutes stroll down the road. Very handy and popular with our guests for breakfast & lunch.
What hours are the shops open?
Monday to Friday shops in Avarua town are open 8am – 4pm.
Saturday 8am – 1pm. CITC supermarket is open to 4pm.
Sunday Avarua town is closed but there are some local stores open around the island. There are two 24/7 service station/mini marts.
What banks are there and what are their hours?
ANZ and BSP are located in down town Avarua and are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm. BSP also opens Saturday 9am to 12noon.
What currency is used in the Cook Islands?
The New Zealand dollar is the official currency. There are also gold coloured Cook Islands $1, $2 & $5 coins and two $3 notes. All of which are legal tender but worthless outside the Cook Islands. Mostly Cook Islands money is taken home by tourists for souvenirs. The $1 coin has a scalloped edge with the “Tangaroa God” on the back while the $2 coin is triangular. The $3 notes, 1 x green and 1 x pink, are believed to be the only $3 notes in the world. The $5 is a dodecagon shape (12 sided) coin featuring Captain Cook’s ship the “Endeavor” on the back. All have Her Majesty the Queen of England on the face. Here’s a little bit of history for you – Prior to 1996 we also had Cook Islands $10, $20 & $50 notes in circulation however our government misbehaved when they printed millions of un-backed dollars to pay public servants Christmas holiday pay. This helped put the Cook Islands into recession in 1996/97.
What credit cards are accepted?
Visa and Mastercard are accepted by most restaurants, shops and activity providers around Rarotonga and Aitutaki and by the majority of hotels and resorts.
Are ATM’s and EFTPOS terminals available?
Yes – the nearest ATM is one kilometre down the road and there are others scattered around Rarotonga and at the International airport arrivals hall. Some hotels and stores provide EFTPOS terminals. There is also a Western Union office in town.
What language is spoken in the Cook Islands?
English is widely spoken. The local language is Cook Islands Maori which is similar to New Zealand Maori.
Is the sea temperature warm enough to swim in during winter?
Yes – it is a lot cooler than summer but most of our guests swim all year round.
How can I experience what Rarotonga has to offer?
It’s easy to get around the island and transport is never a problem when it comes to seeing the sights. You can travel by bus, hire a car, scooter or bicycle or walk and friendly locals are more than happy to give you directions if need be. We also provide you with a map of Rarotonga so you shouldn’t get lost. Taxis are available at all hours. Please note: We drive on the left side of the road.
What off road adventures are there?
There are safari tours and two person quad buggy tours that take you up into the jungle.
I would like to do a cruise. What is available?
There are a couple of glass-bottom boat lagoon cruise operators, and a few deep sea boat cruises. Enjoy a sunset cocktail cruise or go whale watching in season. There is also a reef half submarine that explores outside the reef where you can get up close to an array of tropical marine life – without getting wet. You might even get to see a whale during whale season if you’re lucky?
I would like to do some scuba diving. What is available?
We can arrange this for you when you get here. There are a good number of qualified dive operators who will be happy to take you scuba diving in the deep blue Pacific.
I would like to go game fishing. What is available?
We can arrange this for you when you get here. There are a number of game fishing charter boats you can go out fishing on in the deep blue Pacific. Big Marlin is regularly caught less than 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) from shore.
What is the night life like?
Rarotonga is not big on night life. The outer islands are even less so. There are a couple of night clubs on Rarotonga that cater more for the under 30’s. There are also party buses that do a pub crawl on some nights. For the over 30’s, restaurants and bars would be the place to go. There are also a number of “Island Nights” to go to. Some are held at restaurants but the best “Island Nights” are at Highland Paradise and Te Vara Nui. Friday night nightclubs and bars stay open till 2am Saturday.
How do I get to the other islands?
Air Rarotonga operates regular daily services to Aitutaki and the other southern islands. The northern group of islands is more difficult to reach with only a few flights a week. Passenger/cargo boats are infrequent to any of the islands.
How long can I stay in the Cook Islands?
All visitors can stay for 30 days or 90 days if you’re a New Zealand citizen. You can stay longer but you will need to contact the Department of Immigration in Rarotonga to extend your Visa.
When is the best time to visit the Cook Islands?
It all depends on what you call ‘best’, why you are coming and what you are looking for? People usually want to get out of the cold and follow the sun so it depends a lot on what part of the world you live in? Some come for a wedding or sport. Others come for business purposes. Our winter time is May to October when temperatures range between 22C to 26C (70F to 80F) not bad for winter huh? Most people consider this the best and most popular time to come to the Cook Islands. Expect lower humidity and mostly dry sunny days with the odd shower now and then to keep everything lush and green. This is the high season for Kiwi’s and Australian visitors (getting out of the cold winter) with August and September the busiest months so book early to avoid disappointment. July to September, from your deck, you can watch migrating whales frolicking with their newborn calves just metres over the reef. There are also festivals and sporting events held during July and August. Our summer time is November to April – also known as ‘the wet season’ – when temperatures range between 24C to 31C (75F to 90F). Expect hot sunny mornings, up to 95% humidity and tropical quick afternoon showers (not every day) to cool things down. Two thirds of our annual rainfall falls during summer. Vaka Eiva (international paddling competition) is held every year in November. This is a fantastic event which has grown in competitor numbers over the years it has been running. A must time if you’re into paddling or just as a spectator. The International Triathlon is held in May each year. There can be 50 plus international Tri-athletes plus almost 100 locals competing in this event. Individuals and 3 person teams take part. The Round Rarotonga Road Race (RRRR) is held in September and is the highlight of a week of running events. It is a circumnavigation of the island and very popular with overseas visitors. The week includes a round the island relay and a cross island race which takes you over the mountains of Rarotonga.
Are there any poisonous snakes or spiders?
No. Unlike other tropical destinations the Cook Islands is free of poisonous snakes and spiders.
What medical services are there?
The Rarotonga Hospital is well equipped with New Zealand trained doctors and nurses. A private dentist is also available. Aitutaki has a small public hospital.
Is topless or nude sunbathing acceptable on the beaches?
NO. Nude or topless sunbathing/swimming will cause offense in the Cook Islands.
If we have not answered your question above or you would like more general information about the Cook Islands please contact us here and we will endeavour to give you the answer.