Food and daily needs
Handy hints for the self-contained
For grocery items and fresh local produce, go to the smaller stores around the island or the supermarkets in Avarua. There are also small stallholders selling home-grown fruit and vegetables along the side of the road.
Supplies of local fruit and vegetables are often bountiful
The supermarkets and specialty stores are importing an increasing variety of foodstuffs into Rarotonga, which means there are many choices now for those planning to self-cater. Although prices are generally higher for these imported goods than you will pay at home, the differences are often minimal and we encourage supporting the local businesses.
Supermarkets provide a choice of the familiar and local produce
Te Punanga Nui market is the other place to stock up on fresh produce and local goodies. Saturday is the big market day but there is usually some fresh fruit and vegetables sold here during the week.
Fresh-off-the-boat fish is sold at a couple of outlets on Rarotonga. Depending on the time of year, your choice is likely to include mahimahi, marlin, tuna and broadbill. You can also take home vacuum-packed fish to share with family and friends.
For the gourmet
Foodies will enjoy Rarotonga's delicatessens and their assortment of specialty items including meats, cheeses and pastas from Europe and New Zealand. They also bake their own pastries - perfect for breakfast beside the lagoon.
Locally made bread
These businesses also do in-house catering and prepare gourmet platters and hampers.
We recommend visitors drink bottled water because although the tap water is filtered it can be slightly muddy, especially after heavy rain. Having said this, a lot of the tourist accommodation has extra filter systems and it is fine to drink the tap water. Check with where you are staying.
There are companies bottling UV treated water on the island and a lot of bottle water is sold. To save on those piles of plastic, you can get your water bottles refilled or hire a water cooler for the duration of your stay.
Water bottles can be refilled at the water suppliers and at Wigmore's store in Vaimaanga.
A Reminder: Water is precious here so please use it carefully.
There are four pharmacies on Rarotonga with a broad range of pharmaceuticals, health and beauty products.
Take a break from laundry duties
If you are staying in self-catering accommodation but wanting a break from laundry duties, Snowbird Laundry will wash dry and fold your laundry ready to collect the same day. They also have a dry cleaning service. And if the tropical rain got to your dry washing before you did, then they are happy to just dry it.
Snowbird Laundry has two locations, one in Arorangi and one at Muri.