How To Take The Bus: Raro Bus Schedule, Fares & More

All you need to know about taking the bus in Rarotonga. I will be giving you all the information you need to know such as whether you should go clockwise or anti-clockwise, the bus schedule, costs, and what to expect!

If you are just wanting a simple and relaxed holiday then taking the bus in Rarotonga is the perfect transport option for you. Join locals and travelers alike as you journey around this small island together. It never takes too long to get to your destination. So sit back and smell the salty sea breeze.

The island of Rarotonga might not be a large place being 32km around. Though unless you have some damn good running shoes and a sporty spirit you are going to need some sort of vehicle. Now, hiring a car or scooter may not be the best option for you, perhaps you are not comfortable on the roads and don’t want to deal with insurance worries. Well, you better learn how to take the bus in Rarotonga.

Riding the bus is super easy to do and you can’t get lost as the island is a circle, the bus route will eventually take you back to where you started! This guide to taking the bus in Rarotonga has everything you need to know including the Raro bus schedule, fares, buying tickets, and more!

Taking The Bus In Rarotonga: Everything You Need To Know

Why Should You Take The Bus

Taking the bus in Rarotonga is an excellent way to discover the island. It is small enough that the journey doesn’t get uncomfortable and boring. The friendly drivers are also a bonus, always greeting everyone with a big Kia Orana.

Though personally, I think the main drawcard to taking the bus in Rarotonga is that you will really slip into island life. Time here is slower than you’ll experience in busy cities. Everyone is friendly and no one is in a rush. Watch the palm trees swaying in the breeze and listen to the waves crashing on the shore. Feel yourself breathe and relax away from the stresses of reality. Welcome to Rarotonga.

two men walking in rarotonga along palm trees
walking down the back roads in rarotonga to the main circle road to catch the bus

Anti Clockwise or Clockwise

Now before we get into the bus schedule in Rarotonga it is important you understand the anti-clockwise or clockwise concept. Essentially what you need to understand is there is a single main road in Rarotonga. This road is a circle so there are only two ways the bus can travel. This is either anti-clockwise or clockwise.

The majority of the time there will be two buses on the road except for some exclusions which I will cover later. These two buses will be going in opposite directions on a circular road. This makes things super easy for us tourists as it is near impossible to not be able to get to your destination.

Depending on where your accommodation is located on the island in comparison to your destination will determine whether you catch the clockwise or anti-clockwise bus. A ten-minute bus ride will either take ten minutes or fifty minutes, depending on which bus you take! So just make sure you jump on the correct one.

The Raro Bus Schedule

The following are the clockwise, anti-clockwise, and night bus schedule for Rarotonga. The locations listed are the bus stops, sometimes there will be physical shelter there, sometimes not. The time is when the bus departs on the hour.

Public Holidays run as per the Sunday Day Schedule with the night bus running per normal.

There are no buses on Good Friday, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve.

Clockwise Raro Bus Schedule:

Monday to Saturday from 7.00 am until 5.00 pm on the hour. Sundays from 8.00 am until 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm.

Clockwise (location)Time (on the hour)
Cooks Corner00
Trader Jacks01
Paradise Inn02
Tamarind House03
Game Fishing Club03
Club Raro04
Kiikii Motel05
Superbrown 24 Hr Store06
Mount View Lodges06
Love Cafe08
Takitumu School08
Matavera Village Traders09
Tropical Sands10
Sunrise Motel11
Pa’s Palace & Museum12
Avana Waterfront Apartments12
The Mooring Cafe13
Aroko Bungalows13
Kura’s Kabanas13
Sokala Villas/ Manea Beach14
Muri Beach Club Hotel/ Te Vara Nui14
Pacific Resort15
Te Vakaroa Villas15
Muri Beach/Captain Tama’s Cruise16
Muri Beachcomber16
Koka Lagoon Cruise17
Muri Beach Hideaway17
Aremango Guesthouse17
Muri Beach Resort/Nautilus Resort17
Tiana’s/Muri Retreat18
Muri Beach Cottages18
Te Manava Villas18
Rumors of Romance18
Fruits of Rarotonga18
Raina Beach Apartments18
Little Polynesian Resort19
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel20
Royale Takitumu Villas/Kent Hall21
Whitesands Villas21
Bella Beach Bungalows22
Sea Change Villas23
Arapati Villas/Victoria’s Garden24
Palm Grove Lodges25
Moana Sands Beach Villas/Wigmore’s Superstore26
Vaima Steak House26
Wigmore’s Waterfall26
Raro Beach Bach/ Daydreamer Apartments27
Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa30
Lagoon Breeze Villas31
Backpackers International33
Black Pearl of Puaikura33
Aro’a Beachside Inn/Shipwreck34
Tex Mart – Arorangi34
Sunhaven Bungalows35
Rarotonga Backpackers35
Kia Orana Beach Bungalows35
Moana Sunset35
Castaway Resort36
Magic Reef Bungalows36
Are Renga Motel36
Manuia Beach Resort37
Crown Beach Resort38
Tumunu Restaurant39
Edgewater Resort & Spa40
Sunset Resort42
Cooks Oasis/Kikau Hut42
Reefcomber/Black Rock Store42
Black Rock Lookout/Tuoro Cafe42
Rarotonga Golf Club43
Corner Store43
Parliament/Oasis 24hr Store44
Vaiana’s Bar & Bistro44
Rarotonga Airport45
Islander Hotel46
CITC Supermarket48
Palace Takeaway/Sea Salt Takeaway48
Punanganui Market/Reefside Cafe49
Triad Petroleum49

Anti-Clockwise Raro Bus Schedule

Monday to Friday from 8.30 am until 4.30 pm at half past the hour. Saturday from 8.30 am until 1.30 pm.

Anti-Clockwise (Bus Stop Location)Time (on the hour)
Cooks Corner30
Cook Islands Police Station30
Punanganui Market32
Mama’s Cafe32
CITC Supermarket33
Islander Hotel34
Rarotonga Airport35
Vaiana’s Bar & Bistro36
Oasis 24Hr Store36
Corner Store37
Rarotonga Golf Club37
Reef Comber Motel38
Kikau Hut/Cooks Oasis39
Sunset Resort39
Edgewater Resort & Spa40
Crown Beach Resort42
Manuia Beach Resort43
Are Renga Motel/Waterline Café43
Magic Reef Bungalows43
Castaway Resort45
Rarotonga Backpackers46
Sunhaven Beach Bungalows46
Aro’a Beachside Inn/Shipwreck47
Black Pearl of Puaikura48
Backpackers International48
Lagoon Breeze Villas49
Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa50
Daydreamer Apartments52
Wigmore’s Waterfall53
Vaima Steak House53
Wigmore’s Superstore/Moana Sands Beach Villas54
Palm Grove Lodges55
Victoria’s Garden/Arapati Villas55
Turoa Bakery/Saltwater Cafe58
Sea Change Villas58
The Beach Lodge58
Bella Beach Bungalows59
Whitesands Villas59
Royale Takitumu Villas59
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel0
Little Polynesian Resort0
Raina Beach Apartments1
Fruits of Rarotonga2
Rumors of Romance2
Te Manava Villas2
Muri Beach Cottages3
Muri Retreat/Tiana’s3
Muri Beach Resort/Nautilus Resort3
Aremango Guesthouse4
Koka Lagoon Cruise4
Muri Beachcomber4
Muri Beach/Captain Tama’s Cruise5
Te Vakaroa Villas5
Pacific Resort5
Te Vara Nui/ Muri Beach Club Hotel7
Manea Beach Villas7
Sokala Villas/The Navigator8
Kura’s Kabanas8
Aroko Bungalows9
Avana Fishing Club/Avana Passage10
Avana Waterfront Apartments10
Sunrise Beach Bungalows10
Tropical Sands12
Tex Mart-Matavera12
Matavera Village Traders13
Takitumu School13
Love Cafe13
Tradewinds Store13
Manea Foods-Ooa14
Ariana Bungalows/Super Brown Store15
Kiikii Motel16
Club Raro16
Cook Islands Game Fishing Club16
Tamarind House16
Chillies Sports Bar17
Victoria Park/Paradise Inn18
Bamboo Jacks18
Trader Jacks19
Cook Islands Tourism Information Centre19

Night Raro Bus Schedule

The night bus follows the clockwise route. It departs on the hour from 6 pm to 10 pm Monday to Saturday. Be aware there is no night bus on Sundays in Rarotonga.

Night (Clockwise Only) Bus Stop LocationTime (on the hour)
Cooks Corner00
Hidie’s Bar/ Cafe Sala00
Garden Bar/Boogies Burgers01
Trader Jacks02
Rehab/Empire Theatre02
Staircase Restaurant & Bar02
Tahiti Cafe02
Bamboo Jacks02
Paradise Inn03
Chillies Sports Bar03
Tamarind House03
Flying Boat Fish n Chips03
Club Raro04
Super Brown Takeaway06
Manea Foods – O’oa06
The Plantation07
Matavera Village Traders08
Tex Mart – Matavera09
Te Ata Kura Store10
Kia orana Store11
Avana Fishing Club12
La Casita Restaurant14
The Rickshaw Restaurant14
Te Vara Nui Village14
Pacific Resort15
Sails Restaurant16
Aqua Cafe/ Muri Outlet17
Te Manava Villas19
Fruits Of Rarotonga19
Hidden Spirit Cafe & Grill20
The Sands Restaurant20
Turoa Bakery/Lavazza22
The Yellow Hibiscus24
Wigmore’s Super Store25
Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa30
Kaena Restaurant31
Aroa Beachside Inn Shipwreck34
Tex Mart- Arorangi35
Waterline Bar & Grill36
Manuia Beach37
Crown Beach38
Tumunu Restaurant39
Spaghetti House39
Edgewater Resort40
Alberto’s Steak House41
Sunset Resort41
Kikau Hut Restaurant42
Corner Store44
Oasis 24hr Store45
Cafe Jireh45
Aquarius Motel46
Nu Bar46
Palace Takeaways47
Mama’s Cafe47
Drift In cafe48
Raviz Indian Cuisine48
Apii Cafe49
Cafe Ariki49
Robs Charcoal Chicken50

Island Time

Let’s get the first thing first, island time. It is a thing in Rarotonga and the locals love it, including the bus drivers. Though, in saying that they are not going to be too far off the scheduled time. I have even taken buses that came early!

Generally speaking, it is best to be at the bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled departure. Also if your bus is for some reason crazy late, don’t worry, there will be another one going the other direction soon.

palm trees in rarotonga
continuing up the back roads to the main road where you can catch the bus from

Where To Catch The Bus In Rarotonga

There are well over fifty different bus stops depending on which route you are on so you will never be too far away. All major accommodations will often have a bus stop in front of it, as well as popular restaurants. This way you will never have a problem when taking the bus in Rarotonga.

It is very unlikely you will need to walk more than a few meters from your final destination. Just tell the bus driver where you would like to go when you jump on and he will drop you as close as possible.

blue hibiscus mural in rarotonga
sitting at the bus stop in rarotonga outside of the backpackers

How Much Is The Bus In Rarotonga?

Standard Bus Ticket Prices

Adult: one way $5.00NZD / return $8.00NZD Child: one way $3.00NZD / return $4.00NZD

Multi Journey Ticket Prices

Hop on Hop Off: Adult $16.00NZD / family $26.00NZD (two adults & two children) 10 Journey Pass: Adult $30.00NZD / child $19.00 NZD

Where To Stay In Rarotonga

There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in Rarotonga. From small hostels, apartments on the beach, luxury resorts, and everything in between.

Though just be aware that even 5-star resorts in Rarotonga don’t actually look too great so adjust your expectations accordingly. This is an island with limited resources and seems to be a few years behind New Zealand, which is again, a few years behind the rest of Oceania. As a result, rooms can look quite dated, think floral prints from the ’70s, though that’s just the atheistic on the island.

kiikii inn

Kiikii Inn & Suites

Beach front location with affordable bungalows from $105.00 per night.

club raro resort

Club Raro Resort

With standard rooms from $130.00 you can enjoy life on the beach at an affordable price.

sanctuary rarotonga

Sanctuary Rarotonga Resort & Spa

Romantic adults only resort. With rooms from $230.00 per night enjoy luxury in peace.

the rarotogan resort

The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

Set on a private beach this 4 star resort is the perfect getaway from $190.00 per night.


Things To Do While In Rarotonga

One great thing about Rarotonga is that is it basically impossible to get bored during your stay! There is such a wide variety of things to do and beautiful sights you will constantly be out exploring.

Also, for a more extensive list be sure to check out my post on the Best Things To Do In Rarotonga.

Aitutaki Day Tour: If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience definitely think about booking the Aitutaki Day Tour. Though it is pricey, 100% worth it. It still has some of the best beaches I have ever seen.

Cultural Show: A more tame activity is checking out one of the evening cultural shows. These are magnificent insights into the Cook Island culture with extremely impressive performances involving dance and fire. A buffet dinner is also included with both Western and local favorites.

Across Island Hike: One of the most popular things to do is do the Across Island Hike and visit The Needle. This will take you right into the interior of the mountainous island with some amazing ocean views.Raro Buggy Tours: I have always wanted to do the buggy tour as there is such hype so I booked it on my most recent trip. I remember saying at the start to my partner that we must swap halfway so I get some fun. Though when that time came I was enjoying it so much that I was happy to stay a passenger!

Beach Hop: Now you cannot go to Rarotonga and miss out on exploring the incredible ocean life and this can easily be done on a budget, if not for free. Basically, no matter where you are staying on the island the ocean is just a walk away. Do what I did and bring your own snorkel, or hire your own for a few dollars a day. Honestly, you could spend hours exploring the underwater life and corals (pro tip: the best snorkeling spot is Aroa Marine Reserve behind The Rarotongan beach resort or in front of Fruits of Rarotonga)

Swimming With Sea Turtles: No matter what your budget is swimming with sea turtles is one activity I recommend to everyone visiting Rarotonga. This experience will have you swimming alongside these majestic beauties. I did this with Ariki Adventures and cannot recommend this enough. As an alternative, they also offer a lagoon safari which I recently did. This is suitable for all ages and is safe for those who are not the most confident swimmers.

Lagoon cruise: More of a family-friendly activity is the lagoon cruise. There are a couple of companies you can book with, though we went with Koka Lagoon Cruises. It is a perfect way to get into the Cook Island spirit. With plenty of performances, snorkeling, entertainment, and a delicious lunch it is the ideal way to spend half a day.

Quad Biking: If you are a bit of an adrenaline junkie then quad biking is perfect for you! Head right into the inland area and among the jungle. Explore off the beaten track and get some of the best views of the famous needle which stands high over Rarotonga.


All you need to know about taking the bus in Rarotonga. I will be giving you all the information you need to know such as whether you should go clockwise or anti-clockwise, the bus schedule, costs, and what to expect!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

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