How To Take The Bus In Rarotonga, Cook Islands

cooks transport bus in rarotonga

Taking The Bus In Rarotonga – Everything You Need To Know

The island of Rarotonga might not be a large place being 32km around, but 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 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.

tasha amy waiting for bus in rarotonga

Anti Clockwise or Clockwise?

The majority of the time there will be two buses on the road expect for some exclusions which I will cover later. Two buses going opposite directions on a circular road makes things super easy for us tourist 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.

bus stopped in rarotonga

Important Details

Clockwise Bus Schedule:

Monday to Saturday from 7.00am until 5.00pm on the hour.

Monday to Saturday from 6.00pm until 11.00pm on the hour.

Sundays from 8.00am until 12.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

Anti Clockwise Bus Schedule:

Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 4.30pm on half past the hour.

Saturday from 8.30am until 1.30pm.

There is no Sunday Night Bus.

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 Years Day and New Years Eve.

Where To Stay In Rarotonga?

Find the best hotels in the area

Kiikii Inn & Suites

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


Club Raro Resort

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


Sanctuary Rarotonga Resort & Spa

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


The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

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


Island Time

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

rarotonga on a rainy day

Where To Catch The Bus

There are well over fifty different bus stops depending on which route you are from so you will never be too far away. All major accommodation 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 metres 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.

boy walking down road rarotonga

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

Make sure to check the Bus About Raro website for latest pricing

wet fish and chip shop

Bus Schedule

Click Here for the latest bus schedules for the clockwise, anti clockwise and night route!



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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.

  • about tasha amy sidebar

    Your typical New Zealander, now discovering the world one country at a time. With a high-end backpacking style I prefer to glampack across the globe by embracing the best of each destination. All of which I share right here on Backpackers Wanderlust. 




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