A Guide to Accessing WiFi in the Cook Islands
For those of us who constantly use the internet for work or are addicted to social media, it’s hard to imagine not having access to WiFi. Travellers in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands might be surprised to find, however, that the only WiFi connections they’re likely to find are paid ones all from the same company. While we definitely recommend making more of a connection with nature or with the local culture in the Cook Islands rather than having your nose in your phone, if you absolutely have to access the internet, this guide on where to get WiFi in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands should certainly help!
5 Things You Need to Know About the WiFi in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
Before we get started, here’s a quick overview of a few things you need to know about accessing WiFi in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands:
- Free WiFi is extremely rare in the Cook Islands, even at your accommodation and cafes!
- Be prepared to pay for all the data you use: NZ$10 for around 2.5Gb is the standard
- There is only one internet provider in the Cook Islands, Vodafone Cook Islands, which is also the sole phone network provider
- There are more than 100 WiFi hotspots from Vodafone around the Cook Islands, most of which are around Rarotonga and Aitutaki
- Make sure you switch off WiFi after each browsing session and switch off all auto-updates and restrict background data downloads so that your phone isn’t using up precious Mbs!
Now let’s get into the details about internet and WiFi in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands…
WiFi at Your Accommodation
Free WiFi is certainly not as abundant at Cook Islands’ accommodations as what you might be used to when travelling. Any accommodations that do offer WiFi usually require you to pay for data or to purchase a Vodafone WiFi hotspot voucher (more on that in the section below).
The limited accommodations across the Cook Islands that offer free WiFi to guests include:
- Magic Reef Beachfront Bungalows
- Nautilus Resort
- Muri Beachcomber
- Muri Beach Resort
- Rendezvous Villas
- Atiu Villas.
For more details on each of these accommodations and how much data they offer for free, head over to the 6 Accommodations in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands with Free WiFi.
Cook Islands Vodafone Hotspots and How to Use Them
As Vodafone Cook Islands has a monopoly on phone and internet networks in the Cook Islands, the only public WiFi hotspots available are through them. Luckily, their WiFi hotspot network is extensive across Rarotonga and Aitutaki, where most people visit in the Cook Islands.
How Much Does a WiFi Cost in the Cook Islands?
Standard rates for a WiFi pass for Vodafone’s WiFi hotspots are as follows (note that prices are subject to change):
- NZ$10: 2.5Gb for 7 days
- NZ$20: 5Gb for 10 days
- NZ$30: 7.5Gb for 14 days
- NZ$20: 13Gb for 20 days.
See how these prices compare to using data through a Cook Islands SIM card in The Best SIM Card in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands for Travellers.
Bear in mind that Vodafone Cook Islands often has a “Promo Pass” for their WiFi hotspot passes, so be sure to ask when purchasing your voucher if there are any Promo Passes on at the moment. For example, our Cook Islands Pocket Guide research team used a Promo Pass of NZ$10 for 15GB over 6 days during their last visit.
How to Get a Vodafone WiFi Hotspot Voucher in the Cook Islands?
Vodafone WiFi vouchers are incredibly easy to source, being sold at most supermarkets and convenience stores around Rarotonga and Aitutaki while many accommodations are also resellers.
Simply visit a Vodofone outlet or reseller (they are easy to identify with red “Recharge Here” or “WiFi Hotspot” signs outside) and ask to purchase a Vodafone WiFi voucher. Select the pass you want (not forgetting to ask about Promo Passes) and pay the appropriate fee. You will be given a voucher print-out which gives you instructions on how to get connected. Launch your browser and insert the username and password given on your voucher into to Vodafone WiFi access login page. Note that it is normal for it to take several attempts to work; the website is a bit buggy and some WiFi hotspots can lose connection… Yay, Vodafone.
Vodafone WiFi hotspot vouchers can also be purchased online at vodafone.co.ck/prepay-internet or on the My Vodafone app. The latter of which is compatible with local SIM cards (see The Best SIM Card in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands for Travellers).
Where to Buy a WiFi Voucher on Rarotonga
Vodafone WiFi hotspot vouchers can be purchased from the following locations on Rarotonga, as well as at the Vodafone outlets. Note that resellers are not limited to the ones listed below.
Vodafone Outlets on Rarotonga:
Vodafone outlets are usually open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm. The outlets that most visitors will use are:
- Vodafone head office: Parekura, Avarua, Rarotonga
- Office at the CITC Shopping Centre, Avarua, Rarotonga
- Outside of the arrivals area of Rarotonga International Airport (only open for arrival flights)
- Punanga Nui Market, Avarua, Rarotonga (Saturday morning).
Rarotonga Supermarkets and Convenience Stores with WiFi Vouchers:
- CITC Foodland, Avarua
- CITC Supermarket, Avarua
- The Convenience Store, Avarua
- Super Brown, Tupapa
- KS Enterprise Store, Matavera
- Kia Orana Store, Ngatangiia
- The Convenience Store, Muri
- CITC Kavera Central, Arurangi
- Blackrock Store, Arorangi
- Woo Store, Titikaveka & Arorangi.
Rarotonga Petrol Stations with WiFi Vouchers:
- Super Brown, Nikao
- Triad Panama Petrol Station, Airport
- Pandanus Petrol, Avarua
- CITC Oasis, Airport.
Rarotonga Restaurants and Cafes with WiFi Vouchers:
- Tamarind House Restaurant & Bar, Tupapa
- Raro Fried Chicken, Avarua
- La Casita Cafe, Muri
- RSC Restaurant, Muri
- Vaima Restaurant, Nikao.
Rarotonga Accommodations with WiFi Vouchers:
- KiiKii Motel, Tupapa
- Ikurangi Eco Retreat, Matavera
- Tropical Sands, Matavera
- Aroko Bungalows, Muri
- Muri Beachcomber, Muri
- Moana Sands Villas, Vaimaanga
- Bella’s Beach Bungalow, Titikaveka
- Sea Change Villas, Titikaveka
- Palm Grove, Vaimaanga
- Lagoon Breeze Villas, Arorangi
- Manuia Beach Resort, Arorangi
- Crown Beach Resort, Arorangi
- The Reef Motel, Arorangi
- The Islander Hotel, Airport.
Other Stores in Rarotonga with WiFi Vouchers:
- Vonnia’s Warehouse, Avarua
- Te Ara Museum, Muri
- Inspirations of Rarotonga, Vaimaanga.
Where to Buy a WiFi Voucher in Aitutaki
Vodafone WiFi hotspot vouchers can be purchased from the following locations on Aitutaki, as well as at the Aitutaki Vodafone Store located in the centre of Arutanga.
Aitutaki Convenience Stores, Petrol Stations and Cafes with WiFi Vouchers:
- Neibaa’s Store, Vaipae
- Baxter’s Waterworld, between Arutanga and Vaipae
- TNM Store, Arutanga
- Aquila Store, Amuri
- Spider Petrol Station, opposite the old airport runway
- Koru Cafe, Ootu Beach.
Aitutaki Accommodations with WiFi Vouchers:
Where to Buy WiFi Vouchers in the Cook Islands
If you’re on one of the less-visited outer islands, Vodafone WiFi hotspots are a little harder to come by. They are mostly found in the main village of each island at the island’s one designated Vodafone outlet and/or Island Administration buildings.
Vodafone has outlets on all the islands of the Cook Islands, except Takutea, Manuae, Suwarrow and Nassau. For a full list of Vodafone offices across all of the islands, see Information, Shops & Services in the Cook Islands.
Using WiFi Through the Local Phone Network
Finally, another way you can access the internet in the Cook Islands is to purchase a local SIM card and use mobile data. If you need to make a WiFi hotspot, use WiFi tethering on your phone.
Although the local phone network in the Cook Islands is the same as the network providing the WiFi hotspots, Vodafone Cook Islands, some of their prepaid plans for internet data can be more cost-effective compared to using their WiFi hotspots. What’s more, you will get more coverage and a more reliable internet connection through data roaming compared to trying to get within range of a WiFi hotspot.
We go through all of the prepaid plans and how to make sure your phone works with a local SIM card in our complete guide, The Best SIM Card in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands for Travellers.
More About Accessing Internet and WiFi in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
That’s it for our complete guide on how to get internet and WiFi in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands. For more ways of staying connected while on your travels, check out the following guides:
- Will Your Phone Work in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?
- 5 Best Travel Adapters for the Cook Islands
- Cook Islands Electrical Outlets & Power Plugs
Finally, make sure you know all of the essential tips from the 30 Tips for Travelling in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands and have everything packed using What to Pack for Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: Cook Islands Packing List.