Discover more about our Cook Islands culture by exploring the local markets on offer. On Saturday mornings, take a trip to the Punanga Nui Markets for local food stalls, drinks, head ei’s, pareu’s and souvenirs (to name a few). The Punanga Nui Market also hosts a night market on Thursdays. There’s also the Muri Night Markets on every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday which is great for local cheap eats and good vibes.
Saturday Morning Market
The Punanga Nui Market in Avarua, Rarotonga's main town, offers free entertainment, fresh food stalls, organic coffee, and authentic souvenirs like pearls, artwork, crafts and hats made of coconut frond. While the market is open until midday, early Saturday morning is the best time to go for locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as homemade treats like poke. Also make sure to head over to the main stage from about 10am to enjoy live music and dancing. The Punanga Nui Market also features a night market on Thursdays from 5pm to 9pm, offering a wide range of cuisine options. Helpful tip - remember to bring your New Zealand Dollars or Cook Islands coins as most vendors are cash only.
Muri Night Markets
The Muri night markets in the Muri Beach Village are a great way to curate your own dinner from the various food trucks, stalls and stands all while mixing and mingling with tourists and locals alike. Open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5pm, the night markets offer a variety of food from local BBQ meals, seafood, fresh drinking coconuts, chicken curries, wok fried noodles, pizza, desserts and more.
A few helpful tips:
- Go early to have the widest selection of food on offer.
- Remember to bring your New Zealand Dollars or Cook Islands coins as stalls are cash only.
- Get to the markets by bus or if you are driving, park just off the road.