Shopping in The Cook Islands you’ll find an exquisite array of unique handicrafts, jewellery, art and clothing for sale in an excellent choice of retail outlets.
Rito hats are intricately woven from stripped coconut fronds, and the pareu, a colourful fabric printed in a variety of colours and patterns like a sarong. Both are a vital part of everyday life.
Wooden carvings such as clubs, spears, canoes, different drums (pate) and ukulele are popular. The hand-stitched quilts known as tivaevae are highly valued. Like the rest of the Cook Islands, the most romantic souvenir is small but perfectly formed. Manihiki in the north exports cultured black pearls to Rarotonga, where they are set into high fashion jewellery pieces.
There are small stores around the island but the highest concentration of shops is in Avarua. The Saturday morning market is also a great place to shop.