Sleeping in Airports

Rarotonga Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our Rarotonga Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

A great place to sleep. The beauty of Rarotonga Airport is that it has very few flights which makes for easy sleeping. – a traveller

RAR Airport Overview

rarotonga airport guideTo help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Rarotonga International Airport.

What to Expect

Rarotonga Airport (code: RAR) has a small, rustic, open-air terminal. Facilities include three cafes inside the terminal and a few small shops, which all operate according to the day’s flight schedule. A hotel on site also has an eatery. WiFi is available for a fee.

Where to Sleep

Travellers who’ve slept here report that airport staff take no issue with overnight campers, but you’ll want to come prepared for the elements: the terminal is open-air but covered with a roof. Consider using a sleeping bag or even a hammock. For uninterrupted sleep, one hotel is just opposite the terminal entrance. Nearby hotels offer shuttle service for a fee. See the Airport Hotels section below for locations or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.

Covid-19 Update

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours.  Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. We will start updating all of our guides in October 2021.  To help us with this massive update, you can add or update information or write a review and submit photos and airport tips.

For more airport information continue scrolling down to explore more in our Rarotonga Airport Guide.

In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

airport hotelsAirport Hotels

If sleeping in Rarotonga Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • The Islander Hotel – (2 minute walk from the airport) Located across the road from the airport. Roundtrip Airport transfers are available. for NZD 20 per person. » Check Rates
  • The Reef Motel – (4 minutes from the airport) Airport transfers are available. for $17.50 per person, each way or $35 per person roundtrip. Airport pick-up is traditional “ei” flower meet and greet. » Check Rates
  • Sunset Resort – (5 minutes from the airport) Airport transfers can be arranged with a 3rd party provider. » Check Rates

To see more options there is a list of hotels near Rarotonga Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

airport loungeAirport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there is a lounge that you can enter through a lounge membership program (ie. Koru Club). Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Air New Zealand Lounge – Location: Airside, International Departures. Lounge Access: Lounge membership programs.

wifiAirport WiFi/Internet

WiFi is available for a fee at Rarotonga Airport. Connect to the Zenbu or Telecom networks. Access for Zenbu is available by paying online (NZ$ 5 for 50MB), or by purchasing a voucher from the Air Rarotonga office (8:00AM – 6:00PM daily) or check-in counters of Air Rarotonga, Virgin Australia and jetStar (NZ$ 10 for 100MB). Telecom WiFi access cards are available for purchase from various outlets.

airport infoMore Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Location: International Arrivals.

Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Baggage trolleys are available. Rates: unknown.

Duty Free and Shopping – Duty-free shopping is available at the airport as well as a small selection of souvenir type shops.

Food & Drinks – Options are available both landside and airside, with three cafes inside the airport, and three options on airport grounds, including at the airport hotel. Hours are not known but it would seem that none offer 24 hour service. Vending machines are also available.

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Short-term baggage storage is available at The Islander Hotel for a fee of NZD$ 5 per bag. Location: Opposite the airport. For passengers travelling to the outer islands, Air Rarotonga offers short and long-term luggage storage for a fee of NZD$ 5 per bag or NZ$ 10 per item (surf board, etc.). Report to the Air Rarotonga check-in desk during service hours for assistance.

Mobile Charging – At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Showers –  Showers are available in the Air New Zealand Lounge. See Airport Lounges above.

airport hoursAirport Hours

While it appears that this airport is open 24 hours, as of this update, we were unable to confirm airport hours of operation.  If you know the airport hours, click here to update this airport guide.


Rarotonga airport is served by the following airlines: Air New Zealand • Air Rarotonga • Air Tahiti • Jetstar • Virgin Australia.

transportationAirport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Airport Transfers

Raro Tours, Tiare Transport and Natura Holidays offer meet and greet airport transfer service. Contact your service provider of choice for details.


Cook Buses city bus service links the airport to the rest of the island, with departures available every 30 minutes. Buses running clockwise stop at the RSA Club across the road from the airport parking lot, just 70m from Arrivals. Buses running counterclockwise stop by a small tree near the Air New Zealand office.

Car and Scooter Rental

Avis and Polynesian Rentals are available onsite in the Arrivals area. Island Car and Bike Hire is located near the airport parking exit.

Hotel Shuttles

Several area hotels provide airport transportation service to their guests either for a fee or as a courtesy. Here are a few hotels offering airport shuttle service: Club Raro   •   Sunset Resort   •   The Edgewater Resort & Spa   •   The Islander Hotel   •   The Reef Motel.


Taxis are available at the taxi rank located near the Arrivals area.

Last updated: 2021-10-20

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.