So all over the world there's weekly markets of some sort or another, this one is Rarotonga's version. So as long as you keep that in mind, it is a great setting to go searching for both local and tourist'y stalls for both food and stuff. In addition the weekend we went they had performances on the stage from one of the local kid's traditional dance troupes raising funds for a tour. The music and commentary was entertaining, the kids were cute as and they broke up the dance performances with things like 'how to tie a pareo'.
We zipped into town about 08:00 for the once-weekly Saturday morning market, where it seems most of the town comes out and participates. We found some very tasty options for brunch - fruit smoothies, waffles, pork rolls, steak sandwiches. We also browsed and purchased some produce, but surprisingly, the selection of fruit and vegetables that were available on Raro were rather limited, compared to other places in the South Pacific... This poor selection was a little disappointing. All in all the market, while good sized, was a little underwhelming. Everything we had read about it (and the people we had talked to) ahead of time made us expect more. Nonetheless, it was still fun to walk around and see everything that was available
We went to Punanga Nui market twice. The first time it was torrential rain and most of the stalls didn't set up. The second time we slept in and didn't get there until 9 which is great for most of the stalls, however if you want fresh veggies you need to be there at the crack of dawn. The food stalls are great, with variety at a decent price. A lot of the clothing and craft stalls have retail shops in town, so don't expect a bargain as they charge the same at the market.
We did expect, and find, shopping on the island to be limited and a little expensive. But our last stop after a long hot morning walking through the market was Tokerau Jim's Cook Island Art and black pearls. We watched him make the most magnificent detailed designs on shells, and he will even engrave your purchases for free. His prices were exceptional and worth the trip to the market. Other than his booth, there are a lot of black pearls, tie dyed sarongs and clothing made elsewhere. I say go to Maine's (pronounced: Mah-ee-nay) Sarongs in Titikaveka. She not only sells them, but for the same price will let you tie dye your own, guiding you through each step in the process. Spending time with Maine and her beautiful family was much more fun than the market.
Well worth a visit on Saturday morning to get stocked up with fresh produce and have something to eat. The souvenirs are the same as you can get in the shops and didn't appear any cheaper however. The atmosphere was great and clearly well supported by the locals.
Was on a mission to buy black pearl gifts for family members and wasn't disappointed. Managed to get what I wanted for very reasonable prices.
We were told not to miss this Saturday market. It was enjoyable and a nice change of pace. Don't eat breakfast before coming as there are tables and stalls of incredible looking food. There were lots of local arts and crafts. Fabrics, flowers, T-shirts, pearls and souvenirs. It's maybe a couple of blocks long and the island bus drops you off right there.
If you happen to be on the island on a Saturday, check out the Punanga Nui. The place was very busy, and a lot of fun to visit on Saturday. When I was in Rarotonga, the general consensus I heard from a lot of folks was that the market wasn't too busy during the week. I also noticed a lot of decent food options, and a decent blend of both locals and tourists.
I recomend the Punanga Nui Saturday market to everyone visiting Raro. There was heaps to see and buy with lots of local produce and local dishes. Rearly enjoyed this.
Everyone should go to the markets on Saturday morning! The dancing show is great, lots of local produce, great place to wander around and experience Rarotonga time!
I was a bit worried we'd miss the markets because it was raining early in the morning but of course it cleared up and we could go. If you're going to Rarotonga make sure your trip covers a Saturday morning because this place is a real treat. It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be based on the view from the street. There is plenty of entertainment, and a variety of stalls and food. I tried the Cook Islands own coffee, a delicious bacon and egg roll with mushroom sauce, and tried my sons' "potato tornadoes". We also enjoyed waffles with ice cream, Cook Island doughtnuts, coconuts and so on. We also bought the signature dish of the Cooks "ika mata" - raw fish on rice - to take away and that was great. Look out for the fruits, a big bag of passionfruit for only $5. Great fun, nice people, meet the locals!
There is only one place to go on a Saturday morning and its here, but come early before the sun is high in the sky. I was surprised at the amount of different types of food available for breakfast, curry anybody?? There are quite a few stalls selling locally produced clothing, souvenirs etc. This was the only place I spotted where you can buy jaxfruit, sadly I did not try or purchase any. We did try a local produced chicken dish and fruit smoothies.A great place to get your gifts for those at home.Everybody is so friendly and chatty.
The best but sweetest breakfast ever! We had fruit salad, ice cream & chocolate topping on our waffles - what a blast!! Had to go again the following Saturday. They also serve them with bacon & eggs...excellent place.
I don't think we got around half of it!! Bought some beautiful fresh breads and coconuts, along with pareu to take home to family and friends. Will be back next time we visit. Would recommend you get there pretty early, it packs out pretty fast!!
This is a must see and stay for lunch place. The grounds were spectacular with colorful plants and towering trees. The organic cafe is small but they turn out delicious food. We sat in a small Gazebo surrounded by exotic scents and little ponds resided over by ornamental frogs.The service was friendly and speedy. I was a wee bit taken back when the cheesecake cost $16 but on arrival I could see why. It was artfully draped in fresh shredded coconut, glistening slices of pawpaw and creamy icecream...a meal in itself. The open sandwich was fresh, crisp lettuce and delicious chicken. A must to visit.