Rarotonga factsAbout Rarotonga facts
To enjoy an open-air retail event, visit the Punanga Nui Fair, about 1km from the city center, on Saturdays from 6am to 12 noon for traditional dishes, new products, handicrafts, jewelry and shows. TRANSPORT: It's simple to avoid Rarotonga. Fastest way to the city is the counter-clockwise direction, which passes the stop shortly after the full time.
They can wavethe village shuttle down from anywhere. Our Polizeistation is open on workdays from 8.00 to 15.00 and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 12.00. ROUTESAFETY: In many areas we have no hiking trails, so please make sure you stick to the grass-covered roadsides.
Don't take the street, please. ATMs are also available at various sites around Rarotonga with Muri for BSP and ANZs. GOD SERVICES: Nearest nearby is the CICC Ngatangiia, about 2 km along the highway towards the city. HEALTH SERVICES: When you need health care, it is readily available at the Rarotonga Municipal Health Centre, where a variety of health and dentistry treatments are available 24/7.
a name=" 269078">European Contacts
For a long time Rarotonga has been regarded as the Cook Islands' capitol. There are many myths about East Polynesia that speak of the early life of Rarotonga, and there have certainly been frequent contacts between the Isle and the remainder of the South Pacific (especially the Fr. Polynesian Islands). Traditionally, the story tells that the first man to have discovered Rarotonga was Io Tangaroa from Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Isles, now part of Polynesia in France.
About 1400 years ago he came by kayak, but did not remain; he went back to Nuku Hiva and never came back to Rarotonga. However, he recounted the new country to his own folk and his children and grandchildren came to visit it later. Tongaiti, Io Tangaroa's father, gave the name Tumu Te Varovaro (Source of Echo) to the name.
Marquesas colonists and the Society Islands were the first to build a lasting home on the islands, but little is known about this early time in Rarotonga's past; the only true historic anchors are the Ara Metua Strait, also known as Te Ara Nui of To' i (The Great Strait of To' i), somewhere in the Aeneolithic.
Traditionally, the story of the islands begins with the advent of two great warriors, Tangi'ia from Tahiti and Karika from Samoa, who came in vast vaca (deep-sea canoes) and quickly captured the islands and later founded the six peoples of the isle. Conflict and war were widespread among these peoples; humans no longer inhabited the lowland plains as they do today - they were living at higher altitudes where they could better protect themselves, only in groups with weapons for fish.
From Rarotonga, somewhere between 1000 and 1400, Vaca started looking for New Zealand, which had been found around 800 AD by Kupe, an early Polish sailor. Inhabitants of these rafts became the great forefathers of the New Zealand Maori strains; many of the strains still carry the name of the rafts on which the colonists landed (the Tainui and Te Arawa strains, for example).
Rarotonga was one of the later archipelagoes found by the Europeans due to its greatness and historic importance. It is believed that the first Europe sightings were probably from the Bounty rebels, who were looking for a hiding place (preferably as far away as possible) after the Rarotonga rebellion in 1789.
A number of his team members were murdered during the violent clashes, among them Goodenough's escort Ann Butcher (the first lady on the island), and finally the Cumberlands escaped to more secure waters. 1821 Reverend John Williams of the London Mission Society (LMS) went in quest of Rarotonga from Aitutaki, where his student Papeiha, a Ra'iatea based outreach in the Society Islands, had notable achievements in transforming the people of the islands into Christianity.
Over the next few years Williams and his associates hopped around most of the southern group of isles ('Atiu', Mangaia, Ma'uke and Mitiaro), but they never quite found Rarotonga. In the end, an Atiuan Ayriki (high chief), Rongomatane, whose tribe had entered Rarotonga on a number of occasions, gave instructions to the evangelists and ended up in 1823.
For several years Williams was on Rarotonga, supported by Papeiha, Pitman and another of the missionaries Aaron Buzacott, before ending up in a Kannibalenofen on the Vanuatu Isle in 1839. Like Aitutaki, they managed it with astonishing rapidity; more than a year after their advent, Christianity had taken possession of the entire area.
In 1827 the first regular misionaries arrived. Translating the Bible into Maori, they founded the village of Ahorangi as a role models for new towns on the islands; the evangelists wanted to move the new converts to breaking the connection to their old religions. The Rarotonga became the seat of the LMS in the Cook Islands and an important administration and worship city.
Like elsewhere in the Pacific, previously unidentified illnesses took a disastrous toll on the people of the islands, and the populations had more than cut themselves in half within twenty years of the missionaries' arrivals. Even though the evangelists tried to expel other Europeans from the settlement, whaling men and merchants came to the islands - as a missionary's woman complained, men with "some riches and little faith".
They were not able to discourage the merchants and warned the Rarotongans at least of the French who had taken over Tahiti in 1843. In 1865, the French (i.e. Catholic) invitation made the Austrians very nervous and persuaded the top ruler of Ariky, Makea Takau, to ask for Britain's defence for the first of all.
The original application was rejected, but after several other applications the Southern Group was eventually proclaimed the UK Protectionist Council, and Rarotonga became the Cook Islands' informal capitol.