Anthology of Pacific Music #13:
Shopping hours in Avarua are weekdays 0800-1600, Saturday 0800-1200 only. Supermarkets in Avarua stay open about an hour longer, and small general stores around the island are open as late as 2000 weekdays and also on weekends. The Dive Shop in Mana Court in Avarua sells quality snorkeling gear.
Raro Records, next to Empire Theater, sells Tahitian compact discs and cassettes a third cheaper than what you'd pay in Tahiti! You can get Te Vaka recordings here.
The Philatelic Bureau next to the post office has colorful stamps, first-day covers, and mint sets of local coins and banknotes, which make good souvenirs. In addition to the Cook Islands issues, it also sells stamps of Aitutaki and Penrhyn (valid only for postage on those islands).
Perfumes of Rarotonga at Cook's Corner, Avarua, carries a large selection of natural and noni coconut soaps, floral and premium perfumes, massage and healing oils, perfumed candles, and liqueurs. The Tangaroa candle is an unique souvenir. Most items are hand made at their garden factory in Panama.
The Perfume Factory, on the Ara Metua behind town, sells a variety of coconut oil-based lotions and soaps produced on the premises. It also has coconut coffee liqueur in 750-ml glass bottle not available at the airport duty free.
The Art Studio (closed Sunday), next to Rarotonga Backpackers on Ara Tapu in Arorangi, has attractive paintings by local artists.
Visit Tav's Clothing Factory, on Vakatini Road, for the attractive lightweight clothing and swimsuits screen-printed and sewn on the premises. Special-sized items can be made to measure. Tav's designer garments are in fashion in Australia.
Mareko Island Creations at Mana Court in Avarua has a large selection of brightly colored sarongs and pareus, plus shirts, shorts, and quilts.
Get into style with some bright tropical apparel from Joyce Peyroux Garments, opposite the Are Renga Motel in Arorangi. Joyce Peyroux and other retailers carry beautiful selections of hand-printed dresses, pareus, T-shirts, bikinis, etc.—all locally made.
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