For advance information about the country, contact one of the overseas branches of government-operated Cook Islands Tourism Corporation. Ask for its free magazine, Jasons What's On in the Cook Islands, and the color map Jasons Passport Cook Islands.
Be aware that the Tourism Corporation's publications and website list only "accredited" businesses, and the Jasons publications are slanted toward their advertisers.
The time is the same as in Hawaii and Tahiti, two hours behind California and 22 hours behind Fiji and New Zealand. "Cook Islands time" also runs a bit behind "Western tourist's time," so relax and let things happen.
Most banks and government offices are closed on Saturday, although the shops and restaurants in Avarua are usually open until noon. In recent years regulations have been relaxed and many small shops and car rental outlets on Rarotonga are now open on Sunday.
The electric voltage is 240 volts DC, 50 cycles, the same as in New Zealand and Australia. American appliances will require a converter. Plugs with two flat angled prongs are generally used here and you might need an adaptor to recharge your camera battery. On outer islands other than Aitutaki electricity is provided only a few hours a day.
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