Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki
Cook island


The Cook Islands are a small island nation in the South Pacific with political links to New Zealand. Its 15 islands are scattered over a vast area and the largest island is called Rarotonga.

There is only one mobile provider:

  • Vodafone Cook Islands (formerly BlueSky)

In early 2020 BlueSky rebranded as Vodafone Cook Islands. Anyone with a BlueSky SIM card will be required to get a new SIM card however a fixed date has not been set on the change over of SIM cards and existing sim cards are still working.

The network has 3G and 4G services on the main tourist islands.

  • 2G/GSM is on 900 MHz on all inhabited islands with data up to EDGE speed.
  • 3G/UMTS on 900 MHz on Rarotonga, Aitukaki, Atiu, Mauke and Mitiaro islands.
  • 4G/LTE+ on bands 3 and 28 (1800 and 700 MHz) on Rarotonga and Aitukaki islands.

Few foreign operators offer roaming so far, even fewer offer data roaming and those who do usually offer it at very expensive price. Because Vodafone is the sole operator and all services use the new submarine cable, data rates across the country are expensive. Free WIFI at hotels and tourist locations are almost non existent and it's not uncommon to pay $50 for 2GB data via hotel WIFI (more expensive then the sim card packages below). The only free WIFI hotspot in the entire country is at the Rarotonga International airport arrivals area, providing your name, email and country provides you with 30 minutes free WIFI daily (speed limited to 5 Mbps).

A submarine cable linking the Cook Islands to Samoa and Tahiti has recently been completed and was switched on in mid 2020, as a result data prices have dropped significantly. The provider also uses o3b satellites as a backup however all data on Rarotonga and Aitutaki now uses the new cable.

Vodafone Cook Islands[]


Vodafone by Telecom Cook Islands (until 2019 called BlueSky) remains the only provider on the islands. They started with mobile services back in 2003 (as Telecom), their new brand BlueSky was launched in 2015 and finally in 2020 they rebranded as Vodafone. Typical speed on Rarotonga is 30 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. Ping is 200-250 ms to USA (although this speed/ping was based on the old o3b satellite connection). Backhaul is now through the new submarine cable.


SIM is available from Vodafone shops, no registration needed. Visitors can buy a SIM right in the international arrival area of Rarotonga airport after customs, go to the right after clearing customs. They open with every arriving international flight and close as soon as visitors are gone. There is no longer a shop in baggage claim area. It's sold for NZ$ 25 including NZD 20 credit. There's also a Vodafone shop in Avarua in Avarua shopping center near CITC and Cook's corner open 8am-4pm Mon-Fri and 8:30am-1pm on Saturday. A slightly bigger shop (also known as Vodafone's Head office) is behind Cook's corner about 100 meters inland, 8am-4pm Mon-Fri. On Saturday they are present on the Avarua market. Another Vodafone shop is in touristy Muri district, open 10am-6pm Mon-Fri and 12noon-4pm on Sunday. All shops on Rarotonga are marked on Google Maps, search for "Vodafone". As no registration is needed, independent vendors may also carry SIM-cards but your best bet are the official shops.


  • Top-ups in form of e-charges are sold from NZD 1 at their outlets (list).
  • You can also topup online on their website using PayPal. Simple registration with name and email is required. Name doesn't need to be real but email is verified. This link is available in Vodafone app but it will just redirect you to the link.
  • You can transfer balance from one phone to another by dialing *888# and choosing "Credit transfer". Alternatively you can do it from Vodafone app.

Often they run promos that increase value of top-up. They send SMS with more details to all of their SIMs. These top up bonus credits are unable to be used for the data packs below however they occasionally release mobile data promos purchasable only using main credit.

SIM card and top-up credit is valid for 6 months past any recharge. Check credit by calling *888# and choosing "View balance". Remaining data and balance can also be checked via SMS by sending the word bal to 888.

Data feature packages[]

Data default rate is NZ$ 0.20 per MB. You can add these Value Data Packs:

Package Price Data Validity
24HR$3 NZ$ 3 600 MB 24 hours
3DAY$5 NZ$ 5 1 GB 3 days
7DAY$10 NZ$ 10 2 GB 7 days
14DAY$30 NZ$ 30 6 GB 14 days

The best way to purchase packs is via the myVodafone app otherwise you can dial *888#, choose "Buy bundles" and follow menu options to buy bundles. To check data balance, dial *888# and choose "View balance". When you reach about 90% of your package or it's nearly expired, you can buy a new package. In practice on small packages it's often already used up when you get SMS due to delays in the system. Alternatively both operations are available from the app. Make sure to disable mobile data and 4G before inserting SIM card to avoid being charged at default rate. You need to disable 4G as well as otherwise the system treats 4G as data connection and will take $1 even though no data was consumed. Also in 4G it won't be able to make USSD requests.

"Nite" Data

Thanks to the introduction of the new submarine link cable, Vodafone has introduced four new data packs which are valid between 12AM and 7AM daily. Even though the package is valid for a fixed time you can only use it during the night time hours so keep this in mind when purchasing.

Night Data Time Price
10 GB 24 hours NZ$ 5
20 GB 72 hours NZ$ 10
30 GB 120 hours NZ$ 15
40 GB 120 hours NZ$ 20

Travel SIM[]

In 2017 they introduced a SIM card aimed at tourists called Travel SIM. This SIM card is for 15 days or 28 days only and can't be extended in time. It can be purchased online as an eSIM or in-store as eSIM or physical SIM.

  • $49: 10 GB data, 30 minutes, and 300 SMS both local and to selected international destinations for 15 days
  • $69: 20 GB data, 60 minutes, and 600 SMS both local and to selected international destinations for 28 days

Once the package is used, users can purchase more credit and will be charged standard rates of NZ$ 0.20 per MB, or purchase 1 GB for $10 or 3 GB for $20. Activation of this tourist sim should be done in store however if this does not occur you will need to SMS "3t" to 888. Remaining balances can be checked by sending a text with the word bal to 888.

WiFi Hotspots: Vodafone[]

Vodafone operates around 80 public WiFi hotspots mostly in hotels and restaurants on Rarotonga and Aitutaki that are called Vodafone Hotspot (list of locations). For the arriving passengers there is good coverage in Rarotonga airport which is provided free of charge for the first 30 minutes.

To connect select WiFi, launch your internet browser and it should automatically go to the WiFi login page. If it doesn’t just type in to access the login page. For a Prepaid WiFi voucher just enter the username and password and follow the on-screen instructions. Don't forget to logoff after your session.

You can pay by following options:

  • buy a voucher from Vodafone shop or one of many e-charge resellers.
  • using a prepaid SIM you can dial *888# and choose "Buy Vodafone WiFi" to buy access with your prepaid balance. You can do the same from Vodafone app. You'll get the code by SMS.
  • They have an option to pay with credit cards, but their network doesn't allow access to 3D-secure or Verified by Visa websites without paying.

Following passes are available:

  • NZ$ 10: 2.5 GB for 7 days
  • NZ$ 20: 5 GB for 10 days
  • NZ$ 35: 7.5 GB for 14 days
  • NZ$ 50: 13 GB for 20 days

To check WiFi data consumption, open this page. Often they have promotional packages on weekends and event days. Promo SMS are sent to all phones with their SIMs or announced on their Facebook page. Usually promos are available only at retailers and not through other channels.

More info[]

  • APN: internet
  • Website:
  • Account management menu: dial *888#.
  • Tethering works with Android and unlocked iPhones.