Best buys are woodcarvings, pearls, shell craft, woven products, pottery, and pandanus hats and baskets made out of coconut fibre. Coins and stamps are considered to be valuable collectors' items. Another popular buy is a brightly coloured, all-purpose wrap-around cloth garment worn by both men and women (a Pareu); it's ideal for casual wear in the hot climate. Island Craft (www.islandcraft.com) has a retail outlet in Avarua where hand-carved items can be purchased. The art of carving may be observed in Punanganui Market Place. There is also a wide range of duty-free items.
Mon-Fri 0800-1600, Sat 0800-1200. Some stores in tourist areas remain open for longer.
Nightlife in Cook Islands
Island feast and dance groups feature at major hotels and details are available from local tourist information offices or hotel receptionists.