The Farmers Market on Rarotonga
Punanga Nui Cultural Markets
It is a hard choice whether to list The Farmers Markets known as the Punanga Nui Cultural Markets, as a place of things to do and see , or list it with the ' cheap eats ' section. Whatever way it really is combination of both.
The Farmers Market is buzzing on Saturday mornings. To enjoy the Punanga Nui Markets like a local, drag yourself out of bed early (7-8am). You'll get to see the mountains of local seasonal produce on offer.
The favourites - passionfruit, mangoes, etc sell out quickly. Ask the friendly locals for advice on the ripest fruit and best eating. If you haven't tried "nu" (the juice of a young coconut) you can pick up a drinking coconut for $1 - great for curing queasy stomachs from the night before.
The Truely Cook Islands dish called Ika Mata which is marinated fish in lime and coconut juice is a must.
Race down to the Lazy Diner a.k.a. the Red Hut for this treat, freshly made each day.
If you like to cook or prepare your own meals ,or just enjoy a side bowl of fresh fruits whilst you are on vacation then the market is a must-visit on a Saturday.
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Get caught up in the music and the bustle of market day that every farmers market is part of. See fruits and vegetables that look so different from back home, enjoy the aromas of curried goat and other exotic dishes that make up market day at the Punanga Nui.
The tropical flowers for sale are stunning - bird of paradise, red ginger, torch ginger and hanging haliconia feature most weeks.
For late risers the Saturday market also has a lot of stalls selling traditional crafts, flower eis (garlands), black pearls and cheap clothing.
Island-style music over the loudspeakers or live entertainment.
You can also pick up a great breakfast from the hot food stalls selling local favourites. Don't miss out on the only hut that sell Real Espresso Coffee six days week. Search for the
The Lazy Diner
a.k.a. The Little Red Hut, you will know why it is calld this when you see it.
Search out a donut or coconut roll - naughty but nice. The tone of the market changes after 10am and you can expect more tourists and less local flavour.
Punanga Nui has just started a special Wednesday market where local women are on hand to showcase their crafts to tourists.
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