Rarotonga Things To Do
The largest and most populous island in the Cook Islands, Rarotonga is a place of beautiful waters and rich culture. See the magnificent beaches during the day and night or take a hike into the very heart of the island for an unforgettable experience.
One of the island’s loveliest beaches is Muri beach. Muri is on the eastern side of the island. It’s home to shallow waters, a shimmering lagoon and many islands you can explore by kayak. Another popular Rarotonga beach is Aro’a Beach. This is not as crowded as Muri and offers clear waters where you can see shoals of brightly colored fish. For a more secluded spot, head for Turoa and Titikaveka Beaches. These are two beaches are adjacent to a village offering luxurious accommodations and authentic food.
Head Out at Night
While Rarotonga is stunning during the day, in some ways it’s even more spectacular during the evening hours. This is when many nocturnal creatures come out to play. You can take a nighttime tour with a guide or go on your own with a flashlight. Along the way, expect to see creatures such as water snakes, huge hermit crabs, squid and lobster.
Take a Hike
Rarotonga is the only mountainous island in the Cook Islands chain and you can hike through it. The marked trail cuts through the center of the island from north to south. Along the way it passes by the striking Te Rua Manga rock formation and there are signposts, but they are not always well marked. Bring insect repellent and a rain jacket as it often rains here when it’s not raining along the coast.
Explore the Culture
For a look at the local culture, see Highland Paradise. This is an actual village rather than a reproduction. See the Maori culture and speak with archeologists as they help you understand recent findings and artifacts. To explore the present-day culture of the area, head for Avarua harbor. Here you’ll see traditional fishing boats known as vaka. Charter a boat to get on the waters or just buy some of the day’s catch.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about things to do in Rarotonga.