Boasting sparkling white beaches, sapphire lagoon waters and vibrant coral reefs, Rarotonga is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Cook Islands. It also has a rich history and culture, lush forests and exciting attractions, giving you all you could want for a holiday. If you’re planning a family trip, you’ll have a lot to do with kids both young and old for a memorable experience. Whether you like the outdoors or eclectic attractions, take a look at accommodation in Rarotonga for families and find out about activities and attractions for an unforgettable trip.

Accommodation types for family holidays in Rarotonga

From full-service resorts and hotels to quiet rental homes and villas that give you privacy and comfort, you can find a variety of accommodation options in Rarotonga for your family holiday. Take a look at your accommodation options to see what you can expect for your stay.

Family resorts

Family resorts are the best option for both adults and children to have a memorable and luxurious holiday experience. Resorts include a variety of exciting amenities, such as television with satellite service, in-room child care, room service, kids’ activity centres, athletic courts and on-site pools and beach access. For adults, resorts often offer spa services, resort bars and adults-only pool areas. You can also book activities and tours through the resort, such as scuba diving trips and whale-watching cruises.

Family hotels and inns

Hotels and inns are perfect for families who want the convenience of services and on-site amenities. Hotels offer helpful services like room service, housekeeping, on-site dining and pools and fitness centres. If you want to save money on the trip, you can book a budget hotel or inn that offers self-catering with a full kitchen and laundry facilities. You can prepare your own meals and spend some time at the rental so you’ll have the budget to splurge when you go out for dinner or activities. For families looking for relaxation and beach days, an apartment by the water provides beach access, media and entertainment and proximity to practical amenities like a grocer and restaurants.

Family homes and villas

If you prefer to have space and privacy, booking a family home or villa in Rarotonga is the best option. You can find rental homes and villas in the forest, close to town or right on the beach, all with options such as extra bedrooms and bathrooms for the kids. Plenty of home and villa rentals offer convenient amenities for families as well, such as breakfast and other meals, housekeeping, toys and games and outdoor play areas. The Opal Coast cottage is a perfect example of a holiday home that's great for active families. It's not only close to the sea for watersports, but also close to the forest for hiking, biking and wildlife sightings and offers plenty of space for the kids.

Activities for a Rarotonga family holiday

Rarotonga offers numerous activities and attractions for the whole family. From ocean exploration to beach fun and cultural tours, there’s something for everyone in Rarotonga. Take a look at the best activities for families in Rarotonga.

Glass-bottom boat tours

If your kids love wildlife but aren’t ready for diving or snorkelling, a glass-bottom boat tour gives them a chance to see vibrant marine life from the safety of the surface. Several tour operators offer glass-bottom boat tours that depart from an island in the lagoon, which has the added benefit of coconut-tree climbing and other activities for children. Best of all, a glass-bottom boat is a contained environment, so you can leave the kids with one adult while you trade off snorkelling tours.

Island Night

The equivalent of a Hawaiian luau, Island Night on Rarotonga is a cultural experience that provides learning and exploration of Polynesian culture with a fun-filled festival. Complete with amazing local dishes, musical performances, native dances and other cultural experiences, Island Night is fun for the whole family. Plenty of hotels and resorts offer their own Island Night, or you can attend one at another venue.

Cultural museums

Visiting museums with the kids during your trip to Rarotonga is a great way to provide an educational experience and immerse yourself in a new culture. Te Ara – The Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise is a fascinating museum that chronicles the history of the island and migration. You can also visit the Cook Islands Library and Museum, which showcases the Polynesian culture of the islands.