The largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga is home to a diverse landscape of volcanic peaks, lush rainforest, dramatic ridges and pristine shoreline with beaches, lagoons and reefs. Many of the beaches in Rarotonga have white sands and clear, turquoise seas that are perfect for sunbathing, snorkelling and other activities. You’ll also find hiking trails, beach games, boat trips and waterfront nightlife. Best of all, Rarotonga beaches offer something for everyone, from families with small children who need calm, shallow waters to adventurers looking for thrills on the water. If you’re planning a beach trip in New Zealand, take a look at the best beaches in Rarotonga to get ready for your adventure.
Top beaches in Rarotonga
Whether you want water sports, marine adventures, relaxing sunbathing or beach activities with the family, find out all about the best beaches in Rarotonga.
Muri Beach for watersports
Muri Beach is a haven for water sports and outdoor enthusiasts. The beach draws visitors for lagoon cruises, kayaking, paddleboarding, sea safari tours and kitesurfing. You can also sunbathe and swim at Muri Beach. After spending the day by the water, you can visit the bars, restaurants and cafes near the beach for dining, entertainment and waterfront views.
Black Rock Beach for family activities
Black Rock Beach is a picturesque beach with historical and cultural significance to locals. The beach is backed by large basalt rocks that serve as a natural diving platform. Other popular activities include snorkelling, kayaking and kitesurfing. You can have fun on the sand with the kids, and you’ll also find facilities for volleyball, tennis and golf nearby.
Titikaveka for relaxation by the water
Titikaveka is a white-sand beach with turquoise waters. The palm-lined beach is calm and quiet, making it a favourite of beachgoers looking to relax and enjoy the sun. The crystal-clear waters are home to a variety of marine life that you can see up close with snorkelling and diving.
Aroa Beach for marine exploration
If you want to experience the native marine life of Rarotonga, there’s no better place than Aroa Beach. Known as one of the best snorkelling spots on the island, this marine reserve area is sheltered by a coral reef that creates a haven for butterflyfish, sunset wrasses, parrotfish, angelfish and other sea creatures. The calm, quiet waters are ideal for activities like paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkelling. You can take a snorkelling safari with an experienced guide to find the best spots for shy creatures, such as moray eels and octopuses.
Accommodation types in Rarotonga
Rarotonga offers a wide variety of holiday rentals for your beach trip. You can find everything from sprawling holiday homes near the water to quaint and romantic beach bungalows, ensuring that you have exactly what you want for your trip. Take a look at the types of accommodation you can expect to find in Rarotonga.
Family holiday homes
One of the best parts of booking a holiday home in Rarotonga is that you’re never far from the beach. You can book holiday homes in the rainforest to take advantage of the scenic beauty and seclusion, or you can stay close to the sand to spend more time on the beach. Plenty of beachfront holiday homes are available that give you direct access to the water and stunning coastal views. Whether you stay on the beach or close by, holiday homes are fully self-contained and give you all you need for a convenient and comfortable stay with the family. You can book small and cosy holiday homes with space for just a few people, or find sprawling homes with extra bedrooms and bathrooms for the whole family.
Beach cottages and bungalows
Offering cosy spaces with outdoor seating areas and waterfront views, beach cottages and bungalows are the ideal holiday rental for small groups and solo travellers. You can find charming cottages and bungalows near the beach in Rarotonga that put you within steps of the sand, as well as rentals tucked away in the rainforest for more privacy. Ideal for romantic retreats, cottages and bungalows give you all you need for your trip, including linens and a full kitchen. You could also find mid-range beach bungalows that offer extra bedrooms, bathrooms and kids' features like entertainment and toys.