The largest of the Cook Islands chain, Rarotonga is a verdant outdoor playground of rugged ridges, volcanic peaks, lush rainforests and white-sand beaches with coastal lagoons and vibrant reefs to explore. If you’re looking for adventure, you can experience all kinds of fun on land and sea in Rarotonga, including paddleboarding, kayaking, trekking and fishing. You’ll also have options for family fun and romantic experiences, such as cultural tours, nightlife, markets and educational experiences. Take a look at ideas for Rarotonga holidays to find inspiration for activities and how to spend your trip with the kids, your partner or on your own.
Best places to stay in Rarotonga for families, couples and solo travellers
From rainforest baches to waterfront bungalows to holiday homes in town, you’ll have a range of options for where to stay in Rarotonga. You’ll find accommodation options for couples, solo adventurers and families, so you’ll have all you need for a memorable and comfortable trip. Find out more about the best places to stay in Rarotonga and your accommodation options.
The Avarua District is the national capital of the Cook Islands and a vibrant district for your stay in Rarotonga. You’ll find a number of things to see and do, such as night markets, excellent dining and historic attractions like the Cook Islands National Museum, a perfect attraction for kids to learn about local history. Avarua District has a diverse range of accommodation options, including hotels, baches and family holiday homes, all over the area to keep you close to all the attractions. You could find everything from budget accommodation to luxury accommodation, ensuring you have all you need for the trip.
Located on Rarotonga’s western coast, the Arorangi District is a great base camp to explore the islands. You’ll find plenty of unique accommodation options in Arorangi District, including waterfront bungalows on white-sand beaches, rainforest holiday homes and high-end hotels. During your stay, you’ll be close to attractions like Black Rock and its marine reserve, Polynesian heritage sites, local art galleries and town markets, so there's something for families and culture-seekers alike
If you’re looking to spend time in the outdoors, the Takitumu District is the best place to book holiday homes. When you book a bach or family holiday home in the jungle of the Takitumu District, you’ll be close to exciting outdoor experiences like white-sand beaches for watersports, snorkelling and diving. You could also stay close to the treks and waterfalls like Wigmore’s Waterfall, perfect for a solo hike or time in nature with the kids. With the natural surroundings at your doorstep, you’ll have more time to spend exploring the landscape and seeing local wildlife.
Things to do in Rarotonga
From watching crab races to watching Maori dances to exploring the reef with a glass-bottom boat tour, you’ll have no shortage of experiences in Rarotonga for the family, couples or solo travellers. Check out the best options for activities and attractions in Rarotonga to you’re your itinerary.
One of the best things to do in Rarotonga is the Rarotonga fishing charters. You can book a charter cruise to travel to the best fishing spots near the island for game fishing. The charters are appropriate for all skill levels and ages, so the whole family can try catching marlin, tuna, sailfish and the occasional shark. You’ll find a lot of other adventures in Rarotonga, such as lagoon cruises, paddleboarding and kayaking on rivers and streams, snorkelling and diving at shipwreck sites and reefs or trekking across the island to see wildlife and stunning natural rock formations.
Nightlife and romance
If you’re planning a romantic trip to Rarotonga, you’ll have a lot of intimate couple’s experiences to choose from. Rarotonga has some of the best nightlife you’ll experience, and you could book a nightclub crawl bus to experience the best spots after dark. You could also shop at the Rarotonga Muri Night Markets to find unique gifts and excellent local produce. Other exciting couple’s experiences include traditional Maori dance performances, coastal treks, swimming in hidden waterfalls and finding secluded beaches to watch the sunset,
Kids will love all the unique experiences you can have in Rarotonga. Kids can try fun wildlife encounters like snorkelling in lagoons with guides to see colourful fish and sea turtles. You could also take a glass-bottom boat tour to see the marine life from the safety of the surface and enjoy cultural experiences like ukulele playing and traditional weaving from the guides. Many accommodation options also offer family-friendly activities like hat weaving classes, organised fish feeding, coconut tree climbing and crab racing.