— Rarotonga —

About Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Surrounded by a clear, turquoise blue lagoon, Rarotonga is 32 kilometres in circumference.

The lagoon often extends more than a hundred metres to the reef and then slopes steeply to deep water.

The reef fronts the shore to the north of the island, making the lagoon there unsuitable for swimming and watersports, but to the southeast, particularly around Muri, the lagoon is at its widest and deepest. This part of the island is the most popular with tourists for swimming, snorkelling and boating. Agricultural terraces, flats, and swamps surround the central mountain area.

Rarotonga is the main island of the Cook Islands and caters to almost 90 per cent of the country’s tourist accommodation and offers many activities. The population is approximately 13,000, mostly indigenous Cook Islands Maori and almost half living around Avarua on the north coast. The Maori ancestors landed on the Cook Islands in their magnificent, giant double-hulled canoes that are still proudly part of the traditional way of life. They were guided by their knowledge of the stars and the famous power of Polynesian navigation.

Rarotonga is a small volcanic island with a landmass of only 26 square miles. It is dotted with pretty villages, a friendly atmosphere, lovely mountain views and hiking trails. It has a reputation for excellent snorkelling off the beaches that line most of the coast. Rarotonga enjoys a climate that is warm and sunny all year round.

There is more rain and higher humidity between the summer months of December to March. The high season for tourism is during Christmas when New Zealanders and Australians visit during their summer school holidays.

Tradition and a cultural heritage are trademarks of the island. Music is an integral part of the culture and part of the islander’s daily routine. Stunning chants and hymns emanate from the churches and local string bands use a combination of electronic and traditional ukuleles made from coconut shells to entertain. Visitors will often be invited to join with the hip-swaying dancers when the music begins. Fishing, paddling, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling and swimming are just some of the activities that abound in this tropical paradise. If you feel like more adventure, take a trip into the hinterland and experience the unique flora and fauna of the lush rainforests. Take time to listen to the legends of ancient wars and love affairs that stretch far back into an almost forgotten time.

Getting around Rarotonga is easy. With no traffic lights to be seen, relax and meander on a bus around the island. Buses uniquely travel both clockwise and anticlockwise on the road that circles the island and obliging drivers will pick-up and drop-off at will. Scooters are also a popular mode of transport.
While nurturing its culture and tradition with sensitivity and pride, Rarotonga is also very much part of the present and offers everything today’s visitors expect. Experience Rarotonga and you will not be disappointed.

Where to Stay

Sanctuary Rarotonga – On The Beach Adult Only
Where the ocean meets the sky, here you have found Sanctuary. Immerse yourself in paradise at Rarotonga’s absolute beachfront, adults-only resort. Step from your suite onto the white sands of Aroa Beach, swim i... View More »
Crown Beach Resort & Spa
Set amidst five acres of lush tropical gardens punctuated by streams and waterfalls, Crown Beach Resort & Spa promises luxury and romance for those seeking a private, heavenly escape. Built in harmony with nature... View More »
The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium
Experience Rarotonga’s best snorkelling at the Cook Islands’ iconic resort. Immerse yourself in paradise at this renowned signature resort set right on Rarotonga’s best white sandy beach, where the crystal ... View More »
Moana Sands Lagoon Resort
Discover your own slice of paradise, where glorious mountain peaks and pristine white sand beaches await. Located on the southern end of world-famous Muri Lagoon, Moana Sands Lagoon Resort welcomes guests aged 18... View More »
Pacific Resort Rarotonga
The island paradise of Rarotonga is legendary for its beauty. Its mountainous peaks are ringed by beautiful beaches and stunning crystal clear lagoons. The most beautiful of these is in Muri, and it is here that Pac... View More »
cook islands rarotonga palm grove patio
Palm Grove
Palm Grove is located in Vaimaanga on Rarotonga’s enchanting south coast. The property has 22 individual bungalows scattered over five acres of landscaped beachfront and lush tropical gardens. Bungalows are ava... View More »
Sunset Resort
Situated on Rarotonga’s sought-after ‘sunset’ coast, the Sunset Resort is located beachfront on a white sand beach next to the stunning ‘bluer than blue’ lagoon, and is set amidst palm trees and lush tropi... View More »
Moana Sands Beachfront Villas & Apartments
Discover the most idyllic tropical setting at Moana Sands Beachfront Villas & Apartments. Moana Sands Beachfront Villas & Apartments are just a short and scenic drive from the airport, in the village of V... View More »
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel
Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel is located on Rarotonga’s stunning southern coast, directly overlooking the idyllic Titikaveka Beach. Here, the 10-kilometre stretch of soft white sand offers the ultimate in relaxa... View More »
Muri Beach Resort
Discover paradise at Muri Beach Resort, where tranquil comfort meets the pristine beauty of Rarotonga’s Muri Lagoon. Nestled on the white sands of Muri Beach, the resort offers a captivating blend of tradition... View More »
Lagoon Breeze Villas
Discover a tropical sanctuary on the south-west coast of Rarotonga, across from the white sands and pristine water of the Aroa Lagoon and Marine Reserve. The beautiful white sandy beach, turquoise lagoon, an abu... View More »
Sokala Villas
In a stunning absolute beachfront location, discover a romantic getaway on the northern shore of Rarotonga’s famous Muri Lagoon. Tropical island getaway Popular with honeymooners, couples and individuals seeki... View More »
Nautilus Resort
Escape to paradise at Nautilus Resort, where the pace of life slows down, and the beauty of Rarotonga unfolds around you. Nautilus Resort’s 17 premium villas, seamlessly blending traditional Polynesian and mode... View More »
Ocean Escape Resort & Spa
Introducing Rarotonga’s newest oceanfront, boutique eco-resort featuring 12 modern apartment-style villas, offering a luxurious adults-only (16+) escape. Each villa has a loft style, king-size bedroom on the up... View More »
Muri Beach Club Hotel
Muri Beach Club Hotel is a boutique, adults-only hotel superbly positioned on the prime part of Muri Beach. With all the trimmings of larger hotels, it boasts one of Rarotonga’s largest pools, a Day Spa offerin... View More »