What ever you do in Rarotonga, make sure you catch an ‘Island Night’ at HIGHLAND PARADISE PH 21924 where you can sample Cook Islands dancing, singing and umu kai (food cooked using the traditional underground oven).
Keen walkers & cyclists can do one of the many ECO tours that explore historic sites and show traditional weaving and fire starting methods.
There are 4WD tours that take you into some of the more inaccessible parts of Rarotonga finishing with a BBQ on the beach!
The cross island walk is very popular but it is advised to hire a local guide to point out the wildlife, places of interest and make sure you don’t get lost!
Find out what is happening by checking out the latest events calendar during your visit. Rarotonga has many festivals and events which usually occur around the same time every year.
Rarotonga – a unique location
Rarotonga is the youngest of the Cook Islands southern group. The centre of Rarotonga was once a massive volcano but is now covered in a thick tropical jungle and ringed by tropical reef and lagoon.
Rarotonga is the perfect place to unwind and do nothing – but for the more adventurous, there are plenty of activities on hand.
Under the water
Snorkeling and diving adds yet another dimension to the beauty of Rarotonga. Particularly snorkeling with the turtles. The reef fronts the shore to the north of the island, making the lagoon there less suitable for swimming but to the south east, particularly around Muri, the lagoon is at its widest and deepest (2-3m).
Muri Lagoon offers many tropical fish and coral to view without strong currents and waves. Ask the locals where the best places are. The are a number of dive companies in Rarotonga and can give you all the necessary training to have a safe and enjoyable dive.
On the water
You can go sightseeing by glass bottom boat on Muri Lagoon, or a trip around Rarotonga with amazing views back to the island. Whales often travel close to the reef (between July and November) and can be seen leaping from the water in spectacular fashion.
Kayaking and SUP boarding on Muri Lagoon is a must and your villa has these for guest use, so there’s no need to hire them. Kite boarding as an ever increasingly popular sport on the lagoon and almost as exciting to watch as it is to do. The Rarotonga Sailing Club at Muri Lagoon is very friendly and welcomes all visitors.
Fishing is also a very popular activity in Rarotonga with the action starting as soon as you leave the harbour. Charter operators provide all the gear and expertise to tackle big game fish like tuna, marlin and mahi-mahi.
The geography of Rarotonga
Rarotonga stands 14,750 feet (4,500 meters) above the ocean floor. The island is 20 miles (32 km) in circumference and has an area of 26 square miles (67 km²). At a depth of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), the volcano is nearly 31 miles (50 km) in diameter.
The island is surrounded by a lagoon, which extends several hundred yards (meters) to the reef, which then slopes steeply to deep water.
The interior of the island is dominated by eroded volcanic peaks cloaked in dense vegetation. Sealed and unsealed roads allow access to valleys but the interior of the island remains largely unpopulated due to forbidding terrain and lack of infrastructure.