The choice is yours, relax and unwind and do nothing, or get out and try the various activities on offer.
An Island Night is a must, with Cook Islands dancing and drumming, and umu kai (traditional island feast). There are island nights every night of the week at various venues such as hotels, restaurants and cultural villages. For a truly amazing cultural experience don’t miss Te Vara Nui Village, in Muri, the most interactive cultural attraction on Rarotonga for their cultural village tour, and/or island buffet show overlooking the floating stage and waterfall garden.
Experience diving off Rarotonga’s waters with one of Rarotonga’s dive companies. If you have never been diving before, there are many professional operators and qualified instructors who can give you expert tuition. You can even sit your certified dive course in Rarotonga. The outer reef area offers a diverse range of diving locations depending on wind and weather.
Divers and snorkellers will enjoy warm inviting temperatures between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius. The amazingly clear waters here give an underwater visibility up to 200 feet, with canyons, caves and wrecks. The most popular places to explore are the Ngatatangiia Swim-through, Matavera Drop off, Mataora Wreck, Papu Canyon, Sand River and Koromiri Coral Garden. Experts rate the reef drop-off as the highlight for divers off Rarotonga. This begins at about 100 feet and plunges down to 12,000 feet -- Rarotonga is an extinct volcano.
Otherwise if you prefer to stay inside the lagoon, Koka Lagoon Cruises popular glass bottom lagoon cruise in Muri lagoon with snorkelling at the spectacular marine reserve area, delicious fish bbq, and coconut tree climbing show, is sure to be a highlight of your stay. Discount rates for Muri Hillside guests.
Muri is one of the most popular swimming spots on the island. The raui (protected) areas offer particularly good snorkelling with an abundance of fish. At Fruits of Rarotonga, about 2km along from Muri is a popular spot, as well as the reserve area beside the Rarotongan Hotel.
Take one of the 4WD tours that take you to up the rugged tracks and steep climbs of Rarotonga’s interior, finishing with a BBQ or umukai. Experience exciting quad bike or buggy jungle tours with Coconut Tours. There are many walks into Rarotonga’s interior with the most popular being the Cross island walk. Guided walks are also available.
Game fishing and deep sea diving are on offer with a number of fishing charter companies. It is not uncommon to see whales (in winter) and other sea life, in addition to fishing for some of the biggest and tastiest fish in the sea.
Humpback whales visit the Cook Islands (especially Rarotonga) from July to October each year, on their migration route north from the Antarctic. They stop here to calve and come right up to the reef which in places is just 10 metres from shore! The very best places to view these magnificent creatures is on the west coast of Rarotonga at Black Rock and on the north coast of Rarotonga at Paradise Inn.