Fun things to do in Cook Islands

  • Things to Do
    by pure1942
  • Things to Do
    by pure1942
  • Things to Do
    by pure1942

Most Viewed Things to Do in Cook Islands

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    Quad-biking on Rarotonga.

    by worldkiwi Updated May 13, 2011

    On my 2011 trip to Rarotonga, my friend and I decided to follow her brother's recommendation to try quad-biking. Coconut Tours, a subsidary of Te Vara Nui Village, in Muri, on the eastern side of Rarotonga, operate a range of motorised vehicle based 'adventure' style activities. Holiday makers can choose from taking a sedate 'safari' tour in the back of a ute (Americans call it a pick-up truck), self drive, two man buggies that look a little like speedway racers, or, as we did, the get-down-and-dirty option of the quad bike riding.
    I have to say, I wouldn't rave about this activity. You kind of get on a noisy, quad, rattle and roll up some nerve wracking and bone shaking trails, plough through some inland streams, drive to the end of the tracks and then drive back. If you like loud, motorised activities, then you might find this more fun than I did. A quiet walk through the green hills of Rarotonga with a chance to actually take a camera and get some pictures, might have been more rewarding. I am glad I can cross this off my list of things to do in life. I've ridden a quad through some pretty rough terrain! Ask for a discount if you also decide to purchase one of the Te Vara Nui Village cultural activities.

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    Experience a cultural show and dinner at Muri.

    by worldkiwi Written May 13, 2011

    In Muri, a new cultural centre has opened. In April 2011, I experienced the excellent dinner and cultural show at Te Vara Nui Village. This proudly family-built centre showcases Cook Islands dancing and cuisine in an impressive purpose built setting. The centre is built around a small lake with a central stage. Diners sit around this for dinner and the show. The views are great, set off by lighting and a very professional set-up. The place is well organised, with booking essential.
    The 'umu' dinner was delicious and memorable. I was instantly made a fan of 'poke' a sweet speciality of the Cook's, served as part of a main course. It complemented the outstanding octopus curry and mutton chops I enjoyed. Surprisingly, lasagne was served, home-made and surprisingly brilliant.
    Following the impressive buffet feast, the show proceeded to showcase the excellence of dancers and musicians. The story line seemed a bit contrived, but the exuberance and skill of all the dancers and drummers made the storyline to the show seem unecessary. Hopefully the pics on this page convey the essence of this place.
    In April 2011, it cost NZ$79 for the dinner and show. During the day, Te Vara Nui also provides another type of cultural experience with their 'Village Tour' - a chance to learn about, and participate in, Cook Islands culture. I totally recommend the night show and dinner, which we did.

    Fire dancer - Te Vara Nui, Rarotonga. Cook Islands dancing, Te Vara Nui, Rarotonga.
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    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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    An alternative to Aitutaki on Rarotonga...

    by worldkiwi Updated May 13, 2011

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    If you can't fit in a trip to Aitutaki, you can experience the next best thing (and in my opinion, it's still a long way off), by spending a day, or staying in accommodation at, Muri Beach on Rarotonga.
    Muri is a lagoon with four islands. The lagoon is situated on the eastern side of the island. There is a lot of backpacker accommodation here, as well as two more expensive hotels. The beach is long and there's plenty of space to set yourself up on for the day. You can hire kayaks, take a reef trip, or snorkel.
    While I was there one day, in 2005, I swam over to Koromiri Island and then to Oneroa Island.
    Because of it's location, Muri Beach and lagoon tend to cop the trade winds and that can make the place a bit blustery sometimes.
    As un update to this, in 2011, I stayed at Muri for five nights, at the fantastic Kura's Kabanas, just north of the main beach. Things hadn't changed much, and Muri is still a delightful base from which to enjoy the paradise that is Rarotonga. I've added some pics to this page from my 2011 visit.

    Muri Beach - Rarotonga, 2011 Beautiful Muri Lagoon - 2005 Muri Lagoon, looking towards Koromiri Island. Muri Beach, Rarotonga, 2011 Muri Beach, Rarotonga, 2011
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    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Kayaking
    • Beaches

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    Aitutaki Marine Research Centre

    by kimchicowboy Written Apr 6, 2007

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    The Aitutaki Marine Research Centre is a small research centre partially funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments. They currently work on giant clam repopulation efforts and house some green sea turtles as well. Max (pictured) is from Manihiki and works there.

    The green sea turtles are available to be picked up by visitors. Nice place to chill and talk with the locals.

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    Enjoy a holiday with the locals

    by kimchicowboy Written Apr 6, 2007

    Although only 1 of these people are real "locals," the rest have been living on the island and are really cool like locals. In my case, we (me and people from Pacific Divers) celebrated St. Patrick's Day at the dive shop and ended the night at The Staircase. Woohoo!

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    • Arts and Culture

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    Go scuba diving!

    by kimchicowboy Written Apr 6, 2007

    I did additional scuba dive training (night diving and underwater digital photography specialties) while in Rarotonga. Most of my diving was done at a site called Edna's Anchor just north from Avarua Harbor. I did my diving with Pacific Divers (located in Muri Beach) and Steve has an excellent dive shop. Highly recommended!

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    • Water Sports
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

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    Get a Polynesian Tattoo

    by kimchicowboy Written Apr 6, 2007

    T's Tattoos is a small shop located next to his home. While I wanted a small, Polynesian tattoo made in the old-fashioned way, he only uses an electric needle and creates large designs that "tell a story."

    T's Tattoos T's Tatt's Shop
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  • Swimming and Getting Around

    by robandken Written Dec 20, 2006

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    IF you plan on swimming, be sure to have coral reef safe shoes as the ocean floor is covered in coral. Also, you have to rent a scooter - it's fun. But do note you'll need to take a test on your motorscooter and obtain a driver licence!

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Watch the fishermen

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 14, 2006

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    At the edge of the reef ...where the waves crash we would see the fishermen with there nets. They would cast out to the deep water and pull in the fish for the evening meal. The waves were often so huge . I wondered how they kept their footing ....somehow they always seemed to.

    Related to:
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    • Fishing
    • Beaches

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    where the departed souls left for the fatherland

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 14, 2006

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    Black rock is a beautiful coastal area a the west side of Rarotonga. It's easy to spot the huge black rock that rises out of the ocean . It was believed that this spot is where soul's leapt off and journeyed to the fatherland. It's a beautiful and peaceful area.

    Related to:
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    • Women's Travel
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    See the flowers

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 13, 2006

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    There are beautiful blooming shrubs and trees wvery where. You could keep busy just taking pictures of the different Hibuscus....so many colours. It is hard to leave it and go back to ice and snow. Here are pictures of a few!!

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Seniors
    • Women's Travel

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    Sat morning market

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 10, 2006

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    IN town there is a markey called Punanga Nui Market. I was a little disappointed in that many of the crafts are the same as in the stores and for the same price. There is good local produce though food and baked goods . Loved the coconut buns. There is music too and good people watching!!

    Related to:
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    • Women's Travel
    • Seniors

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    Kayaking

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 10, 2006

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    Kayaking is fun around Rarotonga. There are four little islands inside the reef that are quite easy to kayak to. Many of the hotels have kayaks available but its also possible to rent them quite cheaply.
    We had fun in a two person one.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Water Sports
    • Kayaking

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    Arai-Te-Tonga Koutu-nui-Ariki

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 10, 2006

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    Located not far from town there are some ruins of a royal court of an ancient reigning High Chief.This would have been the area where tribal feasts were held. There's a 10 foot platform and a stone pillar quite visible . The area is quite overgrown and you have to use your imagination.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Visit CICC Church

    by easterntrekker Written Dec 10, 2006

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    There are several of these churches around the island .The one in Ngatangiia is built with coral and lime .Inside is very plain with beautiful wood and a balcony that goes all the way around . The music on Sunday is worth rising early for.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Women's Travel
    • Music

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Cook Islands Hotels

  • Manuia Beach Boutique Hotel

    PO Box 700, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Etu Moana

    This place is amazing! The service is top notch. The resort is very nice. We were greeted by...

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  • Sea Change Villas

    Main Road, Rarotonga, Titikaveka, Cook Islands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Cook Islands Things to Do

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