Rarotonga scenic highlights and holiday information. Holiday in beautiful Rarotonga and explore the many beautiful beaches, bays and other scenic attractions on Rarotonga Island. Rarotonga popular attractions include Papua Waterfall, Takuvaine Valley and Avatiu Valley. Rarotonga activities include swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing, whale-watching, cycling, walking, sailing, shopping and, of course, relaxing!

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Rarotonga, Cook IslandsRarotonga - Scenic Highlights

Rarotonga | Regional Information | Activity Highlights | Scenic Highlights | History | Dining

Rarotonga is ideal for weddings, honeymoons, family holidays and group vacations. The white sandy beaches and clear, calm seas are picture-postcard, but of course no photograph can compare to visiting Rarotonga in person.

Rarotonga Scenic Highlights Overview

Image Source: bugbog.com. Beach on Rarotonga
Beach on Rarotonga

Tours around the Rarotonga and the surrounding islands can easily be arranged and guides are friendly, relaxed and knowledgeable. However, Rarotonga is small and easily navigable, so self-exploration is a great way to meet the locals and enjoy the sights, both scenic and historic.

Cook Islands and Rarotonga

Tours options on Rarotonga include a Cultural village tour, guided hikes, self-drive moped or cycling tour, early afternoon aerial or flight seeing tour over the lagoons, beaches, tropical mountains and small islands and micro flight trips around Rarotonga. Other popular tour from Rarotonga is a day cruise to Aitutaki (a long, but very beautiful day experience).

For those staying at Aitutaki, tours are available from the lagoon with a focus on cruising and snorkelling. Atiu is a great eco-tourism destination and offers visitors caving and bird-watching tours.

If you are happy to explore independently, here are a few ideas of where to go and what to do:

Rarotonga Historic Sites

  • Visit the Takamoa Mission House in Avarua, built by missionaries between 1837 and 1842 and believed to be second oldest building in the South Pacific.
  • View Pa's Palace in Takitumu, which is built of coral and lime.
  • Visit the marae, Arai-Te-Tonga which now consist of stone structure which in the islands pre-European history formed a royal court where the investiture of chiefs took place. This place is still regard tapu (sacred).
  • View Cook Islands handicraft at the museum in Takamoa.

Rarotonga Scenic Sites

  • A scenic drive into the Takuvaine/Avatiu Valleys offers a panorama of lush tropical scenery.
  • Papua Waterfall (or Wigmore's Waterfall) is a great place for a dip. It's the only waterfall on Rarotonga and located at Vaimaanga.
  • Visit the 'garden factory', Perfumes of Rarotonga in Matavera on the east side of the island. Scents of jasmine, gardenia, frangipani and pandanus are all captured in perfumes, after shave and concentrated oils and all production and packaging is done by hand.
  • Enjoy the singing and joy of a Sunday service at the CICC church at Matavera, (northeast Rarotonga), built from limestone in 1853.

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Pacific Tourism Guide and NZTG.