For those that want to do more than just Chill…we suggest the following:
Being surrounded by ocean, it's no surprise most activities are water based. You can enjoy a wide range of activities from beautiful diving and snorkelling, to kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and swimming. The lagoon is warm and safe to swim in,
but there are a few passages that lead out of the lagoon which can be dangerous – try to steer well clear of these. Muri Beach is the main place for windsurfing, sailing, and kayaking, and has a sailing club. There are also glass-bottomed boat tours and lagoon cruises. The best snorkelling is along the beaches of Titikavaka. Staying at Heliconia in Titikavaka you don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy the best of snorkelling.
The Saturday ‘Get Together’
As well as enjoying the best of what the South Pacific has to offer in the form of water there are also lots of other things to do. A must for Saturday morning is a visit to the Punanga Nui Market which is alive with cultural flavours, sounds and smells. But, the market isn’t just for the goodies it is one of the best places to meet and greet the locals.
A little bit of culture
The Cultural Village tour is a three-hour experience including demonstrations in weaving, coconut husking, fire making, carving, and local traditions and dancing, concluding with an island lunch & show.
A stroll, a good walk, a trek
The most popular of these is the cross-island mountain trek, which takes approximately four hours. This includes a stop at 'The Needle', a unique rock formation high above Rarotonga. The Takitumu Conservation Area offers gentle nature walks through lush forest and along mountain streams, where you will find a number of rare and endangered species of plants and birds.
It’s not Africa but you go on Safari
Professional tour guides in 4WD vehicles can provide you with one of the most exciting and educational tours on Rarotonga.
The Rarotonga Golf Club welcomes visitors to its 9-hole course at Black Rock. Clubs and trundlers are available for rental. Not a championship course...but if you love golf you should not miss Golf ‘Rarotongan style’.
See this island jewel from the water.
To see Rarotonga from the sea is one of those memorable travel sights. Viewing the colourful marine life is made easy when cruising the lagoon by glass-bottom boat, or perhaps by a semi-submersible that also takes you beyond the reef. For fast, breathtaking fun, high-speed tours beyond the reef will get you close to whales (in season) and provide stunning views of Rarotonga.
There is always something biting
Game and sport fishing can provide an exhilarating day's outing just beyond the reef. With no lengthy journey to fishing areas, the action commences as soon as you leave the boat harbour. For the expert or beginner, charter game fishing is very affordable and a fishing expedition can be tailor made to suit your needs. Charter operators provide all the gear necessary for every type of fishing, including saltwater fly and light-tackle sport fishing. The Cook Islands Game Fishing Club welcomes all visitors.
Sail the breeze, dip the oar or wet the whistle
Windsurfers, sailboats, catamarans and kayaks are available for hire. On Rarotonga, the most popular place for sailing activities is at Muri Lagoon. The Rarotonga Sailing Club at Muri Beach welcomes all visitors. On Aitutaki, hire facilities are available at Ootu Beach and Akitua. Many beachside accommodation establishments have kayaks for guests use.
Getting down and deep in Rarotonga
The outer reef surrounding Rarotonga could be described as one of the best-kept secrets from the wider diving community. It offers a pleasing variety of sub-aquatic experiences for the discerning scuba diver looking for a "new" place to dive.
Humpback whales, hammer head sharks, grey and white tip reef sharks, green and hawksbill turtles and even game fish are all here to be experienced, depending on the time of year. Colourful tropical reef fish of every variety, with a few local species thrown in for good measure, plus the occasional whale shark, all provide excellent photographic subjects. Endless opportunities for both the novice and experienced camera buff alike exist during every dive and subject matter ranges from macro to mammoth.
There is the added bonus of diving in warm water with 100ft plus year round visibility. Most divers find "3mm shortie wetsuits" are enough protection through the Cooler months, while during the summer divers get to experience the freedom of diving in just a swimsuit.
All dive sites are within an easy 15-minute boat ride from launching. This ensures that you get to dive the calmest waters each day on the leeward side of the island. Four dive companies on Rarotonga offer twice daily dive trips for certified divers and a comprehensive range of internationally recognised diving certification courses. Beginners dive experiences are also available.
Diving highlights include:
Drop offs so sheer it's almost too easy to get "narced" and you imagine you are sky diving rather than scuba diving.
Negotiating 'swim-through' under and through the coral reef itself.
Fin up canyons that penetrate the reef edge into the shallow lagoon and drop to depths you wont believe. Where you can catch a lazy ride back over the terrain on the gentle current as it expels you back into the outer reef environment.
Following your guide through tunnels that will have you constantly wondering just what could be lurking around the next bend.