Rarotonga Island stands 14750 feet (4500 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 13000 feet (4000 meters), the volcano is nearly 31 miles (50 km) in diameter. The highest peak on the island above sea level is Te Rua Manga, ‘The Needle’ and is 2140 feet (658 meters).
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.
You can go sightseeing by glass bottom boat on Muri Lagoon, or take a trip around Rarotonga with amazing views back to the island. Whales often travel close to the reef (in season) and can be seen leaping from the water in spectacular fashion.
Wind surfing and sailing on Muri Lagoon is a must and these can be hired at a number of places. Kite surfing 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.
Marvelous snorkeling and diving adds yet another dimension to the beauty of Rarotonga. 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. There are a number of Dive companies in Rarotonga where you can get all the necessary training to have a safe and enjoyable dive.
Fishing is a very popular and affordable activity in Rarotonga with the action starting as soon as you leave the harbour.
Captain Mokos Fishing Charter
Akura Fishing Charters
Bluewater Adventures Rarotonga Fishing Charter
Charter operators provide all the gear and expertise to tackle big game fish like Tuna, Marlin and Mahi-Mahi.
Shopping, Leisure & Entertainment
What ever you do in Rarotonga, make sure you catch an “Island Night” where you can sample Cook Island dancing, singing and Umu kai (food cooked using the traditional underground oven).
Keen walkers can do one of the many ECO tours that explore historic sites and show traditional weaving and fire starting methods.
Take a 4WD tour to some of the more inaccessible parts of Rarotonga and 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 events calendar during your visit. Rarotonga has many festivals and events which usually occur around the same time every year.
Dining out on Rarotonga is a must. We boast an impressive selection of dining out options from cafes offering great cafe style food, the best and freshest from the ocean local fish ‘n chips lagoon side to more fine dining experiences.
You will find a selection of both local and international cuisine. Most restaurants are licensed with a good selection of quality beers, wines and spirits. There are also some BYO options too.
- Rarotonga’s art galleries, featuring original Pacific art and carving demonstrations.
- The Punanga- Nui Cultural Market, open daily but specially busy Saturday mornings.
- One of the many old Cook Island Christian churches – better still join the congregation on Sunday, share magnificent singing and then delight in the great after-service hospitality.
- Take a half-day tour of the island of Rarotonga with Harry your personal guide. Visit sacred sights, learn the history of these islands and learn more of the legends, culture, foods and beliefs of the Cook Island people.
- An evening at the Highland Paradise with traditional food and dancing.
- A ‘lagoon cruise with BBQ lunch’.
- 4 wheel drive safari or a trek on an island track.
- A day trip to the island of Aitutaki.
- A perfect Black Pearl from the island of Manihiki.
- A pareu length of cloth, screen printed or hand painted to your design.
- A champagne hamper for two for a special moment on your Cook Island Holiday.