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The island of Rarotonga is your tropical island dream. Enclosed by a band of coloured coral reef, surrounded by clear and warm azure water, fringing white sand beaches, and spectacular scenery. Lush fields of tropical flowers rise across the island amongst dominating mountains and thick forest interior, beauty is unbroken on a Rarotonga holiday.
There is familiar connection between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, Rarotonga has ancient Maraes and well preserved historical coral churches. Currency is easy for Kiwis as the Cook Islands use the New Zealand dollar. Just imagine all the best parts of New Zealand landscape packed into a group of islands and the heat has been dialled up all year round.
Cook islanders are welcoming and open, it is known that locals get familiar and will invite a visitor to hear about the folklores of the culture over some traditional dinner. Conversations can be sparked up easily at any local establishment, if you’re out at a bar and seeking local insight, a friendly Cook Islander will start a conversation.
Before you go to Rarotonga read our Inspire articles
> Dreaming of Rarotonga? 4 Reasons Why You Can’t Relax Just Yet
> Video: Introduction to Rarotonga
> Cook Islands for Families
The best time to go to Rarotonga is Late April – October. This time of year falls in the middle of a tropical winter, but winter is dry in Rarotonga and these months are best for sunshine and warm weather. You’re looking at temperatures of highs of 25°C to Lows of 19°C. There’s never a bad time to visit the tropical island paradise that is Rarotonga, embodying a warm tropical climate all year round.
The Cook Islands enjoy a pleasant warm and sunny climate all year round. The hottest month is February the month’s average temperature is 27°C and the coldest is 23°C during the month of July.
Rarotonga has a number of shops on the island that will sell you the freshest fish; any local will be able to give you directions. A genuine Cook Island dish that you must try before you leave is Ika Mata – raw fish marinated in coconut, chilli and lime or lemon juice. You will find the local delicacy at the Avarua’s Punanga Nui Market or at a number of restaurants on the island.
Read our Rarotonga Inspire articles
> The best of Raro's bars and restaurants
Fun, food and friendly locals make the Punanga Nui Market an island shopping experience not to be missed! Start your day on the tropical island local-style, get in early when it’s at its liveliest. Fresh seafood, delicious coconuts, tropical flowers, and traditional arts and crafts - it’s always in full swing! The vibrant, colourful market atmosphere is well worthy of a visit.
In Raro there’s no shortage of classically gorgeous tropical beaches to explore, Muri Beach’s outstanding bright aqua lagoon is definitely one of the top spots on the island. Pristine white sands and the warm, clear waters offers a serene and tranquil ambiance. You can set your eyes on some spectacular arrays of bright-coloured fish here, it’s also a suburb spot for snorkelling, swimming or simply lazing by the lagoon.
Venturing a couple thousand feet straight up through the Rarotongan jungle with his blonde dreadlocks and impressive knowledge of the island’s history and love of old stories, Pa’s Trek Tour is different from any other walk you’ll ever have! Pa’s crossed this route over three thousand times, he knows everything there is to know about Rarotonga’s flora and fauna for both traditional and medical purposes. You should really spend at least one day of your trip in Raro exploring the lush tropical jungle with Pa.
Our Inspire Rarotonga holiday highlights
> One great reason to get active in Rarotonga
> Rarotonga Sightseeing, Cook Islands
> 6 Cook Island places you must see before you die
From Auckland (AKL) to Rarotonga (RAR) 3h 55m
From Wellington to Rarotonga (RAR) 6h 20m
From Christchurch to Rarotonga (RAR) 6h 40m
The island of Rarotonga has just a 32 kilometre circumference, making it is so easy for you to embrace the culture and the ambience this tropical paradise has to offer. There are a number of transport options there for your adventures, from jumping on a bus, to tripping around the island by yourself on a scooter, a bike or take a kayak out while you soak up the panoramic views. The whole island is there for you to enjoy!
Advertised airfares are per adult and are based on a one way fare in economy class on specified airline • Prices include ticket taxes & surcharges based on most direct routing with no stopovers and are correct as at time of loading, but may fluctuate depending on exchange rates • From Auckland a Prepaid Passenger Service Fee of $13 per person is included in the package price – this replaces the New Zealand Departure fee of $25 per adult. • On/after 01 Jul 10 all direct international departures from Christchurch will include a NZD $25 departure tax this is additional to the advertised prices above. • Fares are exclusive of departure fees from other airports • Prices exclude a House of Travel booking fee of $14.95 per person • Flight & routing restrictions apply • Sales end as specified above • Travel as specified above. • Full payment is required upon purchase • Min/max stays apply • Capacity is limited and may not be available on all services • Prices shown are for online bookings only.