Get Inspired / Pacific Islands / Cook Islands Things to see & do in Rarotonga, Cook Islands Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Pacific Islands / Cook Islands Things to see & do in Rarotonga, Cook Islands story by: Inspire Cook Islands The main island of the Cooks, Rarotonga, is not only a holiday destination in itself but the gateway to more far-flung isles. Not that you have to leave its sandy shores. Sink into island time and never leave your resort, but if you want to venture out, Rarotonga has plenty to offer. Take the local bus around the island, or hire a motor scooter or bike and stop at your choice of idyllic beach or watch the sun set over the reef. Rarotonga is almost completely encircled by a lagoon, so water-based activities are on offer everywhere. On land join an island tour or tackle the cross-island trek. Don’t miss the Saturday market in Avarua where you’ll find pareus (sarongs), handmade quilts, tropical fruit and black pearls. Evenings bring a stroll on a moonlit beach or an island feast and dance night with dynamic drumming and twirling hips. Our Favourite Things to see & do • ISLAND NIGHT – This is a great way to experience the vibrant local culture. The major hotels put on an Island Night at least once a week, with traditional song and dance and an island-style feast known as an umukai. • DINING OUT – Book your table on the grand verandah at Tamarind House and sit back and enjoy the finest food on Rarotonga. The atmosphere is elegant and classically South Seas – you’d half expect to see Somerset Maugham sipping a good claret and scribbling away at a nearby table. • LOCAL NIGHTLIFE – Perched on a wooden sea-view platform at Avarua, the Whatever Bar & Grill is a trendy place for the young and young at heart – it can get lively on a Friday night and the winding stairs down to the ground can be rather a challenge if you’ve enjoyed yourself a little too much! • TRADER JACKS – No trip to Raro is complete without a visit to this old favourite bar and restaurant. Gentleman Jack himself can often be found propping up the bar. • FRUITS OF RAROTONGA – Homemade jams and tropical flavoured chutneys are divine at this little shop opposite Tikioki Beach, but it’s good for smoothies, cakes and fruit juices too, and the snorkelling in the lagoon opposite the café is sensational! • PUNANGANUI MARKET – Head to these markets on Saturday morning for handicrafts, colourful clothing and black pearls – you’re sure to pick up a souvenir or two! • WIGMORE’S WATERFALL – On the eastern side of the island, a dirt road leads inland to Wigmore’s Waterfall, a lovely cascade dropping into a fresh, cool swimming pool. Be prepared for the blood thirsty mosquitoes. > VIEW HOT DEALS TO THE COOK ISLANDS HERE Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wakatipu: Queenstown Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Similar Journeys Add or remove from Wishlist 6 unique island food experiences Read more Add or remove from Wishlist Views to wake up to Read more Done this? Tell your friends about it.