Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands and the premier visitor destination. Avarua is the capital and beautiful Muri Lagoon is a popular spot for snorkelling, windsurfing and sailing.
Spread out along a beautiful harbour, lively Avarua is Rarotonga’s main commercial centre. It offers a full range of visitor services including a post office, banks, shops, cafés, restaurants, supermarkets and night spots. Gamefishing charters depart from Avatiu Harbour.
Aitutaki’s enormous turquoise lagoon is fabulous for snorkelling, swimming, fishing or just lazing on the beach.
Atiu, the third largest of the Cook Islands, has wonderful scenery, good beaches, bushwalks, ancient marae and limestone caves.
Atiu's spectacular caves house many ancient burial sites. Te Ana O Raka burial cave is easy to find but a guide is necesssary, while Rima Rau has many bones. Anatakitaki Cave, also known as Kopeka Cave, is home to the kopeka - a rare native swallow. On Mauke and
, the makatea caves have freshwater pools ideal for swimming.
These remote and unspoilt islands include the
, Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Nassau, Rakahang and Suwarrow, known for their magnificent lagoons and beaches. The
, incorporating Aitutaki and Rarotonga, includes Atiu, Mauke, Mitiaro, Manuae, Takutea, Palmerston and
. Mangaia is the Cook's most southerly island and features spectacular cliffs of raised coral.
Try marlin or tuna game fishing beyond the reef, discover the underwater world of canyons and coral formations on a diving trip, or observe the colourful marine life while snorkelling in the lagoon. Both Rarotonga and Aitutaki have dive operators offering good rental equipment and training if required.
Lagoon Cruises & Boat Charters
Observe the marine life through a glass-bottom boat, jump in the water for a spot of snorkelling or hire a boat and go fishing or island hopping. Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruizes at Muri Beach, Rarotonga, offer snorkelling gear and a BBQ lunch on Koromiri motu.
One of the best snorkelling spots in the Cook Islands is Titikaveka lagoon on Rarotonga. The shop here rents snorkelling gear.
Riding is a popular option for exploring the lush inland areas of Rarotonga, with their tropical plantations and waterfalls. Complete your ride with a canter along the beach.
Guided Walks and
Book a guide and tackle Rarotonga’s Cross-Island Trek, take a guided nature and bird walk into the Takitumu Conservation Area, drive your own buggy on a jungle quad adventure or take a 4WD tour into Rarotonga's rugged interior.
Local specialities include black pearls, the pareu (sarong) and handcrafts such as wood carvings, grass skirts and baskets.
The surfing spots are all located on Rarotonga. Avana provides the most reliable surf. It's good for beginners, although the break is short and the reef currents can make it dangerous. For other options, check out the Rutaki Passage on the south coast, or try the north coast off Club Raro resort.
Papua New Guinea
Tahiti And Her Islands
Cook Islands - Northern Group
Cook Islands - Pampered in Paradise
Cook Islands - Southern Group
Cook Islands Conservation
Cook Islands Culture
Cook Islands Dining and Nightlife
Cook Islands Diving
Cook Islands Fishing
Cook Islands Flora and Fauna
Cook Islands History
Cook Islands Language
Cook Islands Pearl Selection Guide
Cook Islands Things to Do
Cook Islands Transport Guide
Cook Islands Travel Guide
Cook Islands Traveller Tips
Cook Islands Weddings
Cooking it up in the Cook Islands
Experience Culture in the Cook Islands
Out and About in the Cook Islands
Spas and Wellbeing in the Cook Islands
Summer in the Cook Islands
Survivor Cook Islands
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Discover Cook Islands
Head to the Highlands for a glimpse of
Papua New Guinea’s
invented the bungee jump.
Swim with gentle humpbacks in
Come face to face with
’s multi-coloured marine life.
Dive into the world’s largest coral lagoon in
Gorge on French cuisine and tropical surroundings in the
’s easy-access sites in this 'soft coral capital of the world.’
Shop to your heart’s (duty-free) content in
’s unique peaks and exciting coastal caves.
Island-hop your way through
Tahiti and Her Islands
’s mountain ridges peppered with wild papaya.
Spend New Year’s on
and be the first in the world to see midnight.
Take a swim at sunset in
’s spectacular lagoon.
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