Rarotonga Travel Guide

Rarotonga Travel Guide

Part of the Southern Group of islands, Rarotonga is the vibrant heart of the Cook Islands and the country’s seat of government. Rarotonga is the largest island (67sq km) and has a great selection of accommodation and things to do. Avarua, overlooking a beautiful harbour, is Rarotonga's main centre, and you'll find all the main services here combined with excellent shopping and dining. Beyond Avarua, Rarotonga's lush, mountainous interior rises to its highest point, Te Rua Manga (The Needle), providing breathtaking views over the island and beyond.

A great way to explore Rarotonga is to hire a scooter and travel the coastal road (32km) around the island, where most of Rarotonga's villages can be found. Further inland, the ancient Ara Metua coral road leads past historic sites and lush plantations for a more traditional view of Cook Islands lifestyle. A highlight for visitors is Rarotonga’s lovely lagoon, sheltered by the reef that encircles the island. The lagoon offers a host of watersports from windsurfing and sailing to glass-bottom boat tours, while the open sea beyond the reef has great game fishing and diving. All international flights to the Cooks arrive at the Rarotonga Airport, 4km from Avarua township.

Geographic Area

Rarotonga lies at the southern end of the Cook Islands group, 1630 nautical miles north-east of Auckland, New Zealand.


Over 9000  


Dry Season: April to November; average temperatures 20°C - 26°C.
Wet Season: December to March; average temperatures 22°C - 28°C.

Capital City


Time Zone

10 hours behind GMT