Cook Islands Tourism
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Cook Islands Tourism

Rarotonga (affectionately called “Raro”) is naturally a favourite destination for our New Zealand neighbours, and there’s a good reason why. It’s all just so easy. From getting to Raro, to navigating the island, Kiwis staying with us have no problem fitting right in to island life and making the best of their time here.  



So Close to Paradise…

Raro is in your backyard - just under 4 hours from Auckland.

Not only is Raro close and easy to get to, but the island will also feel incredibly familiar and comfortable given we use the New Zealand dollar and lots of our food, beer and wine are the same brands New Zealand has. No need to change money when you’re coming here! And to make things even easier, we have easily accessible ATMs around the island.


Small Island Appeal…

Only 32 kilometres around, Raro is like one big resort that Kiwis find really easy to explore. There’s a road that circles the whole island, and in the Cook Islands we drive on the same side of the road as New Zealand. You’ll also have plenty of ways to get around - Hire a car, jump on a scooter, hop on a bicycle or e-bike, or wave down the clockwise and anti-clockwise busses. 

And everything is really close by! It only takes 45 minutes to drive the island so no matter where you stay, you’re never more than 20 minutes from anywhere! There are heaps of accommodation options to choose from, it really comes down to your taste and budget more than the specific location of your stay. Holiday homes, baches, family-friendly resorts and villas, eco-glamping, and adults-only sanctuaries are dotted along the coastline and all offer something unique to guests. 

Rarotonga Full Island Aerial


Stunning Lagoon…

Raro is encompassed by a large reef, creating an invitingly warm and safe lagoon to discover. Teaming with tropical fish, turtles and coral clusters, our lagoon plays the lead role in any visitor’s holiday. Exploring the turquoise waters of Raro is as simple as grabbing a kayak or stand-up paddle board from your beach front accommodation and paddling away. 

If you’re after a guided experience, Muri Beach features two lagoon cruises that include a glass-bottom boat ride, snorkelling, BBQ lunch on a motu (islet) and cultural entertainment. The island also proudly offers fun and thrilling activities such as scuba diving, sea scooter safaris, SUP snorkelling and yoga tours, kite surfing and much more. 

Muri Beach Craig Owen_


Surprising Inland…

Whether on an adrenalin packed drive or a cruisy tour of the inland, there’s something for everyone looking to explore Raro’s jungle-covered mountains. Thrill seekers enjoy fast-paced rides on buggies, quads and mountain bikes, while others like to soak up the sights on a variety of hiking trails or cycling Raro’s back roads. 



Close to home, easy to get around, and offering an incredible playground for water and land activities, Raro is ideal for Kiwis looking for a perfectly easy tropical getaway. 


Click here to read about the best time to visit the Cook Islands.