What's up with Sunday afternoons in Rarotonga?

Rachel Smith
Photography By
Rachel Smith & CI Tourism Corporation

You won't find the usual city buzz in the Cook Islands on a Sunday afternoon. In fact you won't find much happening at all. Sunday is observed as a day of rest – time spent with family and friends after a morning church service.

So what exactly can you get up to when on holiday in a little paradise? Thankfully, there are plenty of things off the beaten track to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

One of the best things about Sunday is Sunday bread.
Old school styles this white loaf is uncut and just asking to be covered in butter and jam. Baked fresh by the Avarua Bakery, Sunday bread arrives warm around 5pm at most food stores around the island. Sunday dinner is done!

Hot Brad Rarotonga

Visit the historic Avana Harbour and find out about recent vaka expeditions and see the names of the 7 famous vaka (canoes) that travelled from Rarotonga to Aotearoa (New Zealand) hundreds of years ago.

Marumaru Atua Vaka

Take a leap off the wharf in Avana Harbour.
Of course always respect the water and check the conditions first – if you aren’t sure ask a local. And if you’re hungry after your swim The Mooring Fish Café, well-known for their super fresh fish sandwiches is open for Sunday lunch.

All of Rarotonga’s walking track are accessible on a Sunday.
As our mountains are steep most of these require a good level of fitness. For an afternoon adventure try the Cross Island Track or Raemaru Track, both of which are signposted from the back road.

Mountain Trekking Rarotonga

Pick a spot on the map and go.
Every beach in Rarotonga has its own flavour and scenery - roam to the far side of the island and see what you can find, be it sandy or rocky and wild.

Family on the beach

While some restaurants are closed on a Sunday the Muri Night Market is not – head down for your pick of delicious local food from 5pm.

Rachel Smith is a freelance writer who has lived in Rarotonga with her family on-and-off for the past seven years – she can testify that it is a very hard place to leave.