An Adventurer's Guide To The Cook Islands


If you are searching for true bliss with a thrill of adventure in the South Pacific, it may be time to explore the Cook Islands. Soon after stepping off your Rarotonga flight, you could be kite surfing, quad biking through the jungle, hiking Rarotonga’s famous Cross Island Trek, or sea scootering ancient shipwrecks within the hour. So, here are our top recommended activities not to miss on your adventure to the Cook Islands.


  1. Te Rua Manga (The Needle)

Challenge yourself by exploring Rarotonga’s mountainous interior on a variety of guided and self-guided hiking trails. Passing through impressive natural scenery, the three- to four-hour hike from the north to south coasts via the 413m Te Rua Manga (Needle) is Rarotonga's most treacherous walk. Once you get out of the jungle, all dirty and sweaty, you get an amazing reward – Wigmore’s waterfall waiting for you to dip in!


Location: Rarotonga. Price: Free - $100 pp. See link for operator Maunga Tours


  1. Quad Biking 

Rain or shine, get the thrill of your life touring Rarotonga in a four-wheel quad. Ride through rocky and muddy terrain crossing streams to remote areas of our island. If you consider yourself a true adventurer you will love this tour as it offers thrills and challenges. Conclude the Jungle Quad Adventure by cooling off up a mountain in a freshwater creek while enjoying the scenery. 


Location: Rarotonga. Price: $125 pp - $150 pp. See link for operators Buggy Tours


  1. Kite Surfing

Top-notch gear, great crew, and amazing locations. The trade winds passing through the Cook Islands between May to October, combined with the passing low-pressure systems in the tropical belt, make for perfect kitesurfing conditions. Honeymoon Sandbar, One Foot Island, Muri Lagoon…. Where will you choose?


Location: Rarotonga, Aitutaki. Price: $152 pp - $499 pp. See link for operators KiteSurfing


  1. Rarotonga Scenic Flight 

Spectacular aerial vistas await! See the inland valleys and plantations, the reef and the drop-off into the deep blue, the emerald green motus (small islets) and turquoise lagoon from thousands of feet in the air. Ideal for photography and filming, so remember to bring your camera. A minimum of two passengers per flight, perfect for the thrill seekers couple. 


Location: Rarotonga. Price: $129 pp. See link for operator Air Rarotonga. 


  1. Caving in the Cook Islands

While the Cooks might be known for its glorious sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons, there’s a whole subterranean world that not a lot of people know about. Explore caves that are largely untouched and characterised by magnificent stalagmites, stalactites, and crystalline floors, walls, and ceilings. Learn about burial sites, ancient legends, and healing minerals. Note that it is only for those who can handle the smallest of spaces!

Location: Atiu, Ma’uke, Mitiaro, Mangaia. Price: $Free - $80 pp. See link for listed islands Outer Islands.