The perfect playground for kids, switch off the screens and recharge your family. Not only a destination for romantic couples, family togetherness is an important part of Cook Islands’ culture and you’ll all be welcomed warmly. There’s so much to keep everyone entertained, from simple pleasures like crab racing or snorkelling in the safety of the lagoon to jungle trekking across the island or enjoying spectacular cultural entertainment.
Accommodation for every kind of family
Book a villa with two or three bedrooms, complete with full kitchen and laundry facilities and plenty of space for everyone. Or, for parents in need of some adult timeout, look at the larger resorts with Kids Clubs, providing amazing activities and total care and attention for your children every day. Check out the Kids Clubs at Pacific Resort Rarotonga, Edgewater Resort and Spa and The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Lagoonarium.
If you prefer smaller hotels and resorts, there are multiple properties that cater for families – some with two bedroom villas, pools and playgrounds. And of course there are holiday homes, many right on the lagoon edge. From a two star property up to a five star, we have accommodation for all families in the Cook Islands.
There are dozens of ways to enjoy the Cook Islands
It's the accessibility and ease of everything that makes Rarotonga so different. No matter where you are or what you want to do, the whole island is your playground.
Take Pa’s Cross Country Trek, which traverses the island’s inland mountains and goes to The Needle. Take a four wheeled drive adventure tour, hire quad bikes or buggies, learn how to paddleboard or scuba dive, go night diving, kitesurfing or big game fishing.
Scooters, cars or minivans can be hired for a reasonable amount and you can drive around the island’s perimeter in under an hour. There are no traffic lights, just numerous scooters buzzing around, bearing locals and tourists, all clearly enjoying themselves. There’s a regular bus service going either clockwise or anticlockwise around the island - jump on if you want to meet the locals or get somewhere, although it’s possible you’ll be happy to stay put in your own little patch of paradise. On a Saturday morning the Punanga Nui Markets at Avarua sell cooked food or fresh produce or fish, arts and crafts. A cultural display is usually on and the cute kids learning the ropes entertain the locals and the tourists.
A lagoon cruise on a glass-bottomed boat is another must-do for families. Kids are particularly catered for and entertained by the crews. They can snorkel amidst the tropical fish, before going ashore a motu (a small island) for a BBQ lunch and hilarious show involving coconuts, sarongs, more music and a good old laugh at life in general.
Sample the many flavours of Cook Islands cuisine
Eating out costs about the same as it does back at home and the supermarkets stock many familiar products - great for ravenous kids. There are some great cheap places to eat at the markets and the fresh tropical fruit is plentiful, healthy and totally addictive. You can use New Zealand money in Rarotonga, with many places accepting Visa or other major credit cards.
Dinners for the family are easy and fun with many hotels and resorts having their own restaurants and others around the island featuring ‘feet in the sand’ dining – where the kids can play on the beach while you enjoy a nice cold drink. Some resorts also offer romantic beachfront dining by candlelight, and if this appeals, babysitters are available. There’s plenty of good, family places to eat and you can always find good fish and chips to eat right on the beach.
Older kids (over five) will love experiencing an “Island Night”, offered by most resorts, or cultural villages such as Highland Paradise or Te Vara Nui. The show and umu cooked dinner of Cook Island cuisine features music, singing and dancing. It’s infectious, interesting and fun for everyone.