Rarotonga and the Cook Islands are renowned for their golden sand beaches, pristine waters and glorious weather. Because of this, you may have only really considered it as a summer destination and justifiably so. However, as locals, we know that our wonderful home is a great place to visit all year round, even in the winter!
It may sound strange so to make our case, we thought we’d come up with a few great reasons for you to make Rarotonga your next destination, even in winter!
1. A warm winter
If you are used to a cold and wet winter you would probably never think of going to another destination where it’s also winter. Well, we’re here to tell you that Rarotonga should be your one exception. Because Rarotonga is situated so close to the equator, the winters here are reasonably warm. As a matter of fact, the average temperature during the winter months of June – August is 25°C! Hard to believe but it’s absolutely true which means the beaches, lagoons and sunblock (Oxybenzone free of course!) are all very much applicable.
2. A dry winter too
If you’ve got a slightly sceptical personality you may have thought ‘Ok, it’s warm but it’s probably wet too!’. Again this would be fair enough as winter in most places means a decent amount of rainfall. But this is the Cook Islands and different rules apply, like the fact that 3 of the 4 driest months of the year all take place in winter. It seems almost too good to be true but it is and it also means you’ll have extra space in your suitcase without the need of the rain jacket or umbrella you were probably expecting!
3. Better conditions for sights and attractions
By travelling when the conditions are at their driest, you’ll have a much better chance of experiencing and enjoying the many sights and attractions on the island. Some of these, like boat/fishing tours, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding etc are weather dependent and it can be disappointing to miss out on these if you go earlier in the year when there can be more rainfall. Other experiences are just generally more enjoyable when it isn’t raining like relaxing on Muri Beach or doing the picturesque Cross Island Walk to the summit of the Needle.
5. Some great festivals
The Cook Island people and culture are both fascinating and warm and are fantastic to experience. By visiting in winter, you can do exactly that because of the number of wonderful cultural festivals that take place. This includes Te Maeva Nui, the largest celebration in the whole of the Cook Islands which usually takes place at the end of July. It’s a week-long extravaganza that involves markets with amazing food and cuisine, parades, cultural dance and choir performances and more. Witnessing this will give you an authentic Cook Islands experience that will help you get to know the people and the place a whole lot better.
6. Whale watching
We’ve saved one of the best facts for last (in our opinion at least) which is the winter months are when Humpback Whales migrate to the Cook Islands. These magnificent creatures are a wonderful sight to behold and there are a number of experienced operators that know the best spots and can take you there. There are also a few good lookout spots on the island like Black Rock where people regularly go to and see them from the shore. They’re incredibly inquisitive, intelligent and graceful creatures and opportunities to see them in most parts of the world are few and far between. It’s the type of once-in-a-lifetime type experience that will make your trip so special and memorable.
Book your Winter holiday today!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the read just as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it and hope it’s presented a strong case for making Rarotonga your next Winter holiday getaway. Hope to see you here soon!