Enjoying Rarotonga Surf: The 5 best spots!

Posted on July 30, 2018

Rarotonga is a great destination for many things. Beaches with long stretches of golden sand, incredible scenery and wildlife, delicious fresh cuisine and amazing resorts.

There’s another reason that people flock here and that’s to experience the awesome Cook Islands Surf! Because of this, we thought we’d put together a list of best surfing spots in Rarotonga for those who are experienced reef surfers to those who are keen to try for the first time! We’ve also highlighted a few things to do near these spots as well, so you can make more out of each trip!

1. Motutapu

We start off with one for the beginners which is Motutapu, northeast of the small Motutapu Island which is on Avana Harbour.

This is a good one for beginners as the waves here are pretty standard with a 6ft swell giving surfers enough to start with.

The spot can be a little enigmatic as conditions need to be just right but it’s such a beautiful part of the Island that even if you don’t see many waves, you’ll be able to paddle around and enjoy the beautiful lagoon.

Nearby: The Muri Lagoon is a great place to do a bit of snorkelling with its crystal clear waters where you’ll enjoy great views of the colourful marine life that call it home.

2. Avaavaroa Passage

The Avaavaroa Passage is just opposite the Turoa Beach on the south side of Rarotonga.

Unlike Motutapu, Avaavaroa is more suited to accomplished tube riders as you can get some decent rights thanks to the submerged reef below.

You can expect anything between 4ft – 10ft swells at Avaavaroa with the best time to head out there being mid-tide.

Nearby: Not far from Turoa Beach you’ll find the Takitumu Conservation Area which has a lovely little walk through the native forest and is home to endangered Kakerori bird.

3. Rutaki Passage

Just to the west of the Avaavaroa Passage, you’ll find the Rutaki Passage, a quieter surfing spot that produces some good lefts thanks to the thin channel through the coral reef.

It’s a slightly temperamental spot that only really cooperates at high tide but when it does you can expect decent waves with swells between 6ft – 8ft.

Not as easy as some of the others so probably not for those lacking in experience but is otherwise a good one to check out.

Nearby: Within a short scooter ride up the road, stop in at Wigmores supermarket before enjoying a on the beautiful beach.

4. Club Raro

At the top of Rarotonga, you’ll find the Club Raro spot which is just in front of the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club.

It’s known as a fairly reliable spot again producing some consistent rights from the submerged reef with 4ft – 8ft swells.

You’ll get some good waves here and a nice stretch of beach to enjoy too.

Nearby: A five  minute drive down the road you’ll find the Cook Islands National Museum which showcases Cook Islands and South Pacific artefacts. It also hosts temporary exhibitions and events like film screenings.

5. Golf Course (Socials)

One of the best surfing spots for experienced surfers is Golf Course (Socials) opposite the Rarotonga Golf Club and next to the airport.

There are the opportunities here for rights and lefts given the local geography and its wide swell means you get fairly consistent waves with swells between 4ft – 10 ft.

Really easy to access at mid-high tides. The only things you’ll have to keep an eye out for are the local body boarders who enjoy the spot, the reef at low tide and a few resident turtles!

Nearby: A bit of an obvious one here but after you’ve had your fix of surfing you can hop across the road and enjoy a round at the 9 hole Rarotonga Golf Club!


Please note that as the ocean is not our natural habitat, all reasonable precautions should be taken, such as advising others of your whereabouts, not venturing out by yourself, being mindful of the conditions and ensuring you are wearing reef shoes at all times.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little guide about the best surf spots in Rarotonga. Like we said, it’s a great place to do a bit of surfing no matter what your ability. It’s another reason to book that trip you’ve always wanted to do!

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