Rarotonga’s Seven Natural Wonders

Posted on 26/08/2019

One place that is a true tropical paradise, is beautiful Rarotonga, located in the Cook Islands. Often referred to as ‘being like Hawaii was 50 years ago’.  Known for having no buildings taller than a coconut tree.  This idyllic destination offers something for everyone. Already well known for its friendly locals, great food, and its ‘Kia Orana spirit’.  Explore seven natural wonders that call this little paradise home.

1. Muri Lagoon

This journey starts with an easy one that many people, the world over, are already aware of – Muri Lagoon! A popular hub on the island, with its crystal clear waters it offers much to locals and visitors alike. Muri Lagoon is famous for its four small Motus (islets). These picturesque islands are unique sites to explore and are also perfect picnic spots! Swimming in Muri Lagoon’s safe and warm waters is perfect for families. Those who want more adventure can head out on a snorkeling excursion to witness abundant marine life. Another activity is to grab a kayak or stand-up paddleboard.  Complimentary for guests of Pacific Resort Rarotonga, to explore the surface of the lagoon.

2. Fruits of Rarotonga

Located on the southeast tip of the island, the ‘Fruits of Rarotonga’ Marine Reserve, known for its vivid turquoise waters. Not only is it an amazing sight on the surface, but the view underwater is nothing short of mesmerising. There’s a phenomenal number of fish species that call this area home.

Species include Angel Fish, Butterfly Fish, Parrot Fish to name just a few. Fruits of Rarotonga is easily accessible.  Park up the scooter or car, change into swimwear, and set off on an aquatic adventure!

3. Te Rua Manga (The Needle)

Rarotonga is blessed with some fantastic on-land attractions. One of these is Te Rua Manga,  known as “The Needle”. It’s the iconic mountainous landmark of the island that you can get to via the “Cross Island Walk”. The walk itself is striking, snaking through some of the island’s most beautiful natural vegetation. The real reward is near the base of the summit, with panoramic views of the entire island.

4. Black Rock

The well known attraction is a collection of volcanic black rocks that rise from the sands at the end of a beach known as ‘Nikao Social Centre’. They also make great platforms to dive off when the tide and conditions are right. Many choose to take their wedding photos on and around them. Unique and prominent, these basalt rock formations hold considerable cultural significance, as according to mythology, this is the place for spirits departing the island.

5. Takitumu Conservation Reserve

The protection of the land, sea, and all of its creatures, is an important aspect of Cook Islands culture,  seen at the Takitumu Conservation Reserve. Supporting the growth of numbers on the indigenous Kakerori bird, Rarotonga’s native ‘flycatcher’. The reserve contains rare flora and other bird species.  This beautifully manicured area sits inland on the south east side of the island.  With tracks, visitors can take time and wander amongst the tropical surrounds listening to the bird calls.


6. Avana Point

An area of cultural significance to Cook Islanders is Avana Point. History says that after traveling from Hawaii to Rarotonga, seven full canoes set off for New Zealand from here. Located on the eastern side of the island, and only around 15 minutes drive from the main township of Avarua, you will find a memorial site with 7 rocks representing each of the canoes and the brave sailors that departed these islands towards their new homes and represent the important connection with New Zealand Maori culture. This area of the coastline is a stark contrast to the calm beaches on the rest of Rarotonga, with its rugged coastline and reef close to the shore.

7. Raemaru

While Rarotonga and Aitutaki are sister islands, there is also a fierce rivalry between their people. Local legends say, the people of Aitutaki grew envious of Raemaru’s tall peak. So they out to steal it for their own. Arriving before dawn, they chopped the peak off the mountain. However, in their haste to depart, they dropped parts on the shoreline.

This area and these formations then became ‘Black Rock’, previously referred to in this article. The pieces left there were also spilt on the shore line of Aitutaki.  The very spot that Pacific Resort Aitutaki was built on. The end result of this was Raemaru having a famously flat top and Aitutaki gaining a hill – Maunga Pa!

Popular with visitors, Raemaru offers a more gentle trek than the cross-island walk. Taking only 30 to 45 minutes, and is suitable for all ages.  Except for the steep rock face at the very end (which is a bit of an exciting climb!).

Natural wonders are waiting to be discovered!

The above seven points of interest are just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ for the natural wonders of Rarotonga. This tiny island, with a circumference of just 32 kilometers, is jam-packed with amazing sights and sounds. Offering a truly authentic tropical experience that will have you wanting to stay longer.

For full press release including notes to the Editor, please click here.