Cook Islands Sights & Attractions

Watch Cook Island dancers perform some of the most sensual dancing in the South Pacific, tap your feet to the beat of local karioi singing, hand-feed tropical fish in the waters off One Foot Island and treat yourself to a stunning black South Sea Pearl for the perfect honeymoon gift!

Must-see sights and attractions include…

Aitutaki Lagoon

Discover Aitutaki’s sensational lagoon in a kayak, on a cruise or wearing a snorkel mask as you float above an endless array of colourful marine life. Create footprints in the stunning white beach of Tapuaeta’i (One Foot Island), snorkel off Maina Motu and explore hand-in-hand several uninhabited motus (islets).

Arutanga Church

Admire the elaborately carved and colourfully painted woodwork and simple stained glass windows of Arutanga Church on Aitutaki Island, the oldest Christian church in the Cook Islands, built in 1828.


Peer into Kopeka Cave, the most famous of Atiu Island’s many limestone caves and named after the rare kopeka bird, found only on Atiu.

Cook Island Cultural Village

Watch demonstrations of traditional island crafts on Rarotonga Island, including weaving, coconut husking, fire making and carving. Enjoy cultural dance performances and learn more about Cook Islands culture.

Cook Islands dance show

Tap your feet to the beat of local karioi singing and delight in watching Cook Island dancers perform at a cultural island night show at your resort – Cook Islands dance is considered the most sensual dancing in the South Pacific. Afterwards enjoy a traditional umukai feast, which involves baking food in an underground oven.

South Sea pearls

For an unforgettable momento of your honeymoon, consider buying a smooth, black South Sea pearl. Black pearls cultivated on the Cook Islands of Manihiki and Penryn are highly prized, as are the more common but equally beautiful golden and white pearls.

Depending on colour, size, shape and lustre, a black pearl may cost as little as five dollars or up to as much as many thousands. Single pearls and those set in jewellery are available from reputable shops in Rarotonga.

Coconut water

Forget soft drinks or even a cold beer: instead savour a refreshing (and fat free!) coconut water drink – the liquid harvested from immature green coconuts. Drink it straight from the coconut if you can. Locals claim the coconut water from Cook Island coconuts is the sweetest of all the Pacific Islands!

Latest update: Cook Islands: 11 May, 2022