The scenic Rarotonga Island offers newlyweds the perfect honeymoon location. While geographically similar to the South Pacific island of Tahiti (and the Hawaiian island of Maui) Rarotonga is – fortunately – a less-expensive alternative for a honeymoon.
This small, circular island ringed by pristine, palm-fringed sugar-white beaches that edge mountain slopes covered in lush rainforest is the perfect destination for newlyweds.
Rarotonga offers a wide range of activities for honeymoon couples, including scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, game fishing and hiking.
Unmask the lagoon’s underwater beauty in a glass-bottomed boat, from behind a snorkel mask or scuba dive the Matavera drop-off and Ngatangiia swim-throughs.
On land, experience the unspoiled rainforest and stunning coastal views from more than a dozen marked trails once used by Cook Islands warriors.
The south and east coasts of Rarotonga offer some of the best beaches for swimming and snorkelling, while the west coast (photo – Crown Beach Resort) is more sheltered (being on the leeward side of the island) and offers magical tropical sunsets.
The south and east coasts of Rarotonga offer some of the best beaches for swimming and snorkelling, while the west coast is more sheltered (being on the leeward side of the island) and offers magical tropical sunsets.
Both the north and northeast coast of Rarotonga are generally rugged with no lagoons for swimming, however they make good beaches for strolling and beachcombing.
The best beaches on Rarotonga Island, include…
Discover one of Rarotonga’s prettiest beaches, a kilometer-long narrow crescent of palm-fringed white sand that shelves gently into clear turquoise waters.
Located on the southeast coast of Rarotonga, Muri Beach offers safe swimming in a shallow sandy-bottomed lagoon, with great snorkelling amid sea cucumbers, coral formations and colourful fish as you edge closer to the reef.
Just offshore, lie four tiny uninhabited motus (islands) that are ideal for exploring. Sunbathe on the beach, rent a paddle-boat or sailing catamaran, go windsurfing and para-surfing, then be pampered at one of the beachfront resorts such as the boutique-style Pacific Resort Rarotonga or the Muri Beach Club Hotel (photo).
Dip your toes into the soft white sand of this gorgeous palm-fringed beach, home to a few secluded beach resorts, including the luxurious five-star Seachange Villas, a boutique resort overlooking the lagoon.
Swim and snorkel right in front of this pristine white-sand beach or discover several scenic hiking trails that lead through bush to the local village and along the coast.
Titikaveka Beach is located on the southeast coast of Rarotonga.
This stunning sugar-white beach is home to the luxurious Rarotongan Beach Resort and Spa.
The beach offers good swimming and snorkelling in a marine reserve that edges this section of the south coast.
Relax on the white sand of this west coast beach that shelves gentle into crystalline water, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Sip a cocktail watching a magical sunset at the beachside Edgewater Resort and Spa (photo), where you can be pampered with a range of creature comforts.
Rarotonga Island offers an excellent choice of resort accommodation, most of which are beachfront and provide a wide range of comforts and activities to pamper newlyweds, including the following…
Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa
Location: Muri, Titikaveka
Prices: from AUD1216 per room
Description: Located on the Muri Lagoon beachfront, Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa offers luxury villas, each with a private pool. Relax on the private beach, enjoy free kayaking or indulge at the spa and wellness centre. All air-conditioned villas offer a lounge area with a flat-screen TV, a DVD player and free movies on demand. They have a kitchen, a desk and ironing facilities. Each bedroom has an en suite bathroom, with fluffy bath robes and a hairdryer. All villas feature a private pool complete with a waterfall feature, surrounded by tropical gardens. You can relax on the sun loungers on your private lagoon patio or share a meal using the BBQ facilities. Other facilities include a free airport shuttle, snorkel hire, a tour desk and Wi-Fi access. Chefs can prepare a gourmet meal for you to enjoy in your villa or by the pool. Villas can be pre-stocked with food prior to your arrival and breakfast can be delivered to your room. Rumours Luxury Villas is a 10-minute walk from Muri and a 5-minute drive from Vaima Restaurant and Bar. Both Rarotonga International Airport and Rarotonga Golf Course are a 15-minute drive away.
Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas
Prices: from AUD860 per room
Description: Inspired by the turquoise water of Muri Lagoon, Crystal Blue Lagoon boasts stylish modern villas with an idyllic beachfront location. This tranquil retreat features an infinity pool with breathtaking sea views. All villas boast a patio. Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas is within 5 minutes’ walk of local shops, cafes and restaurants. Guests enjoy free use of snorkelling gear. Upon arrival, you will receive a bottle of sparkling wine, a fruit basket and a breakfast hamper. Airport transfers can be arranged. These air-conditioned, 2-story apartments offer a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a coffee machine. The lounge area includes a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a selection of movies are available. Guests can share an outdoor meal using the BBQ facilities. Discounted vouchers for kayak hire and internet access are also available. Rarotonga International Airport is 13 minutes’ drive away.
Crown Beach Resort
Prices: from AUD599 per room
Description: Set on 5 acres of lovely gardens, the adults-only Crown Resort & Spa, offers luxurious suites and villas with balconies in tranquil surroundings with access to the beach. It features 2 restaurants, a scuba dive centre, fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool. Some of the many leisure activities available nearby include canoeing, diving and snorkeling. The spa at Crown Beach offers a range of relaxing treatments including massages, facials and manicures. All of the accommodation at this resort is air-conditioned and has a TV. The Oceans Restaurant & Bar offers Brasserie-style cuisine, with themed nights and a cocktail menu, on the beach with panoramic ocean views. Guests can enjoy modern cuisine in an elegant setting at The Windjammer Restaurant. Rarotonga Airport is a 7-minute drive away from the hotel. Avarua town centre is 10 minutes' drive away. There is a golf course less than 2 km from the hotel.
Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach
Location: Aroa Beach & Marine Reserve, Rutaki
Prices: from AUD264 per room
Description: Sanctuary Rarotonga offers 4.5 star, adults-only accommodation on the beachfront of Aroa Lagoon. It features a restaurant serving South Pacific cuisine, and a swimming pool with a swim-up bar. Each suite offers a private balcony where guests can enjoy views over the lagoon. All suites include an extra-large king size bed, flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Guests can indulge themselves with spa treatments at the Wellness Centre, or enjoy the natural beauty of the Aroa Marine Reserve while snorkeling and diving. A golf course is also located less than 3 km from the hotel.
Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa
Location: Aroa Beach, Rutaki
Prices: from AUD258 per room
Description: This 4-star resort, situated on a private beach, features a restaurant, bar, outdoor pool and luxury day spa. Guests can enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach. Free continental breakfast is included. The Rarotongan Beach Resort offers a range of accommodation, from rooms nestled in tropical gardens to beachfront suites. All have a balcony or courtyard, air conditioning, DVD player and refrigerator. Indulge in the “honeymoon bungalow”, which has its own private swimming pool. SpaPolynesia offers aromatherapy massages, body wraps, relaxing facials, manicures and pedicures. Te Vaka Restaurant is situated on the water’s edge, featuring themed nights and cultural shows. Captain Andy's Beach Bar serves drinks and casual meals by the pool. Free kids club activities are available. The Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve is located right in front of the resort, offering some of the best snorkelling in the Cook Islands. Rarotonga Airport is less than 10 minutes’ drive away.
Anytime, but September and October are probably the best months to honeymoon in Rarotonga, as the weather in this part of the South Pacific is not so humid averaging 28°C (82°F).
Temperatures range from 18°C (64°F) to 28°C (82°F) from May to October, and from 21°C (70°F) to 29°C (84°F) during the summer wet season, from December to March, which is typically hot and humid in the Cook Islands.
For more climate info: Rarotonga Weather Guide…
The Cook Islands form part of Polynesia and are scattered across 2 million sq km of the South Pacific, about 3500km northeast of New Zealand and 1000km southwest of Tahiti.
The most convenient route to Rarotonga is by air to Rarotonga International Airport (RAR), located 3km (1.8mi) west of Avarua on the north coast of Rarotonga Island.
Air Rarotonga operates regular scheduled flights between Rarotonga and Aitutaki islands, as well as both the Southern Group and Northern Group of islands.
Information on how to get to Rarotonga, Cook Islands…
Latest update: Rarotonga, Cook Islands: 8 December, 2022