Rarotonga is the largest and most populated of the 15 Cook Islands. Home to the International Airport, 90% of tourists stay here for their entire holiday. The Polynesian island is only 62 sq. km in size and is one of the most developed in the South Pacific with good amenities and tourist infrastructure. Mopeds are the most popular way to travel.

more information ... Rarotonga Holiday Guide Pictures

There are four main districts on the island and the following links will provide a comprehensive picture collection to entice you to this little paradise:

Pictures of Avarua Town, North Coast Rarotonga in the Cook Islands

Avarua Town on the north coast about 5 minutes drive from the international airport is a pleasant seaside town with banks, lots of restaurants and boutique shops, but no beach and limited accommodation. On Saturdays, the local market is a good place to buy fruits and handicrafts and watch the locals. Ikurangi peak viewed from the grounds of the Para O Tane Palace. The mountain views from Avarua are quite spectacular. An ancient inland road, the ara metua, is a great place to explore passing local plantations and taro swamps and offering an insight into cook islands lifestyle.

Pictures of Muri Beach Rarotonga in the Cook Islands

The picturesque setting of Muri Beach is on the south east corner of Rarotonga. The white sandy beach with coconut palms and ironwood trees stretches for about a mile. Muri is the place to go for watersports and there are lots of self-catering beach bungalows and a couple of medium size resorts to choose from. There are four small uninhabited islands within the reef which make popular picnic spots and can be reached from Muri Beach by either wading across at low or high tide, or by renting a sea kayak for the day.

Pictures of The South Coast Rarotonga in the Cook Islands

The South Coast of Rarotonga is the quietest stretch of coastline. There are some lovely deserted beaches here but only a few places to stay making it a good choice for those wanting to have the place for themselves. The prominent outcrop of rock known as "The Needle" can be seen from the coastal road along the South Coast of Rarotonga. Several tour guides take tourists into the rainforest for day hikes although reaching the needle has been made dangerous since part of the rock collapsed after heavy rains in 2001. About a ten-minute hike inland from the South Coast road is Papua waterfall. This is a great spot for swimming in the cool rain-filled pools beneath the waterfall. The waterfall is usually gushing between November and May but can dry up in the summer months. Mosquitoes are annoying here so bring insect repellent.

Pictures of The West Coast Rarotonga in the Cook Islands

The beach meanders almost unbroken along the entire west coast of Rarotonga. In parts, the ironwood backed beach is wild and natural and great for exploring. The west coast has the second highest concentration of accommodation and offer great sunsets. There's also the best selection of restaurants here.