lagoon in the cook islands

Snorkelling in the Cook Islands

The best snorkelling lagoon on Rarotonga is along the south coast, particularly off the Fruits of Rarotonga just outside Takitumu Village where you can spot giant clams and lots of colourful reef fish. Muri Beach is good for beginners with its shallow sandy bottom lagoon. Most resorts offer complimentary snorkelling gear. If not, head to Muri Beach where you can hire gear.

The best snorkelling reef on the main island of Aitutaki is around the marine reserve located on the north west close to the airport runway. The best snorkelling in the Cook Islands is on one of the lagoon cruises which stop in the heart of the lagoon at either beautiful coral gardens or to marvel at giant clams. You may even spot a manta ray or reef shark if you're lucky.

Cook Islands Resorts with Good Snorkelling Offshore
Hotel Name
(click for details & pix)
Picture of Hotel Summary
(style)
Hotel Rate
(NZ$)
Our Best Rate
(click for quote)
Little Polynesian
South Rarotonga
. 9 rooms
Bungalows
$ 645 - 1,095 get hotels best rate quote
Raro Beach Bungalows
South Rarotonga
. 5 rooms
Bungalows
$ 535 - 585 get hotels best rate quote
Royale Takitumu
South Rarotonga
. 10 rooms
Villas
$ 530 - 630 get hotels best rate quote
The Rarotongan Resort
South-West Rarotonga
. 156 rooms
Resort
$ 385 - 825 get hotels best rate quote
Moana Sands Hotel
South Rarotonga
. 22 rooms
Resort / Hotel
$ 350 - 440 get hotels best rate quote
Palm Grove
South Rarotonga
. 21 rooms
Resort / Units
$ 225 - 345 get hotels best rate quote

Kayaking & Sailing in the Cook Islands

Muri Lagoon is a favourite for kayaking with a protected lagoon and four uninhabited islets to visit within the lagoon. You can also rent small sail boats at Muri Beach or, when the winds pick up in the afternoon, go kite surfing in the shallow lagoon.

On Aitutaki, Ootu Point is great for kayaking with a curved bay for exploring the coast and sand bars to visit in the shallow sections of the lagoon.

Cook Islands Resorts with Good Kayaking
Hotel Name
(click for details & pix)
Picture of Hotel Summary
(style)
Hotel Rate
(NZ$)
Our Best Rate
(click for quote)
Little Polynesian
South Rarotonga
. 9 rooms
Bungalows
$ 645 - 1,095 get hotels best rate quote
The Rarotongan Resort
South-West Rarotonga
. 156 rooms
Resort
$ 385 - 825 get hotels best rate quote
Sokala Villas
Muri Beach, Rarotonga
. 10 rooms
Villas
$ 230 - 350 get hotels best rate quote
Aitutaki Village
Ootu, Aitutaki Lagoon
. 12 rooms
Bungalows
$ 370 get hotels best rate quote
Muri Beachcomber
Muri Beach, Rarotonga
. 22 rooms
Units
$ 305 - 445 get hotels best rate quote
Tianas Beach Villas
Muri Beach, Rarotonga
. 6 rooms
Units
$ 155 - 185 get hotels best rate quote
Inano Beach
Ootu, Aitutaki Lagoon
. 7 rooms
Bungalows
$ 130 - 170 get hotels best rate quote

Scuba Diving in the Cook Islands

Scuba diving in the Cook islands is good but limited for experienced divers. Rarotonga has some good reefs all close to shore and because the island is so small but relatively high thus protecting it from winds, scuba diving venues change depending on the wind direction. There are five dive operators on island all offering daily pick-ups from around the island so it doesn't matter which resort you are staying at.

Game Fishing in the Cook Islands

Game fishing is excellent in the deep sea surrounding Rarotonga. There are only two main passages and harbours from which game fishing boats can access the deep sea, one in Avarua Town (there are actually two harbours in Avarua) and one at Avatiu at the northern end of Muri Beach. For this reason, no resort has its own game fishing charters but instead, game fishing charters are run by independent tour companies with pick-ups from all properties around Rarotonga. A similar scenario is on Aitutaki, where independent charter companies run the game fishing tours and hence there are no dedicated game fishing resorts.

Fishing directly off the reef is possible but brings about its own risks and is advised for experienced fishermen only. The best place for this is on the west coast of Rarotonga.

Bone fishing is very good in the lagoon of Aitutaki with Ootu Point being the best place for this - you'll need to bring your own gear as there are no tackle shops on the island.

Rarotonga Resorts for Game Fishing
Top Picks
Hotel Name
(click for details & pix)
Picture of Hotel Summary
(style)
Hotel Rate
(NZ$)
Our Best Rate
(click for quote)
Club Raro Resort
North Rarotonga
. 12 rooms
Resort
$ 185 - 260 get hotels best rate quote

Surfing in the Cook Islands

There isn't much surfing in the Cook Islands - unlike its South Pacific neighbours of Fiji, Tahiti, Samoa and Tonga where you'll find world class reef breaks. On Rarotonga there are four passage breaks with reasonable but unreliable surfing. The most consistent of these is at Avana, the northern passage of Muri Lagoon and there's also a good break for boogie boarding. Other popular spots are Rutaki Passage close to the Rarotongan Beach Resort and opposite The Edgewater Resort on the west coast. There are no surf tours available or places you can rent a surf board so you'll have to buy your own. The other option is to buy a second hand board from Nikki's Surf Shop in Avarua Town, although these are not always in stock.

Rarotonga Resorts with Surfing Nearby
Top Picks
Hotel Name
(click for details & pix)
Picture of Hotel Summary
(style)
Hotel Rate
(NZ$)
Our Best Rate
(click for quote)
The Rarotongan Resort
South-West Rarotonga
. 156 rooms
Resort
$ 385 - 825 get hotels best rate quote
Edgewater Resort
West Rarotonga
. 250 rooms
Resort
$ 255 - 475 get hotels best rate quote