Muri Beach Accommodation

kayaks at muri beach rarotonga

Muri Beach is located on the south-east corner of Rarotonga, a section where the mountains rise steeply from the coast and several uninhabited islets sit along the fringing reef making it a particularly scenic coastal section. Muri has the highest concentration of accommodation on Rarotonga from a small 65-room resort to lots of self-catering bungalows. There's several independent restaurants and takeaways in the Muri Area. Climb the hill opposite Pacific Resort for excellent views of the lagoon and islets. It's easy to wade (or kayak) across to the uninhabited islets at both low and high tide and spend a day relaxing on the quiet beach and looking back towards the mountains of Rarotonga. Snorkelling in the lagoon is good only for marine life - there's no coral here and the lagoon is only waist deep in places which makes it easy for beginners.

The following guide for accommodation on Muri Beach moves in an anticlockwise (south-north) direction.

South Muri Beach

The beach at the southern end of Muri south of Taakoka Islet is the quietest section. There's a handful of small boutique villa, holiday homes and two small newish resorts at either end: Moana Sands Lagoon Villas and Nautilus Resort. There are a couple of local grocery shops and a takeaway restaurant but not much else in tourist facilities. Stay here for a peaceful ambience yet a 10-minute stroll along the beach to the main hub.

Tiana's Beach Villas$$

picture of Tiana's Beach Villas beach
Excellent budget option with bungalows and self contained units right on the beach.

Central Muri Beach

The main hub of Muri and Rarotonga's tourist hotspot stretches from Taakoka Islet to Koromiri Island. The mountains here are close to the coast and there's little room for farming and even the inland circular road, the Are Metua, ceases with only the coastal road to travel on, lined with an almost continual strip of accommodation, restaurants, shops, scooter hire and other tourist related outlets. The Muri Night Markets behind the Sailing Club is a great place to wander and pick up local cuisine. You can watch cultural shows at the Te Vara Village or Pacific Resort, take a lagoon cruise or hire a catamaran or windsurf from the Sailing Club. The continuous stretch of sand makes a great place for strolling, facing east it has great sunrises if you're up but no sunsets.


A few kilometres north of Muri Beach is Avana Passage where it is claimed Cook Island Maori departed in double hull catamarans to colonise New Zealand. The passage here is the best and most reliable surfing spot in the Cook Islands and allows entry for protected anchorage for yachts and motor boats and a base for scuba diving and game fishing excursions. However, the stretch of coast from Avana to Muri Beach is either rocky or covered in sea grass with patchy fine sand at low tide only. The shallow sandy lagoon at the southern end of Avana makes a good place to walk across to Motutapu, the largest of the four islands in Muri Lagoon. Inland from Avana is the extremely attractive and peaceful Turangi Valley. A dirt track leads almost 4km inland into the heart of Rarotonga and makes for excellent walking past small plantations and lush tropical forest. Pretty Ngatangiia Church is built from limestone blocks and makes a good choice for a Sunday Church service.


The east coast of Rarotonga beyond Avana is the least appealing for tourists with only a handful of holiday homes and guest houses. The main reason is the coast here lacks both sandy beaches and swimming lagoons. The reef is just a stone's throw from the waters edge and the beach covered in broken coral pieces. It does have stunning mountain views and the large village of Matavera has lots of small roads meandering inland making it a great spot to go exploring amongst local farms. The Matavera CICC Church is one of the oldest and prettiest on Rarotonga; whilst the ancient Arai-Te-Tonga marae, a royal courtyard surrounded by small standing stones, can be seen just off the Ara Metua inland road.

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