At Kia Orana Villas, we believe that exploring paradise should be easy and enjoyable. That's why we're thrilled to offer a range of activities that cater to all tastes and interests, whether you prefer to be underwater, on the water, or deep in our lush tropical landscape. From lagoon cruises to fishing, diving, guided mountain hikes, storytelling cycling tours, buggies, quad bikes, or 4WD trips inland, we can book it all for you. With Rarotonga's breathtaking natural terrain, the possibilities are endless, and you can craft your ideal itinerary at your own pace. Whether you prefer a fast or slow pace, a laidback or adrenaline-fueled adventure, the only limit is how you choose to define your perfect holiday. To avoid disappointment, it's essential to book your tours and activities well in advance of your arrival due to Rarotonga's popularity as a tourist destination. You can find some of our recommended activities on the links provided on this page, but our General Manager, Sane Cowan, is available to assist you with booking all of these activities and provide recommendations tailored to your preferences. Simply reach out to Sane at, and she'll be more than happy to help. At Kia Orana Villas, we're committed to providing a personalized experience that caters to your individual needs. Whether you're looking for relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, we're here to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. So why not start planning your perfect holiday today?

Cook Islands dance traditions

Each island in the Cook Islands has its own special dances and these are learned from childhood by both girls and boys. Dance competitions are common and hotly contested - if there's a competition on when you're visiting, do your best to see it. Dancers are accompanied by drumming on the paté, a slit drum that's also found in Samoa and Tahiti. Dances can be sensual, fierce and incredibly athletic; all of them are utterly spellbinding. There's often dancing on stage at Punanga Nui Market or you can catch a live show at one of Rarotonga's resorts.


Cook Islands music

Apart from the traditional drumming, you'll hear at a dance performance, the music of the Cook Islands encompasses everything from traditional folk songs accompanied by ukulele or guitar to rap, hip hop and rock music. For traditional music, book for an island night performance at Te Vara Nui cultural village. Music is also a highlight of island nights, which are held every week at the larger resorts. Some of the best venues for contemporary music include Charlies Café, On the Beach Restaurant,  Wilsons Beach Bar, Trio's Bar and Pacific Resort Rarotonga.


Cook Islands clothing

While smart casual or beach-style clothing is the norm for most residents of Rarotonga, you'll also see plenty of people wearing the pareu, a bright-coloured length of fabric worn as a wrap by both men and women. At traditional dance performances, women and girls wear a pareu kiri'au roroa (long skirt), papa kapu akiri (coconut bra) and pare rakei (headpiece). Men and boys wear a pareu poto (skirt), ei kaki (necklace) and pare rakei no te tane (headpiece).


Cook Islands handcrafts

When you're shopping at Punanga Nui Market or around Avarua township, look for tivaevae quilts, wood carvings featuring traditional Polynesian motifs, pareu, art works, pearl jewellery, hand-made hats and bags, and woven homewares.


Best Rarotonga food experiences

Cook Islands cuisine is a delightful mix of local and international flavors, featuring fresh seafood and tropical produce. Some of the best places to try out the island's culinary offerings include Mooring Fish Café, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and salads, Vili's Burger Joint, which is known for its delicious burgers, and Charlie's Café, which serves up the best fish sandwich on the island.

If you're looking to sample some local street food, head to Punanga Nui Market on a Saturday morning for roast pork rolls with apple sauce, ika mata, rukau, poke, and mitiore. Don't forget to try firi firi, a delicious donut with chocolate filling.

You can also visit the Muri Night Market, which is open on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, to try out some of the island's most popular casual food options. Here, you'll find everything from noodles and chow mein to pork ribs and teriyaki, as well as delectable desserts like coconut cheesecake and chocolate brownies.

Activities in Rarotonga

Click here for the Cook Islands Travel website

Walks and hiking in Rarotonga

Tropical hiking gives you a different view of paradise, so pack some sturdy boots or shoes. Once you've discovered the joys of trekking through Rarotonga's hinterland, there'll be no stopping you. Here are some trails to enjoy:

The Cross-Island Track is the most popular walk on Rarotonga, but it's far from crowded. The four-hour hike includes the 413m Te Rua Manga (Needle). North to south is the recommended direction, because there's less chance of a wrong turn

The Takitumu Conservation Area trail starts on the eastern side of the Queen's Representative's official residence in Titikaveka. One of Raro's best natural attractions, the trail takes you into the cloud forest for glimpses of the Kakerori (Rarotongan Flycatcher bird). The small entry fee assists species protection

Takuvaine Valley Trail, which starts as a drivable road, lets you see where the people of Rarotonga used to live before European settlers arrived

Avana Valley Track heads inland from Avana Harbour. It starts at Avana Road next to Manavaroa homestead. The path crosses several tributaries of the Avana Stream, so you can have a freshwater dip if it gets too hot

Maungatea Bluff Track delivers some of the best high-altitude views on the island. To find the track, follow the road on the right of Tauae Store until it runs out and the walking trail begins


Bike tours and self-guided biking

Cycling on Rarotonga is both a form of transport and something fun to do. You can hire bikes from various places around the island, then pedal forth to find beaches, snorkelling spots, cafés and shops. Biking to Punanga Nui Market on a Saturday saves the hunt for a carpark at the island's most popular weekly event. Visiting the market is one of the best activities to do in Rarotonga, so make it a priority.

Another way to enjoy yourself on self-propelled wheels is a guided ride with Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours. They offer a range of experiences, from basic lunch-and-swim options to exciting five-hour rides that involve mountain bikes and stream crossings. The theme with all their tours is storytelling - you'll hear local legends, pick up interesting facts and figures, and generally learn about life on an idyllic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This operator also gives 10% of their profits back to the community, so your fun experience is making a difference to the locals.


Experiences with a tropical flare

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Bike hire

Kia Orana Villas bike hire for guests only

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Snorkel gear hire

Kia Orana Villas snorkel gear hire for guests only

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Corporate Events

Kia Orana corporate events inspire staff with a perfect blend of work, cultural & leisure activities

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