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Rarotonga is not for you if you are looking for a rugged night life and a dozen rides. It is 19-mile long with a grocery store and two buses. You can reach us most easily with Air New Zealand's non-stop flights from LAX. Due to its small dimensions, there is no better or more relaxed way to discover the islands than to hire a bike for the entire journey.
Around the isle there are a lot of hiring stores which are pleased to collect you. Many of these stores also offer kayak hire, surf boards and snorkelling equipment. It is surrounded by a cliff that forms a protected sandy area. There are the best sands of the whole archipelago on the south side.
Raina (above) and Aora Strands are both no-fishing areas with open sea beds, making them the best snorkelling spots. If you want quieter water, the circulating cliff in the south-east of the isle gives way to a row of islands, resulting in the calm, crystalline Muri lagoon (left). In contrast to more advanced resorts, the only significant night life on Rarotonga is a range of outings.
The Vara Nui Culture Show. Highland Paradise is located high in the mountain with a view of the islands. It is based on an unspoilt Cook Islands Maori website. Nowadays, the site has guided visits to the archeological site during the afternoon and a culture show two times a week. Te Vara Nui, a less genuine but high-production show, is a culture town in the Muri Lagoon with a night-time show and cuisine.
Avarua is the biggest town on Rarotonga and the main town of the Cook Islands. In most other lands, this apartment with 5,000 inhabitants would hardly become the name of the town, but it is the highest urban density in the Cook Islands. At Averua you will find the small Cook Island National Museum and the Para O Tane Palace (left).
Averova also offers the biggest choice of restaurants on the islands and Rarotonga's only grocery store. Raratonga is not your place if you are looking for great culture, great night life or exciting adventures. But if you want to relax, decelerate and enjoy a South Pacific tropic heaven with an genuine culture and some of the best snorkelling in the area, come to Rarotonga soon - before the outside worlds discover the islands and turn them into another sterilised, packed seaside town.