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Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands

Things to do in the Cook Islands

With 15 tiny islands scattered over an area the size of Western Europe, the Cook Islands offer a diverse range of activities and experiences tinged with an air of escapism.

There are a number of ways to explore the volcanic interior of Rarotonga, the archipelago’s main island, from 4x4 trips deep into the mountains to cultural tours featuring open-air museums.

Further afield, Aitutaki is one of the most striking islands in the South Pacific and can be visited on a day trip. A pristine coral atoll, it is an idyllic place to snorkel in the turquoise waters or relax on the pure white sands.

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who's been there

Chris, an Audley Travel specialist

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Ideas for experiencing the Cook Islands

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the Cook Islands, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Cross Island Trek with Pa, Rarotonga

    Cross Island Trek


    This fascinating walk will take you deep into Rarotonga's lush interior to learn about the local flora and fauna, and their uses in ancestral medicine.

  • Muri Lagoon in Rarotonga

    Muri Lagoon Morning Cruise


    Enjoy a morning cruise in Muri Lagoon and snorkel and swim amongst tropical fish in this marine conservation site.

  • Aitutaki, The Cook Islands

    Day Trip to Aitutaki


    Enjoy a scenic flight over to Aitutaki where you will have a short tour of the island before joining your cruise, enjoying a selection of fresh tropical fruit whilst sailing out into the crystal clear lagoon.

  • Rarotonga Mountains

    Highland Paradise Cultural Tour


    The Highland Paradise Cultural Tour takes you high up into the rugged mountains of Rarotonga to an open air museum, showcasing evidence of a historical lost village and the survival of the Polynesian people.

  • Mountains of Rarotonga

    Half Day 4WD Inland Tour


    This jeep tour will take you off the beaten track, away from the circular road around Rarotonga and in amongst the island's valleys and up its mountain tracks.

  • Te Rua Manga (The Needle) on Rarotonga

    Half Day Island Discovery Tour


    Travel by air conditioned minivan around the whole of the 32km circumference of Rarotonga, in the company of a local guide.