Avarua

Rarotonga
Avarua showing mountains and a bay or harbour

Base yourself in the center of the Cook Islands, explore thousands of years of Polynesian culture, see coral reefs and trek through rainforest.

Avarua (Two Harbors) is the main port for yacht and boat anchorage in the Cook Islands. Visit Rarotonga’s central township to find shops, museums, cafés, accommodations and lively Cook Islands nightlife.

Inside the coral reef encircling Rarotonga’s blue-green lagoon, the sea abounds with marine life, living coral and tropical fish. Astounding visibility and year-round warm waters make snorkeling or scuba diving the best way to explore underwater caves, canyons and shipwrecks. Avarua is a great place for beginners to get scuba diving certification.

Plan a day of deep-sea fishing to catch yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi, barracuda and snapper. Test your skills at the Rarotonga Golf Club or enjoy a hike through thick jungle to spot native birds and butterflies. Make the 4-hour climb with Pa’s Treks to the top of the Te Rua Manga and learn about local myths and legends. Other hikes include Turangi Track, Raemaru Lookout, Avana Valley Track, Papua Waterfall Track and the protected rainforest at Takitumu Conservation Area. Bring hiking shoes for the rocky, uneven terrain.

See the bright white-coral exterior of the historic Cook Islands Christian Church, built in 1853. Step inside to hear locals rejoicing in song.

Find contemporary and traditional arts and crafts at the Beachcomber Gallery and rare black pearls at the Beachcomber Pearl Market. Shop at the daily Punanga Nui Market on Avarua Wharf for arts and crafts, tropical fruits, vegetables and favorite local dishes.

Behind the Para-O-Tane Palace is the modest Cook Islands Library and Museum, which displays the island’s first printing press and other artifacts.

To complete a relaxed Cook Islands day, attend a spirited Polynesian buffet with cultural dance and musical performances.

Located on the northern coastline of Rarotonga, Avarua is a lively township with modern facilities including banks, shops and travel agencies. Get around the island easily with a 45-minute round-Rarotonga bus ride or by rented car, scooter or bicycle.


Popular places to visit in Avarua

Top things to do in Avarua


Top hotels in Avarua

Paradise Inn
Paradise Inn
3 out of 5
Main Road, Maraerenga, Rarotonga
The price is HK$622 per night from 19 Jan to 20 Jan
Nestled on the beach, this Avarua hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cook Islands National Museum and Cook Island Christian Church (CICC). Para O Tane Palace ...
3.6/5 Good! (75 reviews)
"Clean and convenient at a good price. Has everything you need from basic accommodation."

Reviewed on 7 Aug 2021

Paradise Inn
Club Raro Resort
Club Raro Resort
3 out of 5
The price is HK$899 per night from 19 Jan to 20 Jan
Located in Avarua, this beachfront resort is in the historical district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cook Island Christian Church (CICC), Cook Islands Library and ...
3.5/5 Good! (585 reviews)
"Nice relaxing place to stay All staff friendly and very helpful All You need for a relaxing tropical holiday!"

Reviewed on 11 Jul 2021

Club Raro Resort
Kia Orana Villas and Spa
Kia Orana Villas and Spa
3.5 out of 5
Located in Avarua, this villa is within 2 mi (3 km) of Punanga Nui Market, Cook Island Christian Church (CICC) and Cook Islands Library and Museum. Beachcomber ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (47 reviews)
Tropical Paradise
"Cant say enough about the Kia Orana Villas. Met by the General Manager, Sane, as we stepped out of the car, and who also farewelled us as we departed. Lucky to stay for 19 nights so we became family. Fantastic staff all round who shared their lives and families with us. Felt like home, not a hotel. ..."

Reviewed on 6 Sep 2021

Kia Orana Villas and Spa
Nevaeh Holiday Home plus free use of car
Nevaeh Holiday Home plus free use of car
Located in Avarua, this holiday home is within 1 mile (2 km) of Beachcomber Pearl Market and Cook Islands National Museum. Cook Island Christian Church (CICC) ...
5/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Recharging the Batteries .
"Desmond was very helpful and the stay was great. We had a great time chilling out and relaxing. Kicked back and soon got into the rhythm of Raro time. Maitaki Maata"

Reviewed on 20 Mar 2020

Nevaeh Holiday Home plus free use of car
Kiikii Inn & Suites
Kiikii Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
Nestled on the beach, this Avarua hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Beachcomber Pearl Market, Cook Islands National Museum and Cook Island Christian Church (CICC). ...
3.8/5 Good! (76 reviews)
"Kiikii is an o.k. motel. The location is not well suited to those without transport. It is not on the beach, also some distance from shops. With lockdown Rarotonga was cutting back on bus services. The staff were pleasant - thanks guys. (just remember not to turn off refrigerators). The pool was ..."

Reviewed on 23 Aug 2021

Kiikii Inn & Suites
Ocean Spray Villas
Ocean Spray Villas
4 out of 5
Nestled on the beach, this Avarua villa is within a 10-minute walk of Beachcomber Pearl Market, Cook Islands National Museum and Cook Island Christian Church ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (4 reviews)
"It is a slice of paradise. The house is gorgeous, a stroll into town"

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2019

Ocean Spray Villas
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Other neighbourhoods around Avarua

Avarua