June 23rd, 2023
The school holidays! What is meant to be a holiday for kids can sometimes turn into a lot of work for parents. If you're lucky enough to visit Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, you are in for a treat. No matter what age your kids are there is plenty to keep them busy, having fun and learning as well. Here are five of the best things to do in Rarotonga during the school holidays:
1. Snorkelling and Diving
Rarotonga is surrounded by a stunning coral reef, making it a great place for snorkelling and diving. The island offers numerous snorkeling and diving spots, each offering a unique experience. Muri Lagoon is a popular spot for snorkeling, with its crystal-clear waters and abundance of marine life, and you can do a guided tour that includes meeting a giant eel if you're lucky. Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve by the Rarotongan Resort and Tikioki Marine Reserve are two favourite spots in the west, along with the Edgewater Resort which is great for kids. If you are up for some diving then take a tour out to a channel for a chance to see beautiful turtles and rays.
2. Island Tours
Rarotonga is a small island, and one of the best ways to explore it is through an island tour. There are numerous tour operators on the island that offer guided tours, each providing a unique experience. Visitors can choose from tours that cover the island's cultural and historical sites, such as the Cook Islands Cultural Village and the ancient marae (sacred sites), or tours that focus on the island's natural beauty, such as the Cross-Island Walk, which takes visitors through the lush forests and over the rugged mountains of the island's interior. This is a great way to get the kids tired and ready for bed so you can go and enjoy an evening cocktail.
3. Water Sports
Rarotonga's crystal-clear waters offer the perfect playground for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can choose from a wide range of water sports activities, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and kiteboarding. For those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled experience, take a quided jet ski tour or give the kids a blast on the banana boat which wlll have them all screaming. If you want to give your kids a truly memorable experience then book them in for a night time guided SUP tour on a stand up paddle board equipped with LED lights that light the water and reef below. This is awesome!
4. Cultural Experiences
Rarotonga is rich in Polynesian culture, and there are numerous cultural experiences available for visitors to explore that will entertain and educate your children. The Cook Islands Cultural Village Te Vara Nui is a great place to start, offering a glimpse into Cook Islands culture and history through traditional dance and music performances, as well as demonstrations of weaving, carving, and cooking. The evening dinner and show is a must and will help your kids learn about the voyaging of ancient Cook Islanders and how they continued on to New Zealand many centuries ago. The island is also home to numerous markets, such as the Punanga Nui Market, where visitors can sample local foods and purchase traditional crafts and souvenirs. There is always a tasty treat for your kids to enjoy and usually a free cultural dance show too.
Last but not least, Rarotonga is the perfect place to unwind and relax during the school holidays. After a busy school term it can be important for kids of all ages to unplug and have a 'digital detox' like the good old days. There is no harm in spending an afternoon making sandcastles or going beachcombing for hermit crabs or even coconut crabs. After an initial few minutes of complaining, most kids find they actually love the experience of chilling out in a beautiful warm location.
So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to create family memories that will last a lifetime in Rarotonga. We have rental cars of all sizes across Rarotonga so get in touch to book in for your family holiday.