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Activities Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Coconut Show          
Island Dancing            
Island Drumming        
Ukelele Lessons            
Island Traditions & History          
Palm Frond Weaving          
Pareu Tying            

Coconut Show

The coconut is a very important part of Cook Islands life, and our Coconut Show will tell you the many uses of it in ancient and modern society. Watch as our Coconut Master shimmies up the tree to grab Coconuts for himself. Be amazed at the skill and speed at which they can husk a coconut. Want to try to husk a coconut yourself? Learn the many uses of the coconut, not just as an important food source, but as a source for ropes, coconut cups for drinking, and the countless uses of the all-important coconut palm fronds. Sample a drink, and fancy a taste from a freshly picked coconut. Learn for yourself the importance of the coconut in daily Rarotongan society.

Island Dancing

One of the highlights of your stay at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa will be witnessing first-hand the tremendous beauty and story-telling power of Cook Islands dance at one of our Island Nights. The skills involved in these dances are remarkable. Learn some of the steps and some of the movements of these fascinating and ancient dances. Catch your breath, as it is a lot more difficult than our talented dancers make it seem!

Island Drumming

The use of drums in Cook Islands society has a long history. Drums were used to send messages, and along with the islands' stunning singing and world-renowned dancing, is a unique means of entertainment. Grab a drum and sit down with our friendly Activities Centre staff as they show you some tricks to produce some of the wonderful sounds and rhythms of the islands. Try to keep up with their torrid pace.

Ukele Lessons

An important musical instrument in the Cook Islands, the Ukelele is actually found throughout many of the islands of the South Pacific. Its unique and beautiful sound helps accompany the pure and melodious voices singing traditional Cook Islands songs. At The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa's Activities Centre, try your hand at playing the Ukelele, and get some tips and pointers from our friendly staff. If you master the it, you should consider purchasing a ukulele of your own - a great reminder of your visit to The Rarotongan.

Island Traditions & History

The islands and people of the Cook Islands have a rich and ancient history. One way that this history was passed down from generation to generation was through verbal storytelling. At The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, we are extremely proud of our heritage and history, and want to share it with you. Sit down with a native Cook Islander, and hear some of the stories, myths, and legends of these fascinating islands.

Palm Frond Weaving

While the coconut is one of the most important items in Cook Islands daily life, the palm frond also has many important functions and uses. One of the ways Cook Islanders use palm fronds is through the art of weaving. Learn the ancient art of palm frond weaving, and make yourself a wonderful island hat!

Parey Tying

Did you know that there are many different ways you can tie and wear a pareu? You can virtually create an entire new wardrobe with one simple pareu. Join the Activities Staff as they show you how to turn one simple piece of fabric into a multitude of fashionable outfits.

Today it’s all about balance. Striking just the right balance between much needed relaxation that your body craves, sprinkled with just enough fascinating diversions to leave your body, mind and soul feeling re-energized and re-vitalized.
What you need is an injection of true South Seas spirit. And that’s where the Cook Islands’ iconic Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa comes in. When you select The Rarotongan for your vacation escape, you’ve selected the resort on Rarotonga with the best balance between peaceful seclusion on the island’s prime beach, and the most extensive array of activities to enjoy with our compliments.

One of the most enjoyable and memorable things about The Rarotongan which will help make your vacation complete is the vibrant resort atmosphere filled with possibilities. You can dip into any of the wide array of scheduled activities on the daily-changing Activities Programme, or you can enjoy the free hire from the Activities Hut of any of a wide range of equipment.
Pepper your days in Paradise with such enjoyable diversions as outrigger canoeing, kayaking, first-class snorkelling, fish feeding, dingies, tennis, pool table, table tennis, table soccer, use of the gym, games lounge, guest library, life-size chess and much more.
Or join in with a scheduled activity – each evening your Guest Newsletter will be delivered to your door with a full outline of the following day’s activities, along with lots of helpful information on Special Offers at SpaPolynesia, upcoming Dinner / Shows, your menu of in-room movies, and some insights into or unique but very approachable local culture or nature. If you’re feeling a little jaded by the pressures and strains of daily life, one look at the following day’s Activities Programme is bound to spark your interest in trying something new and different. And that’s the spice of life – South Seas style.

Daily Activities Programme

Time and time again our guests remark on how much their holiday has been enriched by the warmth, friendliness, sense of fun and depth of local knowledge shared freely with them by our Activities Team members. And this too is often why they return, time and again, to The Rarotongan rather than stay at an isolated bach. Because here at The Rarotongan, you can enjoy one of the most extensive free activities programmes you are likely to find anywhere on Earth.  It’s all laid on, right here at The Rarotongan.

  • Resort Orientation – others include this as a bonus offer (!!), here at The Rarotongan, it’s a given …
  • Snorkelling Lessons in the Pool or Lagoon – great for when you’re a bit rusty, or haven’t had a go before. Very patient, sympathetic instructors.  
  • Snorkelling Safaris in pristine Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve – it’s good to go with a knowledgeable guide, then use our Snorkelling Map another time and do it your way (yip, we even publish an Aroa Lagoon Snorkelling Map – only at The Rarotongan!)
  • Night Snorkelling – unique to The Rarotongan, and one of our most popular and fascinating excursions
  • Fish Feeding – this is one of the absolute highlights for so many guests, young and young at heart! The fish are the friendliest you’ll fine anywhere
  • Guided Kayaking Safaris – drink in some great views of the majestic mountains from Aroa Lagoon
  • Guided Nature & Village Walks – The Rarotongan is located in beautiful Aroa, between Rutaki and Kavera villages, well away from any other resorts or hotels.  It’s a picturesque little area to explore, especially when you go with someone who knows the locals and the lay of the land.
  • Beach Volleyball on prime Aroa Beach
  • Water Polo in the Waterfalls Pool
  • Tennis Coaching
  • Crab Hunting – of course we employ a catch and release system.
  • Crab Racing – people, they’ll bet on anything!
  • Culture – no, this is not a code-word for boring (see below)  

Check out the Activities Blackboard (located beside the Activities Hut) or your nightly Guest Newsletter for the day’s schedule of activities, and enjoy! Open every day, from 8am to 6pm.

Cultural Activities

Everyone at The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa is very proud of our Cook Islands history, our culture, our music, our dance and our people, and we’re excited to be able to share it with you as part of our Complimentary Daily Activities Programme.
Often the word ‘culture’ conjures up something heavy, worthy, and not very interesting. Not so in Rarotonga. Here ‘culture’ is another word for fun, laughter and high spirits. Nowhere on Earth will you find a people more genuinely willing to share their culture with you - in a natural, unaffected way, peppered with a lot of good humour.
Some of the highlights of our range of cultural activities include:

  • Coconut Show – see how the masters climb tall coconut palms (technically speaking, not ‘trees’), pluck a nut and show you how to husk and open it
  • Ei (lei) making – In Hawaiian, a lei. In Rarotongan, an ei. Learn to make your own from fresh tropical blooms – one of our most popular activities, and you can wear it to our riveting ‘Legends of Polynesia’ Island Night Dinner / Show that evening.
  • Hura (hula) dancing – once you’ve seen genuine Cook Islands dancing, you’ll realize why these are the best dancers in all of Polynesia, sought after around the world for ‘Polynesian Shows’. You’ll feel good shakin’ your booty – plus you’ll gain a new appreciation for just how skilled they really are.  Then again, they’ve been doing this since before they could walk.
  • Log drum playing – when Cook Islanders play their drums, you can hear the heartbeat of Mother Earth. The instinctual sense of rhythm, the super-human speed of the beat – it’s a sound which drives straight to your soul. They make it look natural and almost effortless. Just try it and see.
  • Ukelele playing – for many, the lilting island strings is like the signature sound of the South Pacific. Enjoy strumming your own island tune, your way.
  • Pareu tying – there’s so many looks you can get from one length of fabric, why doesn’t the whole world live this way? So easy, breezy and … inexpensive!
  • Palm frond weaving – learn how to make your own sun hat from coconut fronds
  • Ika Mata – learn to make the Cook Islands national dish, yum (make from the freshest tuna steeped in fresh coconut milk, onion, tomato, and a little chilli)

Cook Islands culture continues to be something lived and breathed by the people in their every day lives. Because most Cook Islanders speak English, it is relatively easy to gain a little insight into the richness of the culture – unlike places where there is a language barrier, or where tourists are not genuinely welcomed. Our Activities Team is always willing to share their deep love and knowledge of their culture with you as our valued guest.  Immerse yourself in some wonderful aspects of exotic Cook Islands culture, and by doing so, deeply enrich your vacation experience – and have a whole heap of fun doing it!

Waterfall Swimming Pool

Right beside the Activities Hut is the waterfalls swimming pool. Which is handy, as that’s also right beside Aroa Beach. And because The Rarotongan is luckily located right on the sunshine southwest coast, this means there’s sunshine all day on the freshwater pool, the beach, and the lagoon – right up until sunset that is (often a glorious, blazing island sunset). There’s plenty of comfortable pool loungers to enjoy, so grab your complimentary pool / beach towel from the Activities Hut and make yourself comfortable for another day in Paradise. After you’ve soaked up some rays, take a cool dip in the pool. Someone’s gotta do it.