Light, flame, fun, and feasting – Here at Te Vara Nui Village in Rarotonga you can learn about the history and culture of the Cook Islands throughout a fantastical night of immersive experiences.
Te Vara Nui Village is the cultural centre of the Cook Islands, located in Muri, Rarotonga. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the town centre, the village is close to your tropical holiday accommodation and easy to get to, with transfer options available. The centre recreates traditional life of the Cook Island communities, and teaches guests about the island’s history, politics, beliefs, and ceremonies. See local artisans and craftspeople weave, carve and prepare weapons and dance costumes, and cook sensational feasts starting from husking coconuts to frying fresh fish.
The Cultural Village Tour, which departs at five in the afternoon and starts with a glass of bubbles, is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the island culture. Wander through the town on the two-hour guided tour, learning about traditional medicines, ancestral navigation techniques, and ancient myths and legends. End the tour with a spectacular over-water night show and dinner. The largest show in the Cook Island, this eclectic showcase of sound, flame, and dance tells an ancient story performed by Rarotonga’s finest dancers and musicians.
Feast at the buffet where delicious island and western foods are fused by local and international chefs to create delicious, zesty dishes for a three-course meal. Indulge in delicious, fruity cocktails or cool crisp beer as performers dance in huge costumes floating on the lapping shore.
Experience the authentic ancestral atmosphere of the Cook Islands here at Te Vara Nui Village. Immersive, educational, and awe-inspiring, the night will leave you blown away.
Raro Tours depart daily from the Rarotonga International Airport, and are fully licensed, accredited, and well-established operator which offers the safest and highest quality transportation services on the island. They offer airport transfers, wedding vans & cars, hotel to hotel transfers, dinner transfers, and private group charters.
The Island Discovery tour runs for three-hours, and visits the island’s most sacred, cultural, and historical sights. Admire in reverence the ancient mareas, sacred sites which tell the origins of the Rarotongan people, characterised by their megaliths and shrines. Marvel at the Garden of the Seven Stones, the harbour where the ancestors of today’s indigenous New Zealand people set off to Aotearoa thousands of years ago.
Undoubtedly one of the best ways to explore the waters of Rarotonga, Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes depart daily from 11am from the beaches of Muri. The BBQ Lagoon Cruise will take you from the pristine beachfront to Rarotonga’s vibrant marine reserve in a glass bottom boat. Admire the elegance and grace of the marine life from the comfort of the boat, or take your choice of provided snorkeling gear to meet the fish up close and personal.
The marine reserve is home to giant clams, schools of colourful fish, and bright, geometric star fish. Swim underneath the boat to wave at those staying dry, or simply lie flat on your stomach on the water’s surface and take it all in. The crew also provide healthy fish food, meaning you can toss some flakes to the fish and watch them feed in a frenzy.
After snorkeling, the crew give a hilarious coconut husking show, alongside 100 ways to tie a sarong demonstration, guaranteed to have you in stitches. All the laughing and swimming is sure to bring out your appetite, meaning the beach BBQ arrives at the perfect time. Feast on delicious, BBQed fish, sourced locally; fresh, delicious snacks and salads; and even a fabulous fried banana.
When you’re clocking up some holiday hours in the Cook Islands, you have to partake in a leisure cruise or two and there’s no better way to soak in the beauty of this waterside paradise than by setting sail with the friendly team at Koka Lagoon Cruises. Stunning scenery, exciting snorkelling adventures, cultural demonstrations and a tropical feast comprise just some of what awaits.
Island Car & Bike Hire is the Cook Island’s number one locally owned car and bike rental company. With three major locations on Rarotonga, Island Car & Bike Hire offer the lowest prices without compromising on quality. Backed by our friendly and efficient customer service, we have the right vehicle to compliment your holiday in Rarotonga.
Rich, creamy, delicious fudge, made daily on the premises, with so many flavours to choose from! From the web site we’re offering just a small selection – but you are welcome to ask for more? Currently on offer are:
- Creme Brulee – everyone’s favourite.
- Irish Cream – the Adult’s treat.
- Chocolate – who could resist?
- Russian – just like back home!
- Mango – for that flavour of the tropics.
- Raro Lamington – the real Cook Islands Fudge!
- Rocky Road – anyone know a child (or adult) who doesn’t like this?
Any experienced traveller knows that the best way to experience foreign lands is by listening to the locals and that’s what the Highland Paradise Cultural Centre is all about! Affectionately described as an open-air museum, the centre is your one-stop guide to the Cook Islands and offers a unique blend of intriguing history, engaging entertainment and a satiating smorgasbord of native dishes.