The Top Experiences on Rarotonga for Adults
We get it. Rarotonga might be popular with families, but the tranquil island escape doesn’t have to feel like a crèche. With these adults-only activities on Rarotonga, you have opportunities to unwind, adventure and party without a worry of little ‘uns spoiling the fun. Check out these experiences on Rarotonga for adults and treat yourself to some grown-up time.
Before we get started, you might also like to plan your trip with The Adults-Only Travel Guide to Rarotonga.
1. Sooth the Senses with an Island Massage
It goes without saying, but your spa time on Rarotonga is as serene as it gets. A selection of resorts specialises in spa treatments, from the Vichy Showers of the Waterfall Spa at Rumours Luxury Villas which are unique on Rarotonga to the beachfront massages of the Muri Beach Club Spa. Compare all of the spas available in the 10 Best Spas in Rarotonga.
Location: See spa locations in the link above.
2. Stay at One of Rarotonga’s Adults-Only Resorts
We can’t get through this list of adults-only activities on Rarotonga and not mention the adults-only resorts and boutique accommodations. If you haven’t already set your sights on one of the resorts exclusively for guests aged 12, 16 or 18 years+ then you need to get your eyes on our 10 Best Adults-Only Resorts on Rarotonga. These accommodations are specially designed to provide a tranquil holiday for guests, usually offering experiences of their own, whether it’s a swimming pool or complimentary use of kayaks and SUP boards to explore the lagoon.
Location: All over Rarotonga. See the link above or the 20 Best Adults-Only Resorts in the Cook Islands for locations across the country.
3. Boost Your Zen with a SUP Yoga Session
No experience is necessary to enjoy a relaxing session of stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga on the Muri Lagoon. Join KiteSUP for a 1h30mins group session or a private session where you’ll paddle out to the shores of a private island for a truly serene floating yoga class. You’ll be taught how to paddle the SUP, while yoga poses are beginner-friendly. That’s not to say that there’s no room for more challenging poses – they make for fun shots! Mat yoga sessions are also available with KiteSUP or join one of the yoga retreats of the Cook Islands, as detailed in The Guide to Retreats in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: Yoga, Wellness & More.
Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri (opposite LBV Bakery & Cafe).
4. Tackle the Cross Island Trek
Most of the time, it’s just you and who you choose to hike with on this challenging yet rewarding hiking trail across Rarotonga. The Cross Island Trek is a 6km (3.7-mile) trail marked with orange markers for those who want to experience the hike independently. Otherwise, guided hikes are available with Maunga Tours. Aside from trekking through lush jungle forest, a highlight is Te Rua Manga, also known as The Needle. The trail ends at Papua Waterfall (Wigmore’s Waterfall) where you can have a refreshing dip assuming it has been raining enough for the water level. See more hikes in the 10 Best Walks in Rarotonga.
Location: It’s recommended to walk from north to south, starting from the end of Uruau Drive in Avarua (if walking from town, this adds an additional 3km/1 mile to your journey). The trail ends at the end of Papua Road, which is approximately 1.6km (1 mile) from the main road where you can catch the bus. Learn more about bus transport in Taking the Bus in Rarotonga: Bus Fares, Routes & More.
5. Explore Inland on an Exhilarating Quad Bike Tour
Exclusively for adventure-seekers over seven years old, but mostly those over 18 with a driving license, Raro Quad Tours is your opportunity to let loose on a quad bike, get muddy and explore the inland tracks of Rarotonga. You’ll definitely be eased into the chaos, however, with the 2.5-3-hour tour starting with a slow-paced yet interesting history tour of the island before heading inland to plantations and dirt tracks including a stop at the Papua Waterfall (Wigmore’s Waterfall). Find out more about the excursion in The Best Off-Road Tours in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Location: Departure is from Wigmore’s Superstore, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Takitumu.
6. Explore the Deep on a Scuba Diving Trip
Most of Rarotonga’s water experiences happen within the confines of the surrounding lagoon, but those who venture further will discover an abundance of coral formations, caves and marine life where the plateau drops off into the deep blue. Rarotonga has around 25 exciting dive sites around the lagoon, as well as additional sites within the lagoon, which can be experienced with Pacific Divers and Dive Rarotonga. Learn more about the operators in The Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga.
Location: See the link about for operator locations.
7. Hit the Rarotonga Nightclub Scene
One of the biggest Pacific party islands, Rarotonga has a fun selection of bars and nightclubs to let your hair down. Either hit the clubs in Avarua, such as Rehab, One the Rocks (OTR) and Luna, or hop on one of the “party buses” like the Raro Pub Crawl or Going Troppo Nightlife Tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) to hit all of the hottest bars and clubs around the island.
Location: See locations in The Ultimate Guide to Rarotonga Nightlife and 10 Best Bars in Rarotonga.
8. Swim with Turtles
Guarantee a sighting of gorgeous sea turtles in their natural environment on one of Rarotonga’s amazing turtle swimming tours. Taking place among the strong currents of the Avaavaroa Passage, these tours are only suitable for confident swimmers (but don’t worry, there are still safety procedures in place). In fact, operators like Ariki Adventures (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) have a minimum age limit of seven years old for their turtle tours. To ensure you share the experience with just the people you choose, go for a private turtle tour with Charlotte Piho Photography Experiences (on Viator and Tripadvisor). However, there are several options for turtle swimming across Raro, so be sure to compare using the 10 Best Turtle Swimming Tours in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Location: See the link above for operator locations.
9. Catch a South Pacific Whopper on a Private Fishing Charter
Head out to the blue water outside of the Rarotonga lagoon for some deep sea fishing! Shared fishing charters rarely have kids onboard, but private fishing charters are the way to guarantee a more “adults-only” experience. Experience the thrill of reeling in pelagic fish species, like mahimahi, wahoo and yellowfin tuna, on one of the many charters departing from Avarua. Plan your fishing excursion, along with reef fishing and spearfishing, in The Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Location: Check out all of the departure points in the 10 Best Fishing Charters in Rarotonga.
10. Tee Off at Rarotonga’s Golf Course
Finally, you’ll hardly hear a peep out of excitable children at the Rarotonga Golf Club, even if it is a casual range where golfers tee off island-style in their shorts and tees. That’s right, Rarotonga has its own tropical 9-hole golf course among swaying palms and a mountain backdrop. Once you’ve done your round, head to the clubhouse and bar to relax with fellow golfers. Find out more about making the most of Rarotonga’s golf course in The Complete Guide to Golf in the Cook Islands.
Location: Tipani Road, Nikao.
More About Activities on Rarotonga for Adults
Now that you know some of the top adults-only activities on Rarotonga, here are some honourable mentions:
- Kitesurfing in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: The Top 10 Places to Kitesurf
- Windsurfing in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: The Top 10 Places to Windsurf
- 7 Best Whale Tours in the Cook Islands
Finally, plan the rest of your Raro escape using the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga and The Complete Adults-Only Travel Guide to the Cook Islands.