10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© Pixabay
10 Best Bars on Rarotonga

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga

© Pixabay

Beach Bars, Resort Bars and Nightclubs on Rarotonga

Relax, hang out or party in paradise at some of the spectacular bars on Rarotonga. Rarotonga is one of the biggest party islands in the South Pacific and they’ve got the party buses and happy hour cocktail tours to prove it! Whether you’re looking to dance into the early hours, unwind with friends and family, or take that special someone for drinks at a more “sophisticated establishment”, we have a variety of the best bars on Rarotonga listed right here.

Before we dive into it, see more ways to spice up your nights with The Ultimate Guide to Rarotonga Nightlife. And note that the legal drinking age in Rarotonga is 18 years old. And note-note, nightclubs will stay open until the early hours, usually Wednesday to Friday, but close at 12am on Saturday/Sunday due to local drinking laws. People need to be fresh to go to church the next morning!

1. Wilson’s Beach Bar (Castaway Resort)

The only beach bar in the Cook Islands where the bar itself is literally on the sand, Wilson’s Beach Bar is a must-do for at least one of your nights in the Cook Islands. Along with your vibrant cocktails, local and international beer and more, sample some bar snacks like Japanese barbecue skewers and a menu of Cuban cigars! Opening hours are daily from 12pm. Happy hour is 3pm to 6pm.

Location: Castaway Resort, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

2. Shipwreck Hut (Aro’a Beachside Inn)

With a prominent nautical theme and seating on the soft sands of Aroa Beach, Shipwreck Hut is another one of Rarotonga’s feel-good beach bars. Enjoy the sunset as you sip on jam-jar cocktails and refreshing beers. The bar is open daily from 5pm with live music on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Location: Aro’a Beachside Inn, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Aroa Beach.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

3. Rehab

Moving onto the nightclub scene now, Rehab is the place to end a night out on Rarotonga. Dance the rest of the night away with DJHab and drinks that are, admittedly, a little more expensive compared to other clubs on this list, but maybe you won’t care by the time you get there… The best way to experience Raro’s most famous nightclub is on the “Raro Pub Crawl“. Also known as the Rehab Party Bus, this is where Rehab’s club-on-wheels hits the coastal road on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. You’ll stop by a few bars around the island before concluding at Rehab.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Avarua (across the road from the Empire Cinema and on the waterfront).

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© Pixabay

4. OTR (On The Rocks)

Start, continue and/or end your night out at OTR, otherwise known as On The Rocks. The waterfront Avarua bar near Rehab is the place to go for cheap drinks, as well as DJ and live music. The party atmosphere is usually buzzing, so if you want a fun night out in Raro, include OTR. Opening hours are Wednesday to Saturday til late.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Avarua (behind Tuki’s).

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

5. Trio’s Garden Bar

Most flock to Trio’s Garden Bar for karaoke Thursday and Saturday nights, but the live bands on Monday and Friday are another good reason to kick back at this vibrant bar. They have pool tables, all the expected drinks, and happy hour is from 5pm to 7pm. Opening hours are from Monday to Saturday 11am until late.

Location: Banana Court, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Avarua.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

6. Vaiana’s Bar & Bistro

Cheap drinks and cheap eats can be enjoyed at Vaiana’s Bar & Bistro. A beach bar on Nikao Beach that’s also popular with the locals, Vaiana’s offers a casual family-friendly atmosphere. They are open from 11am, Monday to Saturday, and happy hour is at 4pm. Check out their food offerings in The Top Cheap Eats on Rarotonga.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Nikao.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

7. RSC Beachfront Bar & Brasserie

For a relaxed bar atmosphere on Muri Beach, choose RSC Beachfront Bar & Brasserie, a.k.a. the Rarotonga Sailing Club. Enjoy a refreshing array of beverages on the elevated deck overlooking the lagoon or on the sands, where it’s fun to people watch and hang out with friends and family. The bar usually has a live string band on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Happy hour is from 4pm to 6pm. We also list RSC in our dining favourites, The Best Places to Eat on Rarotonga: 10 Best Restaurants.

Location: Muri Beach, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

8. Sunset Bar (OTB)

Watch the sunset and feel your toes in the sand at this slightly more sophisticated beach bar on Arorangi Beach. With one of the largest wine lists on the island, as well as creative cocktails, local beer and international favourites, there’s not much the Sunset Bar doesn’t do. The bar is part of the acclaimed On The Beach (OTB) Restaurant, so you may be tempted to treat yourself to some fine dining. Happy hour is from 3pm to 6pm with NZ$10 cocktails!

Location: Manuia Beach Resort, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

9. Hula Bar (The Islander)

Home of the “All Day Happy Hour”, Hula Bar at The Islander Hotel pours international beers for NZ$3.50, NZ$15 cocktails, NZ$9 spirits and more all day long. Enjoy sunset drinks on the beach, boogie into the early hours on most nights, or join them on Tuesday night for an energetic island night, fire show and buffet dinner. Check out more cultural shows in the 7 Best Island Nights in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Avarua (opposite the airport).

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© Zhang Da Qiang - Cook Islands

10. Oceans Bar (Crown Resort)

For a more relaxed vacation atmosphere, unwind with a cocktail or two at the Oceans Bar of the Crown Beach Resort. The adults-only resort sets the tone right for a relaxed yet refined afternoon or evening. Their daily happy hour is from 4pm to 6pm, treating you to NZ$2 off all drinks.

Location: Crown Beach Resort, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi.

10 Best Bars on Rarotonga© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

More About Bars on Rarotonga

Now that you know about the best bars on Rarotonga, and you have more room to drink and be merry, how about these other places to wet your whistle around the Cook Islands?

Finally, check out the drinks to sample in the 10 Drinks in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands You Have to Try.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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