Rarotonga’s Most Romantic Experiences
So you’ve chosen Rarotonga for a romantic getaway and you might have also chosen your romantic resort (if not, what are you doing? Check out the 10 Most Romantic Wedding & Honeymoon Resorts in Rarotonga). Now, you just need to tie it all together in a neat romantic bow with some of Raro’s most romantic experiences. Whether you’re a couple of adventure-seekers, foodies or prefer to simply recharge, we have listed a variety of experiences that hit all of those sweet spots and more in the most romantic things to do on Rarotonga for couples.
Before we begin, be sure to open up The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Rarotonga for more vacation-planning wisdom.
1. Be Treated to a “His and Hers” Massage
Soothe the senses and rejuvenate together with a couples’ massage on Rarotonga. You’ll struggle to find a spa that doesn’t do couples’ massages on Rarotonga between the couples’ treatments at the Waterfall Spa of Rumours Luxury Villas and the beachfront massages of the Muri Beach Club Spa. Compare all of the spas available for a relaxing retreat in the 10 Best Spas in Rarotonga.
Location: See spa locations in the link above.
2. Celebrate a Special Occasion with a Private Dinner on the Beach
A must for couples celebrating a special occasion or simply elevating the romance, there are a number of private dining experiences available on Rarotonga. The adults-only Crown Beach Resort & Spa offers private dining under a gorgeous decorated gazebo on the beach. You can also ask about private dining at On The Beach (OTB), Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach, The Rarotongan Resort & Lagoonarium, Pacific Resort Rarotonga and more. Trust us, this experience of dining with your toes in the sand while watching the sunset is readily available.
Location: Crown Beach Resort & Spa, On The Beach (OTB) at Manuia Beach Resort, Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach and The Rarotongan Resort & Lagoonarium – all on Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi. Pacific Resort Rarotonga – Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri.
3. Team Up in a Double Kayak to Explore the Lagoon
It’s the ultimate test of any relationship; navigating a kayak together. Kayaks are a staple of beachfront accommodations on Rarotonga with stays like Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas, Heliconia Hideaway, Castaway Resort, Little Polynesian and Pacific Resort Rarotonga offering complimentary use of double kayaks for guests. Kayak rentals are also available with Adventure Cook Islands, KiteSUP and Captain Tama Aquasportz. Ask your host for the best places to go from your chosen accommodation and don’t forget to take some snorkelling gear to enjoy the tropical marine life below.
Location: All over Rarotonga – See a comprehensive list of accommodations in Where to Stay on Rarotonga: The Best Rarotonga Accommodations or kayak rentals in the 5 Best Kayak Tours & Rentals in the Cook Islands.
4. Hit the Island’s Best Sunset Spots
If you’re not staying on Rarotonga’s sunset coast, Arorangi, at least make your way to its never-ending beach to soak up the sunset. Whether it’s from restaurants like On The Beach (OTB) or The Waterline Restaurant, or simply while taking a stroll, the sunset from Arorangi offers a memorable and romantic display. Check out the best spots around Rarotonga in the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands, as well as sunrise in the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunrise.
Location: Arorangi, west coast of Rarotonga.
5. Indulge in a Resort’s Honeymoon Package
Sometimes, just relaxing at your glorious honeymoon accommodation can provide effortless romance. Enhance the experience further by letting your accommodation know that it’s your honeymoon; they might include a little extra treat for you. Some resorts and accommodations even offer honeymoon packages complete with pampering experiences and, typically, a bottle of bubbles waiting for you on arrival. Learn all about Rarotonga’s honeymoon specials in the 10 Best Honeymoon Packages on Rarotonga.
Location: See the link above for locations.
6. Take a Day Tour (or an Extended Trip) to Aitutaki
There’s a reason why couples flock to Aitutaki, Rarotonga’s more tranquil and arguably more romantic sister island. Aitutaki is known for being one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, experienced through lagoon cruises, private sunset charters, sailing tours and more. Couples can experience the island as part of a day trip with Air Rarotonga with a lagoon cruise included, but we would highly recommend spending at least three days on the Cook Islands’ most romantic island escape. Plan yours using The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Aitutaki.
Location: Aitutaki, approximately 220km (137 miles) from Rarotonga. See how to get there using our Aitutaki Transport Guide.
7. Buddy Up on a Scuba Diving Trip
As an experienced scuba diver will know, it takes two to enjoy diving safely. If you’re new to diving, however, Dive Rarotonga and Pacific Divers can show you the ropes (or the tubes?) with scuba diving lessons. Alternatively, enjoy an introductory dive trip together to discover the stunning coral formations and tropical marine life along the canyons of the lagoon’s passages. Learn more about what the dives have to offer in The Best Dive Shops & Operators in the Cook Islands.
Location: Dive Rarotonga – (Ara Tapu), Arorangi. Pacific Divers – Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri.
8. Surround Yourselves in Beauty at Mairie Nui Gardens
Cross the quaint footbridges and into seven acres of botanical paradise at Mairie Nui Gardens. These gorgeous tropical gardens just outside of Muri provide an effortlessly romantic environment between the lily ponds, intriguing plants and a backdrop of the dramatic mountain landscape. You can also stop by the Cafe & Grill with food flavoured with the garden’s homegrown herbs and spices. Entry to the gardens is by donation, making it one of the 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Rarotonga.
Location: Main Road (Ara Tapu), Titikaveka.
9. Tackle a Rarotonga Hike Together
Walk the verdant jungle trails, hand-in-hand, on the inland hikes of Rarotonga. From the half-day excursion of the Cross Island Trek to the perfect sunset views from the Raemaru Track, Raro sure has a ton of rambling wonders to enjoy. A real treat for couples is the sunrise hike with Arore Mountain Adventures, offering a unique view of the Muri Lagoon on a guided sunrise hike. Compare all of the trails in the 10 Best Walks in Rarotonga.
Location: See the link above for all walk locations.
10. Ride Together (or Race Each Other) on a Raro Buggy or Quad Tour
Whether you want to team up in a 4WD buggy, cosy up on a quad bike or drive individual vehicles, Raro Buggy Tours and Raro Quad Tours are your opportunity to let loose on an off-roading vehicle, get muddy and explore the inland tracks of Rarotonga. You’ll definitely be eased into the chaos, however, with the 1.5-2-hour buggy tour or 2.5-3-hour quad tour starting with a slow-paced yet interesting history tour of the old Sheraton Resort site 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.
11. Watch the Lagoon Light Up on a Night SUP Tour
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a romantic endeavour no matter the hour, but at night with your SUP’s LED lights illuminating the lagoon waters beneath you… Oh boy! Both Ariki Adventures and KiteSUP offer wonderful night SUP tours, Ariki Adventures focussing more on the nature of the uninhabited island they visit, while KiteSUP includes a fire show on an uninhabited island. Learn more about the SUP experiences in the 5 Best Places for Stand-Up Paddleboarding.
Location: Ariki Adventures – Tours depart from Muri Beach in front of the Muri Beach Club Hotel. KiteSUP – 56 Main Road (Ara Tapu), Muri.
12. Have a Life-Changing Experience Swimming with Turtles
Guarantee a sighting of gorgeous sea turtles in their natural environment on one of Rarotonga’s turtle swimming tours. Guided tours will take you out to prime turtle habitat that is otherwise dangerous to go on your own to see usually no less than 10 turtles swimming among the coral. There are plenty of turtle tours to choose from like Ariki Adventures (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) with their sea scooters to Go Local Tours providing as much time in the water as you choose. For a more intimate experience, choose a private turtle tour with Charlotte Piho Photography Experiences (on Viator and Tripadvisor). 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.
13. Hit the Snorkelling Spots
While you can’t communicate much while being mesmerised by all of the fish surrounding the coral bommies of Rarotonga, you’ll have a lot to talk about after the event – trust us! Rarotonga has no lack of snorkelling spots to be enjoyed together, from the lively Aroa Marine Reserve to the famous “Fruits of Rarotonga” site. Find out more about the snorkelling hotspots in The Best Snorkelling in Rarotonga: Top 10 Places to Snorkel or compare tours in the 6 Best Snorkelling Tours in Rarotonga.
Location: See the above links for snorkelling locations.
14. Indulge the Senses at Rarotonga’s Eateries
Going out for dinner has been a date night favourite for centuries. On Rarotonga, it’s no different except for the fact that most of the dining here is usually made with fresh local ingredients and that couples are spoiled for choice for such a small isolated island in the South Pacific. Some of the most romantic dinner spots include the three-course feet-in-the-sand venture of On The Beach (OTB) at the Manuia Beach Resort and the inland Mediterranean-inspired Antipodes. Of course, with Cook Islands Tours‘ progressive dinner tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), the street food of Punanga Nui Market and local’s favourite, Charlie’s, there’s a whole spectrum of dining delights, into which you dive further in The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Location: On The Beach (OTB) – Manuia Beach Resort, Main Road (Ara Tapu), Arorangi. Antipodes – Ara Metua, Avarua (opposite the road to the hospital). Cook Islands Tours – transfers included. Punanga Nui Market – Western end of Avarua. Charlie’s – Main Road (Ara Tapu), Takitumu.
15. Enjoy Stargazing From Some of the World’s Clearest Skies
When night falls and the sky is clear, the universe puts on the most mesmerising show made all the clearer thanks to Rarotonga’s limited light pollution. Head out on the beach or simply look up from your accommodation on a clear night and enjoy the show. If you can time your visit between late April and late May, Rarotonga captures amazing views of the Eta Aquariids meteor shower.
Location: All over Rarotonga. See The Best Spots for Stargazing in the Cook Islands for specific locations.
16. Take a Tiki Tour Around the Island by Scooter
Finally, imagine snuggling up to your loved one on the back of the most endearing (and famous) way to travel around Rarotonga; by scooter. Rarotonga has historical sites, scenic inland roads and all sorts of hidden gems to discover along the way. Check out sights to stop at in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Rarotonga, as well as in Sightseeing in Rarotonga: Top 10 Sights in Rarotonga.
Location: See where you can hire scooters from using our guide, Scooter Hire in Rarotonga: Where to Rent, Cost & More.
More Romantic Things to Do on Rarotonga for Couples
That’s it for our list of the most romantic things to do on Rarotonga for couples. While we don’t believe there is nothing you want to do on the list, if you have more time in your itinerary, then check out these other couple-worthy experiences:
- 10 Best Luxury Experiences on Rarotonga
- 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga
- 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List
Finally, if there’s anything about your romantic getaway that we’ve missed, you’ll find it in The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands.