How to Plan a Wedding, Romantic Getaway or Honeymoon to Rarotonga…
… In other words, this is the complete couples’ guide to Rarotonga!
As your plane comes into landing between the dramatic peaks of the island’s interior and the azure lagoon, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. What better destination than Rarotonga to celebrate a special occasion? Or even if you’re simply on a romantic getaway with your favourite person in the world, Rarotonga will handle the rest when it comes to breathtaking stays, sumptuous meals and unforgettable shared experiences. We go over all of this and more in this complete wedding, honeymoon and romantic getaway guide to Rarotonga.
10 Romantic Activities on Rarotonga
What does a romantic getaway or honeymoon on Rarotonga look like? For the couple who loves to explore together, here are 10 of the most romantic experiences on the islands…
- Be treated to a “his and hers” massage
- Celebrate a special occasion with a private dinner on the beach
- Team up in a double kayak to explore the lagoon
- Surround yourselves in beauty at Mairie Nui Gardens
- Tackle the Cross Island Trek or watch the sunrise from the Arore Trek
- Stargaze some of the clearest skies
- Ride together (or race each other) on a Raro buggy or quad tour
- Buddy up on a scuba diving trip with Dive Rarotonga or Pacific Divers
- Take a tiki tour around the island by scooter
- Venture on a day tour (or an extended trip) to Aitutaki.
Get more details on each experience (and more) in the 16 Most Romantic Things to Do on Rarotonga for Couples. Or, you know, you could just keep on reading…
How to Get to Rarotonga
Rarotonga lies in the Southern Group of the Cook Islands, 3,000km (1,865 miles) from Auckland, 4,980km (3,095 miles) from Sydney and 2,855km (1,775 miles) from Hawaii. The main island of the Cook Islands is home to the country’s only international airport and receives regular flights from New Zealand and Australia, which are well connected to the rest of the world. Find out about airlines travelling to Rarotonga in Which Airlines Fly to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?.
Alternative ways to get to Rarotonga include day trips with cruise liners, as well as sailing via private yacht. Find out more about your arrival options in Getting Here: How to Get to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?.
How to Get Around Rarotonga
Rarotonga is well-connected with a coastal road network. The main road (Ara Tapu) is 32km (20 miles) long taking approximately 45 minutes to drive around the entire island. Car rentals, scooter rentals and bicycle rentals are readily available – just note that you’ll need to apply for a scooter license if your current driving license doesn’t already cover motorcycles. Alternatively, there is a frequent bus service travelling in both directions around Rarotonga, while taxis and airport transfers are also available.
Find out all you need to know about transport in our Rarotonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Rarotonga.
Romantic Getaway and Honeymoon Experiences
While there are almost endless things to do on Rarotonga (don’t believe us? Just check out the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga), there are some experiences that are designed for romance or are just better done as a couple. Here are a few that come to mind…
Couples’ Spa Treatments
Soothe the senses and rejuvenate together with a couples’ spa treatment 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.
Mairie Nui Gardens
Cross the quaint footbridges and into seven acres of botanical paradise at Mairie Nui Gardens. These gorgeous tropical gardens in Titikaveka 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 very own herbs and spices. Entry to the gardens is by donation, making it one of the 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Rarotonga.
It’s the ultimate test of any relationship; navigating a kayak together. Kayaks are a staple of beachfront accommodations on Rarotonga, while 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. Check out more kayak rentals in the 5 Best Kayak Tours & Rentals in the Cook Islands.
Rarotonga’s 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 other sunset spots 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.
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.
Other Things to Do on Rarotonga
And that’s just a taste of the romantic experiences you can do on a Rarotonga honeymoon or romantic getaway. Treat yourself and your loved one further with glorious day tours to Aitutaki, romantic walking trails, off-roading tours and more, as listed in the 16 Most Romantic Things to Do on Rarotonga for Couples and more still in the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands.
Dining on Rarotonga
Nothing wraps up a day in paradise more perfectly than a romantic meal with the most important person in your life. From luxurious private dinners on the beach organised by your resort to picking up a picnic from a food truck and finding a scenic spot, couples are sure spoiled for choice when it comes to romantic dining experiences.
Private Dining Experiences
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 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.
Romantic Restaurants on Rarotonga
Going out for dinner has been a textbook date night 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. 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.
Dine with your toes in the sand at the BlueWater Grill of the Sanctuary Rarotonga on the Beach. Nestled between Aroa Beach and the pool of the adults-only resort, BlueWater Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving a range of crowd-pleasers and excellent vegan and vegetarian options.
Scattered among the pavilions and around the infinity pool set on Titikaveka Beach, the adults-only Little Polynesian Restaurant & Bar offers a romantic setting to dine on European and Polynesian fusion cuisine, completed with a barista coffee, dessert and/or cocktails.
Alternative Dining Experiences
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 can dive further in The Food Guide to Rarotonga: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Weddings on Rarotonga
The tropical island wedding of your dreams is waiting on Rarotonga. A toes-in-the-sand ceremony is a speciality here while saying your “I dos” among tropical gardens with dramatic mountains in the distance is also an option. What’s more, the requirements to get married in Rarotonga are so easy with couples only needing to be in the country three days prior to the wedding and to have their passport, birth certificate and a divorce or death certificate if applicable. Get a full insight into the marriage requirements and more in How to Plan a Wedding in the Cook Islands.
With that, there are several wedding services across Rarotonga that can help make your dream wedding a reality. Most operate out of the resorts, such as Nautilus Resort, Sea Change Villas, Edgewater Resort & Spa, Crown Beach Resort & Spa and Manuia Beach Resort. There are also independent wedding planning operators, like Weddings Cook Islands and Wedded Bliss, who can arrange weddings, no matter how big or how small, at your chosen venue. For something a little unique, add a spice of culture with the wedding services of Te Vara Nui Village or Highland Paradise.
More About Weddings, Honeymoons and Romantic Getaways to Rarotonga
That’s it for our complete guide to romantic getaways, weddings and honeymoons to Rarotonga but by no means is the end of the advice we can offer for your special occasion. Take a look at the following guides for more inspiration:
- 20 Most Romantic Things to Do in the Cook Islands for Couples
- 10 Reasons a Wedding in the Cook Islands is a Must!
- Cook Islands Proposal Ideas: 5 Romantic Ways to Propose
Finally, don’t miss a thing when it comes to planning the perfect getaway by checking out The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands.