Swim, snorkel and scuba dive or simply relax at Aro’a Beach on Rarotonga in New Zealand’s Cook Islands. Interact with friendly local residents and learn some of the traditions of the Polynesian islands.
The island of Rarotonga is surrounded by a coral reef, providing an attractive environment for tropical fish and other marine wildlife. Don a snorkel and mask to explore the waters. Several island operations rent scuba equipment, sell air and provide instruction and international diving certification. Sign up for lagoon dives from the shore at Aro’a Beach or venture into deeper waters by boat.
Within a few yards from shore, you’re likely to see ghost coral, triggerfish and small, colorful tropical fish darting through crevices in the coral. After you build confidence and skills in the shallow waters, explore offshore in 30 feet (10 meters) of quiet waters with excellent visibility. Watch for larger marine animals, possibly a sea turtle, octopus, scorpion fish or puffer fish. Your dive instructor will point out creatures camouflaged in the coral.
This part of the island is popular for wedding couples and honeymooners. Have a destination wedding or savor the peace of an adults-only sanctuary on the northern part of the beach. Luxuriate at a spa with a massage, sauna, Jacuzzi and personalized treatments.
Enjoy the Polynesian cuisine of fresh seafood and tropical fruits as you gaze over blue-green waters. Take ukulele lessons and learn how to wear a sarong. Hike into the lush forests inland of the beach to a high mountain for panoramic views around this circular island.
Aro'a Beach is on the southwestern coast of Rarotonga, less than a 10-minute drive from Rarotonga International Airport. Take the bus that makes a 45-minute circuit of the island regularly through the day or drive and park opposite the Dive Centre. Fly to the island from Auckland in 4 hours or Sydney in 6 hours.
Nestled on the beach, this Rarotonga hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Te Rua Manga and Puaikura Beach. Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) away.
Nestled on the beach, this Rarotonga hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Puaikura Beach and Te Rua Manga. Black Rock is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) away.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Rarotonga resort is within a 15-minute walk of Puaikura Beach and Te Rua Manga. Black Rock and Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Offering direct access to the beach, this Rarotonga resort is within a 10-minute walk of Te Rua Manga and Puaikura Beach. Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) away.
Situated near the beach in Rarotonga, this vacation home is close to Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre, Anatakitaki Cave and Arai-Te-Tonga. Also nearby are Moturakau and Takitumu Conservation Area.
Situated in Rarotonga, this villa is close to Aroa Beach, Puaikura Beach, and Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre. Local attractions also include Te Rua Manga.
Situated by the ocean, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Te Rua Manga and Puaikura Beach. Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) away.
Located in Rarotonga, this beachfront resort is in the historical district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Te Rua Manga and Puaikura Beach. Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre is 2.3 mi (3.6 km) away.