Cheap flights to Rarotonga, the largest of the Cook Islands, take just three hours or so from Australia or New Zealand. Those flights will deliver you to the “down south” island that runs on Raro time – deliciously slow and laidback, a perfect complement to the azure-blue seas, palm-fringed soft-sand beaches and friendly Cook Islanders.
Life on Rarotonga, in general, is clustered around the coasts. Ancient volcanic peaks dominate the centre of the island, shrouded in dense, lush, vegetation. Consequently, the centre is not as well-known as the beaches.
Avarua, on the north coast, is the capital of the Cook Islands. Most popular with tourists is the southeast coast, around Muri, where the lagoon is widest and deepest and best for swimming, snorkelling, scuba-diving and boating.
Rarotonga’s climate is equable, with little variation in temperatures year-round. The winter months are May to October; temperatures range between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius. The summer months are November to April and temps are 21-29 degrees. January to early May are the wet season months.
June to August is the high season, when most Australians and New Zealanders arrive on cheap flights to Rarotonga.
December-April is the wet season. Cyclones are a threat during these months also.
May, September and October are great months to visit. The weather is likely to be good and there are fewer tourists.