Eli Orzessek finds plenty to fill out the itinerary for an active holidaymaker in Rarotonga.
Storytellers eco-cycle tours
Take a compelling and genuine mountain bike ride around the lanes and tracks of Rarotonga with guides who highlight the rich history of the island and its cultural heritage. Storytellers have tours to suit riders of all experience and fitness levels, and some tours offer Tow Behind Trailers so little kids can come along for the ride too. They also customise their storytelling to a group's particular interest, while encouraging detours along the way - so no two tours are alike. The guides are locals who are passionate about the culture, history and environment and the company gives 10 per cent of its profits back to the community.
Raro buggy tours
Expect to get dirty on this experience - you'll be heading off-road into Rarotonga's hinterlands in a grunty little buggy with no doors or floor. As you can imagine, it's a lot of fun driving over the puddles, especially if you can splatter your neighbour while you're at it. This two to three hour tour departs twice daily and each vehicle can take two people - including children over 6 years. You'll be guided through local attractions, while learning about the history and origins of Rarotonga. Just remember to take a towel.
Set up in 1979, Dive Rarotonga offers diving trips for all levels of experience. It doesn't even matter if you've never tried it before - the company offers diving courses that will get you up to speed in a few days. And what a place to learn - Rarotonga is home to some incredible underwater life, with about 40 diverse dive spots around the country. You'll have a chance to see 70 species of colourful coral, moray eels, reef sharks, lion fish, turtles, Maori wrasse, anemone fish, butterfly fish, angelfish, rays, puffer fish, trumpet fish and more.
When you're holidaying on a tropical island, you want to spend as much
time in the water as possible. KiteSUP offer a range of activities and rentals,
including stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, kite surfing and windsurfing.
They offer kite surfing and windsurfing classes, while all paddleboard rentals
include a free lesson. And you needn't stop when the sun goes down - take
on KiteSUP's famous night paddle tour with either a kayak or paddleboard.
You'll paddle under the stars while discovering the shallow and clear waters
of the Rarotonga's lagoons - plus, the boards light up.
Marlin Queen Fishing Charters
Jump onboard one of Marlin Queen's three purpose built deep sea boats for a day out on the ocean you won't forget. If you're keen to catch some big fish, their team can help you find them. Rarotonga is great for fishing and you're bound to have success whether you're a novice or experienced angler. Boats can be chartered for shared or private trips, for a half or full day. Marlin Queen also offers package deals with local accommodation providers.
Pa's Mountain Treks
Take on the island on foot with one of Pa's journeys around Rarotonga. A herbalist of traditional remedies, Pa has led more than 3572 tours and offers a wealth of local knowledge. The Cross Island Trek is a three hour hike to the rugged interior of Rarotonga, where you'll climb Pa's mountain, Te Rua Maunga (The Needle). You'll see ancient ceremonial stone, pictographs on the face of the Needle and hear legends of the ancient Polynesians. It's a strenuous walk, so only take this on on if you're an experienced hiker with a good level of fitness. The trek ends at Wigmore's Waterfall, where you can cool off with a well-deserved swim. For a more gentle option, there's also Pa's Nature Walk. This trek goes through noni plantations and paddy fields crossing little streams to the beginning of the jungle. You'll learn a lot about the various plants used in ancient herbal remedies-Pa's speciality.
flies from Auckland to Rarotonga, with one way Seat fares from $313.
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