Dog-loving children will love this Cook Island's gem for its lovable beach-roaming pooches. Winston Aldworth finds more family activities.
Rarotonga is great location to introduce kids to the underwater world, with its colourful and shallow lagoon stretching around the island providing a safe environment to learn how to snorkel. Muri, Tikioki and Aro'a beaches are all good spots for snorkelling and most resorts will provide gear. For a more in-depth look, book them in for a glass-bottom boat ride with Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruizes or Koka Lagoon Cruises. Or go beyond the reef for a unique experience with the Raro Reef Sub.
2 Te Ara Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise
Opened last year and this eye-catching museum painted with frangipani flowers tells the story of the Cook Islands, from pre-colonial times to the present day. It's a great way to get in touch with the spirit of the place — and the best place to buy souvenirs, if you're looking for treasures that were actually made in the Cook Islands. The onsite cafe is also a great place to stop for a bite to eat and everything on offer is locally sourced — be sure to try the local lemonade.
3 Te Vara Nui Village
Another cultural experience to wow the kids is the Te Vara Nui Village at the popular Muri Beach. Make sure to book the combo pass, which gives you access to the Cultural Village Tour and the dynamic over-water night show with buffet dinner. The tour takes guests around a purpose-built village, where engaging local guides will explain Cook Islands history and heritage; everything from the first arrivals, to carving, to witch doctors. The dinner show is captivating — fire dancing, drumming, music and lights, with a dramatic tropical setting. The whole family will love this one.