6 things to do in Rarotonga with kids


Mum-of-two Emma Savonije has been a Jetstar cabin crew member for over two years. When she’s not busy flying high in Aotearoa, she’s spending time and exploring the world with her two children Betsy and Murphy. Emma recently visited Rarotonga and shares with us her insider tips for planning an unforgettable itinerary the whole family will enjoy.

1. Snorkelling in rarotonga

With delightfully warm water all year round, you and the kids could spend days on end swimming in Rarotonga’s white sand beaches and surrounding lagoons. But if you want to take your underwater adventure to the next level, snorkelling is the best way to explore the island’s calm, crystal-clear waters, also known as Rarotonga’s playground for marine life.

Snorkelling is fascinating and feasible for all ages – littlies included – and requires little equipment or training from the locals. Let the aqua education begin as you and the kids lock eyes on everything from butterflyfish to puffers and even turtles. Tip – pack some reef shoes to avoid cutting your feet.

2. Koka Lagoon Cruise

For unbeatable family fun, clamber aboard Koka Lagoon Cruises’ glass-bottom boat and explore the island’s famous Muri lagoon. With a view of the ocean and its colourful marine life at your feet, this is one you’ll never forget. Not to mention the local crew are hilarious and the entertainment is non-stop, with ukulele playing, pareu tying and weaving all on offer. The experience includes a delicious feast on Motu Koromiri, where your kids will be impressed by the awesome coconut tree-climbing demonstration!

3. Trader Jacks

One of Rarotonga’s most famous restaurants, Trader Jacks was a family favourite on our island holiday. Situated in a perfect little spot overlooking the harbour, the bar and grill’s range of delicious menu options will please the fussiest of tastebuds. My kids were even served a little local history with their hot chips. They were enthralled with the wait-staff who shared how the restaurant had been hit by three cyclones in 30 years, and managed to re-build itself every time. Before you go, make sure to buy a bottle of the mango hot sauce to take home!

4. Mini Golf

Mini golf is a firm favourite in our household, but playing with a tropical background in Rarotonga is a bonus! There are two mini golf courses on the island, Cocoputt and Aumata Mini Golf – we tried and loved both. Mini golf is an activity the whole family can get involved in, and let me tell you age doesn’t determine ability!

5. Empire Movie Theatre

Like most parents, making sure my kids slip, slop, slap and wrap at the beach is a top priority. But if you’re looking for a break from the warmer temperatures, take the kids along to the movies. Going to the cinema is real treat for my kids, and we all loved the charming Empire Theatre. It was so different to the theatres at home – old-style seats, cash only, locals clapping at the end of the movie – what a great night out.

6. Kid Activities

If you’re looking for something to entertain the kids, I always check out what’s on offer at our hotel. At our accommodation, daily activities included everything from hat weaving and fish feeding to coconut tree climbing and crab racing, and the kids loved them. Best of all, when the kids are enjoying supervised fun mum can get some well-deserved poolside downtime. Bonus!

7. Saturday Markets

You might only be holidaying on the island, but if you’re free on a Saturday morning live like a local and visit the Punanga Nui Cultural Market. For a cultural and affordable experience for the whole family, hit the market for a taste of the delicious traditional style street eats, while enjoying live island music. It’s a great chance to pick up some tourist knick-knacks too! And if you need a way there, the bus is an affordable yet simple option if you don’t have a car. Buses run both clockwise and anti-clockwise around the island and family passes are available which allows you to hop on and off as many times as you wish throughout the day.

More family travel with tots to teens:

Glorious Gold Coast

10 Tricks That Will Change The Way You Fly With Kids

Why You Should Spend Money On Family Travel

Scroll to Top