Cook Islands Library and Museum

Holiday Travel Guide
Rarotonga showing interior views

Through art and literature, learn about the history and traditions of the Cook Islands in a library and museum run by friendly local residents.

Away from sunny shores and thick island vegetation is the peaceful refuge of the Cook Islands Library and Museum. Come here to learn about the fascinating past of this region of more than a dozen islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean. Borrow books for your beach reading too.

See displays of cookware used in the Polynesian islands for centuries. The music exhibit includes the well-known ukulele and other lesser-known instruments: the pate (wooden slit drums), vivo (wooden nose flute) and shell trumpet. Examine intricately carved weaponry and admire the Cook Islands shell exhibits. Local photographs and artwork adorn the walls. Hanging from the ceiling is a giant bedcover called a tivaivai. Its 56,000 small squares combine to show an outrigger canoe speeding through the waves.

Photo exhibits include works by local artist Alistair Campbell and Bill Johnson’s documentation of the British Royal Family visit in 1974. Appreciate the traditional ceremony of local residents clad in green fronds carrying esteemed visitors on litters high in the air.

Volunteers support this organization in two buildings dedicated to preserve the history and culture of the Cook Islands. The library has progressed from a mobile operation at the back of the bus to a permanent structure in the capital city. Examine the colorful mural on the building’s exterior depicting ancient and ongoing aspects of the Cook Islands. Animal life includes birds, fish, lizards and a whale. Notice the sun, ocean, sandy shores, primitive sailing boats and native clothing illustrated in a colorful Polynesian art style

Purchase local reference books. Before you leave the island, drop off your used reading materials to contribute to the library’s collection. Pay for a visitor membership to be able to borrow library materials during your stay on the island. The museum is open Monday to Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. There is a fee and no photos are allowed inside.

Cook Islands Library and Museum is in northern Rarotonga in the uptown area of Avarua, close to many island restaurants and accommodations. Fly to the island from Auckland in 4 hours or Sydney in 6 hours.

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313 Cheap Hotels Near Cook Islands Library and Museum

Paradise Inn
Paradise Inn
3 out of 5
Main Road, Maraerenga, Rarotonga
The price is NZ$135 per night from 29 Sep. to 29 Sep.
Nestled on the beach, this Avarua hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cook Islands National Museum and Cook Island Christian Church (CICC). Para O Tane Palace ...
3.6/5Good! (72 reviews)
"Clean and convenient at a good price. Has everything you need from basic accommodation."

Reviewed on 7 Aug. 2021

Paradise Inn
Langste Raro Retreat
Langste Raro Retreat
1 Ara Tapu, Rarotonga, Avarua District
Located in Avarua, this family-friendly Rarotonga holiday home is steps away from Cook Island Christian Church (CICC), Cook Islands Library and Museum and Para ...
4.4/5Excellent! (5 reviews)
It was okay
"Raro was fantastic accommodation could be better. Tere was amazing best host ever. Be careful with crockery expensive to replace."

Reviewed on 8 Jan. 2020

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Langste Raro Retreat
MK Studio Rarotonga - Modern Island Bach
MK Studio Rarotonga - Modern Island Bach
1 Ara Tapu, Rarotonga, Matavera District
Located in Avarua, this apartment building is steps away from Cook Island Christian Church (CICC), Para O Tane Palace and Cook Islands Library and Museum. Cook ...
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MK Studio Rarotonga - Modern Island Bach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Cook Islands Library and Museum Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Paradise Inn
Paradise Inn
3 out of 5
Main Road, Maraerenga, Rarotonga
The price is NZ$135 per night from 29 Sep. to 29 Sep.
Paradise Inn
Langste Raro Retreat
Langste Raro Retreat
1 Ara Tapu, Rarotonga, Avarua District
Langste Raro Retreat
MK Studio Rarotonga - Modern Island Bach
MK Studio Rarotonga - Modern Island Bach
1 Ara Tapu, Rarotonga, Matavera District
MK Studio Rarotonga - Modern Island Bach
Club Raro Resort
Club Raro Resort
3 out of 5
Ara Tapu, Avarua, Rarotonga
The price is NZ$193 per night from 20 Oct. to 20 Oct.
Club Raro Resort
Ocean Spray Villas
Ocean Spray Villas
4 out of 5
Tupapa, Avarua, Rarotonga
Ocean Spray Villas
Wellesley Hotel Rarotonga
Wellesley Hotel Rarotonga
3 out of 5
Puoromea Road 49A 2B, Avarua, Rarotonga
Wellesley Hotel Rarotonga
Ruatonga Villa
Ruatonga Villa
3 out of 5
Ruatonga Road, Avarua, Rarotonga
Ruatonga Villa
MOEROA  VILLAS - In the heart of Town.
MOEROA VILLAS - In the heart of Town.
Avatiu, Rarotonga, Rarotonga
MOEROA VILLAS - In the heart of Town.
Wild Coffee Cabin - Spacious clean and cool, quiet and relaxing
Wild Coffee Cabin - Spacious clean and cool, quiet and relaxing
Te Matepa Road, Rarotonga, Avatiu
Wild Coffee Cabin - Spacious clean and cool, quiet and relaxing
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.