Wade in warm tropical waters and lounge on the beach for long, peaceful days on Rarotonga’s south coast. See the starting point of an ancient voyage.
Ngatangiia is a southeastern district on Rarotonga, the most popular of the Cook Islands. Relax in a waterfront bungalow, snorkel or scuba dive in the blue-green lagoon and explore Rarotonga’s attractions.
Avana Pass is the point of departure for ancient paddlers in wakas, sea-going canoes, on their way to New Zealand, a 1,200 nautical mile (2,200-kilometer) voyage. See a plaque honoring these explorers across from the Ngatangiia Cook Island Christian Church, a pristine building made from the island’s natural white coral. Explore the lovely waters of Ngatangiia Harbour.
Stay in a thatched-roof bungalow and awake steps away from the lagoon. Sail, windsurf, canoe or kayak over the waters. Scuba dive or snorkel on the reef to discover tropical marine life and living coral. Surfers can take their boards to Avana and Muri Beach. Join a fishing tour or charter a boat to catch barracuda, yellowfin tuna, snapper or mahi mahi.
Tropical rainforests cover the center of the island, providing a number of scenic short and long hikes. Join Pa’s Treks for a guided climb up the challenging mountain Te Rua Manga, nicknamed the Needle. Walk through Takitumu Conservation Area’s protected rainforest to see native tropical birds, plants and animals. Goats roam inland forests, turtles nest on the shore and numerous birds fly overhead. Look for the endemic Cook Islands fruit dove, Atiu swiftlet and Rarotonga monarch.
Explore many attractions around Rarotonga. See contemporary and traditional art at the Beachcomber Gallery and Pearl Market and shop for souvenirs and tropical foods at Punanga Nui Cultural Market, both located in Avarua. The historic Avarua Cook Islands Christian Church is on the main road.
Ngatangiia is a 15-minute drive from the Rarotonga International Airport. Get around Rarotonga easily using the local bus service that makes regular 45-minute trips around the island. Rent a car, scooter or bicycle to see the sights at your own leisure.