Rarotonga Entertainment & Nightlife
While many visitors come to the
Cook Islands and Rarotonga for a laidback
and tranquil vacation, this tiny island offers a pretty good nightlife
and plenty of lively entertainment as well. With more than enough
to keep your nights busy while you stay here, the entertainment
and nightlife on Rarotonga is remarkably diverse and vibrant. There
are a number of fine dining establishments around the island
as well as a range of clubs and bars, all just a short drive away
from one another.
An ‘Island Night’ performance is perhaps one of the
best ways to enjoy a night out on Rarotonga. Combining a traditional
Polynesian buffet dinner with a dance and music performance, an island
night is a great way to absorb the local culture and at same time
have some fun. With the dancers in the
Cook Islands regarded as the best in the Southern Pacific, this
performance is an experience not to be missed. The food served here
is known as umukai and involves chicken, pork, fish and various vegetables
being baked in an underground oven called an umu.
Avarua has the widest selection of places to eat on the island,
with a handful of restaurants and cafes scattered elsewhere. Offering
superb high quality local and international cuisine, most of the
restaurants on Rarotonga are located along the island’s western
and northwestern coast. Influenced by New Zealand cuisine as well
as traditional cooking, the food here is unique and distinctive,
with a taste all its own. You can find plenty of Italian, Indian,
Chinese and Japanese restaurants around the island, however, do
keep in mind that since many of these places are small dining establishments,
making dinner reservations is a good idea. Rarotonga also has a
wide assortment of wines and spirits easily available, in addition
to a popular locally brewed beer. Trader Jacks, Banana Court, Mama’s
Café, The CocoBar, and Da Carlo are some of the well known
places to eat on Rarotonga.
With plenty of bars and clubs, the nightlife on Rarotonga is quite
happening. Clubs here are mostly located in Avarua
and are generally open till midnight throughout the week, except on
Fridays when they are open till 2 am. Often many hotels and resorts
offer a guided tour of the various nightclubs around the island and
are a great way of meeting the locals. Colorful and energetic, the
club DJ’s here often mix music with a local Polynesian touch.
Many of the resort bars on Rarotonga are also open to non-guests.