A home to about 2700 people, Avarua is located on Rarotonga and is the capital city of Cook Islands. Avarua is the major commercial and economical centre of Rarotonga Island and besides the supermarkets and hotels; Avarua is also famous as a fishing and trading center. Saturday is always a great day here as you can buy handicrafts and other items in the big open market. Nevertheless, while visiting the Cook Islands, Avarua is actually not the best place to be but since it is the home to the International Airport, it is the gateway to other places on the island and you will always find yourself there.
To be kind enough, there are no so many things to do in Avarua and serious travelers might find the area a bit frustrating. However, you can start your vacation by visiting the Maire Nui Gardens, a botanical garden on the island. This garden is nice and attractive and has several samples of flora and fruits available on the island. There are various cafes in the garden selling coffee and some light homemade focaccia and quiche as well as the amazing pineapple cheesecake. The Rugby Union has been the major sport in Avarua for a long time. There are several rugby fields on the island where you can always watch a game as well as in the National Stadium.
Being an island, you can expect that water activities are common starting with scuba diving especially in the reef which is quite breathtaking. The warm tropical waters provide a memorable diving experience during summer. You can explore the well-broken shipwrecks in the sea, see plenty of fish in the water, and explore the caves. Diving with whales is also exciting which happens in August.
Snorkeling is also another seemingly popular another sporting activity here. Snorkeling is easy and enjoyable especially on the beaches where you can see corals and tropical fishes in the calm waters. Muri beach has shallow, beautiful and clear waters and is the best for starters. Tramping in Avarua is yet another activity as there are various walking tracks in the bush and there are also some challenges places like the waterfall. Windsurfing and jet blasting are still more enjoyable things to do.
The Punanganui market is part of the events and festivals in Avarua and you can buy clothing, pearls, and arts and crafts produced locally in addition to sampling some of the homemade dishes like home-baked coconut, locally caught fish and rolls. Eating places in Avarua are plenty and Trader Jacks’s bar and restaurant is set right in the water and offers a great experience. Despite being the capital and township of Avarua, most of the accommodation facilities are situated at other places in Cook Island. While the internet will allow you to connect with your loved ones during your travel to Avarua, it is extremely expensive and you need to be careful as you can pay a fortune. Getting around Avarua in a hired car offers a great experience.