Many of the guests of our boutique villas on Rarotonga are keen to learn about how the Cook Islands have embraced the meaning of ‘Protecting the Environment’. The local people have long lived in harmony with their environment.
Rarotonga consists of central volcanic hills surrounded by jagged limestone palisade, called the Makatea, which is what remains of an uplifted reef after erosion. The Makatea supports extensive native forests and scrublands which are wilderness areas of scenic beauty. When exploring these forest areas many visitors have found that it is well worth using a guide or tour company.
Raro Mountain Safari Tours
Raro Mountain Safari Tours is one such company. They will take you on a fun three and a half hour tour suitable for all ages. The tour includes:
- The ancient road (Ara Metua), built and paved with volcanic slabs by ancestor chief Toi.
- Papua (Wigmore’s) Waterfall.
- The eastern heights where the sun rises overlooking the four motu (islets) dotted in beautiful Muri Lagoon.
- The sacred site of Te Arai-Te-Tonga Marae.
- The lush rainforest interior of Avatiu Valley with a close up view of famous mountain Te Rua Manga (The Needle).
- The highest point accessible by 4WD, overlooking the whole western side of the island and out into the vast blue Pacific.
- The tour concludes with a delicious fish BBQ lunch before being returned to Sea Change Villas.
Listen to the fascinating history of the ancient Polynesians of Rarotonga, while attacking steep tracks & climbs with ease.
Bookings for the Safari Tours can be made through the reception of our office.
Muri Lagoon, not far from our accommodation, has long been known as one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. Just recently a marine reserve was created to enhance the recovery of the giant clams. Take a memorable trip on a glass bottom lagoon cruiser and view these clams or just jump right in with snorkeling gear and have a closer look.
Popular with guests is Koka Lagoon Cruises which operate the glass bottom boats. They have a very popular day cruise (10am – 3.30pm) with a sumptuous barbecue fish lunch out on the small motu, Koromiri Island. This is located within the Muri Lagoon.
Relax in the company of friendly Rarotongan guides, legendary for their humour and warm smiles. Be entertained by a variety of activities including the infamous coconut opening and pareu tying demonstrations.
Bookings for the lagoon cruises can be made through the Sea Change Villas office.
Highland Paradise – The Lost Village
Highland Paradise is situated in the heart of Arorangi Village in Rarotonga after the lost village of Maungaroa was unearthed by the late Raymond Pirangi (Snr), a descendant of Tinomana Ariki, paramount chief in the district, who set about reclaiming his family heritage in 1983.
In the dense bush 205 acres in area and 509 metres high, lies this “open air museum” or hidden sanctuary of this ancient tribe. Although the days of tribal warfare are gone, the evidence and signs of struggle and survival still remain. From the early signs of astrology to the barbaric rocks of sacrifice, Highland Paradise reveals the intellectual know how and the dark truths of our predecessors and includes the navigational stones used to guide the vakas to Aotearoa – New Zealand.
Nowadays the village is encompassed with vast tropical gardens, accentuating its historic significance and paying homage to those who once inhabited this paradise. Affording a spectacular 180 degree view of Rarotonga and stretched across 10 acres are magnificent gardens that contain medicinal and ritual plants of their day, along with introduced rare plants from around the world. It is an experience beyond imagination, guaranteed to entice your curiosity and the opportunity to be this close to the Cook Island heritage.
Tour Times: 10.00 am which includes transportation and lunch.
Open Mon – Sat : 9.00 am – 3.00 pm
Bookings for the Highland Paradise – The Lost Village of the Cook Islands Tour can be made through reception of Sea Change Villas.
Circle Island Tour
Enjoy a leisurely orientation tour around Rarotonga in a comfortable coach with Raro Tours.
- Observe a coconut demonstration
- Be enlightened with Rarotongan history and culture
- A short shopping break
- Enjoy a light lunch
- Walk on our white sandy each.
The Circle Island Tour operates Monday through to Friday from 9.45am to 1.30pm.
Reservations for the Circle Island Tour with Raro Tours can be made through the Sea Change Villas office.