All you need to know about exploring Rarotonga with Raro Quad Tours. I will be giving you all the information you need to know such as costs, what to pack, and what to expect!
Imagine yourself zooming around the mountainous inland part of Rarotonga. Through the palm tree-laden forests and splashing into mud puddles as you speed by. This was exactly the adventure I was up for so doing a quad biking tour with Raro Quad Tours would be the perfect option for me.
Rarotonga in the Cook Islands is known for its beaches, culture, amazing snorkeling, and gorgeous lagoon. Though, the mountainous middle of the island is often forgotten. Lucky for me, Raro Quad Tours explores this inland terrain of Rarotonga zooming around on quad bikes. It is the perfect way to spend the morning and experience something more adventurous.
Imagine whirling around on four-wheeled vehicles, splashing in all the muddy puddles, and speeding under the dense forest overhead. You look up and see towering cliff sides covered in vegetation. This is the true Rarotonga.
Quad Biking With Raro Quad Tours In Rarotonga
- Why Go Quad Biking In Rarotonga
- Cost Of Quad Biking
- Starting Our Quad Biking Tour
- Adventuring Inland
- Mid Way Stop
- Heading To The Coast
- Lunch At The Mooring Fish Cafe
- What To Pack
Why Go Quad Biking In Rarotonga
Exploring inland Rarotonga with Raro Quad Tours is a great way to explore a new part of the island that is often forgotten. It was also the perfect mixture of adventure and learning about the culture. Plus the amazing sandwich was just the cherry on top!
Enjoy this two-and-a-half-hour journey as you learn more about the culture and history of the island. 70% of the journey is off the main circular road so you really get the opportunity to see what the real Rarotonga is like for the people who live there. I was amazed at the large community living quite inland and all the houses we drove pasts.
Cost Of Quad Biking
The cost of the quad biking tour with Raro Quad Tours is $150.00 per person.
Be aware that this activity is a lot better when the weather is wet. I know having the sun shining is great, but the mud puddles will be all dried up!
Starting Our Quad Biking Tour
Zooming off the main road in Muri Beach and into The Rarotongan Hotel we dart into reception, hiding from the rain. The friendly staff greets us with a smile while we sign in for this morning’s adventure.
In our group, there are about nine people and two guides. We are shown to the quad bikes and clamber on top. Strapping on the helmets we are given a quick tutorial on how to operate these beast machines. From switching from neutral to drive and back to reverse while holding the clutch, it’s not the easiest for someone like me who doesn’t know the first thing about driving a manual anything.
Either way, I manage to surprise myself and get it perfectly on the first go. Then. just like that, we are single file driving down the driveway in our orange and yellow safety vests towards adventure.
Down a small dirt road, the landscape becomes more rural with a tropical farm-type vibe. Houses are slowly popping up further and further apart. Life up here belongs to the few locals and their pigs, cows, and ducks, minimally ventured into by tourists like us.
They all seem to know our guide as he waves to each person we pass. He points out the many amazing views and when to change to the other side of the path to avoid overhanging coconut trees.
The famous Rarotongan icon, the needle, looms overhead, high up in the cliff sides. The dense vegetation is home to all types of birds and, as always, the many coconut trees. We splash through puddles, get covered in rain, and dodge low-hanging branches as we ride further into Rarotonga.
Mid Way Stop
In the middle of the island, we hit a dead-end in the track and jump off to take in our surroundings. The forest here is dense with trees that are hundreds of years old.
A small stream lightly trickles next to us while small little prawns pop out from their rocks. James, with the help of our guide, opens up a coconut, showing off some new skills. We throw small pieces into the stream and watch the prawns take them away for their lunch.
Heading To The Coast
Heading back out and into the rain, we continue through muddy puddles and back towards the coast. Down various alleys, we speed, past the locals and various farm life. We pass the same ducks and pigs we saw on the way up as we take a similar route down.
Turning off the familiar track and towards a local boy he shouts out hi as we pass and waves his hands. The roads are no longer a mixture of loose gravel and mud, having now become paved.
The ocean soon shows in the distance and we park up on a nearby side road. Jumping off we head over a viewpoint and over sharp rocks. The quiet lagoon sits peacefully on one side while the exposed ocean is a dark shade from the stormy clouds above.
Lunch At The Mooring Fish Cafe
A short couple-minute drive down the road we pull up at the famous Mooring Fish Cafe. It is known as having the best sandwiches on the island, and trust me there is a lot of competition, I have tried!
We chill out for a little bit, enjoying watching daily life pass us by. The neighboring fisherman bringing in their catches and the local dogs making friends with the tourists. After an obligatory photo, we jump back on the quad bikes and head back to the hotel.
What To Pack
There are some things it’s best to take along with you on your Raro Quad Bike Tour to make the most out of your experience:
Camera: Of course you can’t forget the camera. You will want to capture all these incredible memories! Be aware if it is raining bring a waterproof camera or a waterproof bag to store your camera in!
Covered Shoes: To keep your feet safe you will need to bring with you some covered-in shoes. Sneakers are a good option.
Sunblock: Let’s avoid looking like a lobster and bring a reef-safe sunblock along with you!
Sunglasses: It’ll definitely be worth bringing sunglasses along with you. The sun shining off the sea can be super bright so protect your eyes by bringing along a pair of sunglasses.
Where To Stay In Rarotonga
There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in Rarotonga. From small hostels, apartments on the beach, luxury resorts, and everything in between.
Though just be aware that even 5-star resorts in Rarotonga don’t actually look too great so adjust your expectations accordingly. This is an island with limited resources and seems to be a few years behind New Zealand, which is again, a few years behind the rest of Oceania. As a result, rooms can look quite dated, think floral prints from the ’70s, though that’s just the atheistic on the island.
Beach front location with affordable bungalows from $105.00 per night.BOOK NOW
With standard rooms from $130.00 you can enjoy life on the beach at an affordable price.BOOK NOW
Romantic adults only resort. With rooms from $230.00 per night enjoy luxury in peace.BOOK NOW
Set on a private beach this 4 star resort is the perfect getaway from $190.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Things To Do While In Rarotonga
One great thing about Rarotonga is that is it basically impossible to get bored during your stay! There is such a wide variety of things to do and beautiful sights you will constantly be out exploring.
Also, for a more extensive list be sure to check out my post on the Best Things To Do In Rarotonga.
Beach Hop: Now you cannot go to Rarotonga and miss out on exploring the incredible ocean life and this can easily be done on a budget, if not for free. Basically, no matter where you are staying on the island the ocean is just a walk away. Do what I did and bring your own snorkel, or hire your own from a few dollars a day. Honestly, you could spend hours exploring the underwater life and corals (pro tip: the best snorkeling spot is Aroa Marine Reserve behind The Rarotongan beach resort or in front of Fruits of Rarotonga)
Aitutaki Day Tour: If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience definitely think about booking the Aitutaki Day Tour. Though it is pricey, 100% worth it. It still has some of the best beaches I have ever seen.
Cultural Show: A more tame activity is checking out one of the evening cultural shows. These are a magnificent insight into the Cook Island culture with extremely impressive performances involving dance and fire. A buffet dinner is also included with both western and local favorites.
Across Island Hike: One of the most popular things to do is do the Across Island Hike and visit The Needle. This will take you right into the interior of the mountainous island with some amazing ocean views.
Raro Buggy Tours: I have always wanted to do the buggy tour as there is such hype so I booked it in on my most recent trip. I remember saying at the start to my partner that we must swap halfway so I get some fun. Though when that time came I was enjoying it so much I was happy to stay a passenger!
Swimming With Sea Turtles: No matter what your budget is swimming with sea turtles is one activity I recommend to everyone visiting Rarotonga. This experience will have you swimming alongside these majestic beauties. I did this with Ariki Adventures and cannot recommend this enough. As an alternative, they also offer a lagoon safari which I recently did. This is suitable for all ages and is safe for those who are not the most confident swimmers.
Lagoon cruise: More of a family-friendly activity is the lagoon cruise. There are a couple of companies you can book with, though we went with Koka Lagoon Cruises. It is a perfect way to get into the Cook Island spirit. With plenty of performances, snorkeling, entertainment, and a delicious lunch it is the ideal way to spend half a day.
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Want more Cook Islands inspiration? Check out….
- WHERE TO EAT IN RAROTONGA
- AITUTAKI DAY TOUR FROM RAROTONGA: DISCOVER PARADISE WITH AIR RAROTONGA
- EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF RAROTONGA WITH KOKA LAGOON CRUISES
- SWIMMING WITH TURTLES IN RAROTONGA: SEA SCOOTER SAFARI WITH ARIKI ADVENTURES
- THE ULTIMATE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE AT TE VARA NUI VILLAGE, RAROTONGA
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.
Backpackers Wanderlust was a guest on the Combo Extravaganza Tour with Raro Quad Tours while in The Cook Islands, however, as always, all opinions are my own.