Marie Pilkington shares her love of Rarotonga, giving us the low down on the postcard perfect property spots for weddings, romantic getaways for couples and honeymooners.
The beauty of Rarotonga is breathtaking. I had to take a moment when I first saw the lagoon as it was truly amazing. It’s easy to see why Rarotonga is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. It’s truly romantic and the ideal place to tie the knot! While there, I took a look around a number of the most popular wedding spots on the island. Here are my thoughts on each that might help any prospective brides!
The beach and lagoon at Muri is outstanding and definitely one of the best around Rarotonga. The view out to the surrounding motus (islands) is stunning. You can even choose to hold your ceremony on the motu.
Check out Muri Beach Club Hotel which is right on Muri lagoon. They have dedicated wedding planners who can help arrange your special day. You can have your ceremony on the motu or on their beach or if it’s wet, in their air-conditioned lounge.
Pacific Resort Rarotonga is also situated on Muri lagoon and very well set-up for weddings. There are many spots on the beach or within the resort to hold both your ceremony and your reception. The grounds are gorgeous – very lush and has a great island feel.
Sails restaurant is right on the lagoon and seems like a great spot for lunch or dinner as well as a wedding reception. It’s part of the sailing club, so is nice and relaxed, but they too have wedding coordinators to make the process seamless.
Definitely worth checking out for both dinner and a wedding option, is Tamarind House. It’s an old colonial house set on a garden property, with uninterrupted views of the lagoon. We stopped in for a look, but as it was a Sunday, it was closed (remember, a lot of the island is closed on a Sunday, so make sure you plan around that!)
Little Polynesian is absolutely stunning. A real boutique resort with only a few rooms, meaning it’s incredibly intimate. The décor is gorgeous in the rooms and their over-the-beach fares are so romantic. Snorkelling in this area is also fantastic – gorgeous white sands right on the resort means a wedding here would be amazing.
Some say the beach is not as nice around this side of the island and the water is a little rougher, but the huge advantage is the incredible sunsets. Muri beach looses the sun around 4pm in summer as the sun sets over the island, where as around Arorangi, the sun is visible until it sets (at 6.50pm approximately in summer).
Crown Beach Resortmakes the most of the sunset and is hugely romantic to watch the sun go down here. Perfect for a wedding, you can put a marquee on the beach, use their oceans restaurant or use the functions venue on sight at the resort. They have a team of wedding coordinators and a comprehensive wedding pack, which details everything you need to know. The sun set here is not to be missed.
- You must be in the Cook Islands three full days prior to the ceremony to obtain a marriage licence.
- Weddings in the Cook Islands are legally binding and recognised in New Zealand so no need to do anything when you get home.
- Many places charge extra for weddings on a public holiday or a Sunday.
- Take your passport, birth certificate and divorce or death certificates, if appropriate, with you as they are required for the licence.
- The legal age to get married in the Cook Islands is 20, otherwise written permission from both parents is needed.
Need information about Flight Centre's Wedding Registry services or for more information on holiday packages to Cook Islands and cheap flights to Rarotonga. Phone 0800 38 44 38 or contact one of our Flight Centre travel experts – 135 stores nationwide.