Arai-Te-Tonga Marae


A small sign points off the road to the island’s most important marae site, Arai-Te-Tonga. Situated just off the Ara Metua, there’s a stone-marked koutu (ancient open-air royal courtyard) site in front of you. This whole area was a gathering place, and the remains of the marae, the koutu and other meeting grounds are still visible.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rarotonga attractions

1. Matavera CICC

1.23 MILES

The old CICC is lovely at night when the outside is lit up.

2. National Museum


Inside the National Culture Centre, the National Museum showcases Cook Islands and South Pacific artefacts, and sometimes hosts temporary exhibitions…

3. Cook Islands Library & Museum Society

1.63 MILES

Inland behind the Para O Tane Palace, this collection of Pacific literature incorporates a small museum. Intriguing exhibits include an old whaling pot,…

4. Cook Islands Christian Church

1.65 MILES

Avarua’s white-washed church was built in 1853. The graveyard contains the graves of author Robert Dean Frisbie, and Albert Henry, the first prime…

5. Para O Tane Palace

1.69 MILES

On the inland side of the main road is this palace and its surrounding Taputapuatea marae. The palace is where Makea Takau, the paramount ariki (chief) of…

6. BCA Art Gallery


This historical building was once an LMS missionary school. These days it houses an excellent art gallery, gift shop and courtyard cafe.