Cook Islands Library & Museum Society


Inland behind the Para O Tane Palace, this collection of Pacific literature incorporates a small museum. Intriguing exhibits include an old whaling pot, spears and the island’s first printing press. There's also a small bookshop selling Pacific-themed books. Nearby at the junction of Ara Metua and Takuva’ine Rd is the Papeiha Stone. This marks the spot where Tahitian preacher Papeiha preached the gospel in Rarotonga for the first time.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Avarua attractions

1. Cook Islands Christian Church

0.12 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…

2. Para O Tane Palace

0.15 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…

3. BCA Art Gallery

0.21 MILES

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

4. National Museum

0.21 MILES

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

6. Cook Islands Whale & Wildlife Centre

1.19 MILES

Visit this centre to learn about whales and other wildlife frequenting the Cook Islands. It’s an essential stop if you’re planning on going whale watching…

7. Arai-Te-Tonga Marae

1.63 MILES

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 …