The best thing you can do of an eve in the Cook Islands is to sip cocktails facing the west as the sun sets. Travellers and tourists alike come together to party the warm evening away. Nightlife in the Cook Islands is improving all the time, but for many gapper coming from the nightlife in New Zealand or Australia it will seem tame.
There are bars and clubs to enjoy but most of the Cook Islands nightlife will revolve around chowing down on a Polynesian feast and having a few drinks. There are a few totally tourist nightlife tours set up, which can be fun, but make sure you try out the more ‘local’ scene too.
Friday nights are the biggest in the Cook Islands, and this is when the Friday Night Island Pub Crawl takes place. Make sure you get on this through your hostel or hotel to see the best of the Cook Islands nightlife. These nights will always end up in carnage, with plenty of crazy dancing and singing. If you’re on your gap year in the Cook Islands by yourself it’s also the perfect time to make some friends along the way.
On Friday nights the bars in Rarotonga stay open until 2am, but on Saturday they’re guaranteed to close on the stroke of midnight out of respect for Sunday.
The live music from the island’s best bands keeps the punters coming at Trader Jack’s. There’s a great menu filled with quality seafood dishes, and make sure you make the most of the cocktail menu too. Located on Avarua’s Old Harbour this is the place to be on a Friday night.
If you’re ready to party on a Wednesday check out the Banana Court Bar on the main road.
Hidies Bar is a bar-cum-club and is another top spot to check out if you’re after some crazy nightlife in the Cook Islands. Other bars worthy of a beer are Whatever! Bar, Bush Beer Club and The Staircase Bar.
TJ’s Nightclub is another great option for gappers and locals – the music and dancing goes on as late as legally allowed.