If you’re travelling to Rarotonga you’ll almost definitely end up at Muri Beach at some point. Whether you’re planning to visit as part of a tour or staying in a resort nearby, you’ll find lots of information about Muri Beach and lagoon in this post!
This post contains affiliate links — if you book a hotel after clicking one I’ll get a small cut. I paid my own way on this Rarotonga trip and didn’t receive any sponsored hotel rooms.
When you’re spending good money to go on a beach holiday you should make sure the beach is actually good. Job done if you’re reading this — Muri Beach is stunning, easily in the top 10 (probably top 5) beach destinations we’ve been to.
The sand might be slightly rougher (and not quite as white) as others, but the clear blue water, the shade provided by all the palm trees, views of the small islands just across the lagoon and the laid-back atmosphere add up to make Muri Beach the perfect place for a beach holiday.
There are several resorts right on the beach, but it never felt too busy or too exclusive — there was always a quiet (and shady) spot to put down your towels and relax.
Exploring the Lagoon
You couldn’t ask for a more relaxing place to try out some water sports than Muri Lagoon. The water is very shallow (most parts are waist deep or even shallower) and you should be able to spot a few sea creatures from the comfort of your kayak or paddle board.
We saw a few fish throughout the lagoon, but the turtles were the most exciting. We were kayaking in shallow water close to shore when we floated right over a big turtle. There were four of them in the area, occasionally poking their heads above water and swimming close to our kayak.
There are four small motu (islands) in Muri Lagoon. The three biggest ones are all close to the main beach area and don’t take much effort to kayak to. The Island directly across from Muri Beach Club (Koromiri) hosts the glass bottom boat cruises for lunch and entertainment, so it can get a little loud during those times, but outside of that it’s just a tiny, quiet deserted island.
The other islands seem to be quiet all the time. We landed at one and a little dog came running towards us. You’ll see lots of dogs in Rarotonga — most are pets who wander freely and love to hang out at the beach (one even jumped on a paddleboard with us).
Muri Beach is one of the most popular places to stay in Rarotonga, and back from the beach you’ll find restaurants / bars, cafés, takeaway places and small shops. Everything you need for a beach holiday, whatever your budget.
There are some good beachfront dining and drinking options too, including the Rarotonga Sailing Club (pictured below) and SilverSands (the restaurant at Muri Beach Club), which was reasonably priced considering the location. We also ate at Rickshaw Restaurant, La Casita, and LBV Bakery and Cafe.
Muri Night Market
Our favourite place to eat in Muri was the night market. It’s a collection of about a dozen food stalls (with a few crafts etc. too) and lots of seats — the food was delicious (and the portions were big) and the atmosphere was cool too.
Where to Stay
There are plenty of accommodation options at Muri Beach, both on the beach, and around the main road through town. Don’t worry if you’re a 5–10-minute walk from the beach — the whole area is nice and it’s easy to walk around. We stayed six nights at Muri Beach, split between Aroko Bungalows and Muri Beach Club Hotel. Aroko Bungalows is pretty cheap (around $150) and has great views of the lagoon. We thought it was one of the best value places to stay in the island. The bungalows are fairly basic but have cooking facilities and free use of kayaks and snorkelling gear.
Muri Beach Club Hotel is a flash resort, with flash resort prices. It’s on the best bit of beach in Muri and is perfectly set up for a relaxing beach holiday. If you’re looking to save some money you could follow our lead and stay in a cheaper place for the first few nights and do any activities on these days. Then spend your last couple of nights somewhere flash and hang out at the resort as much as possible.
Stay or Visit for a Day?
If you’re staying elsewhere on the island I’d recommend visiting Muri Beach at least once. If you’re doing one of the boat tours (Captain Tama’s and Koka Cruises are the two popular ones) you’ll spend a couple of hours on one of the small islands just offshore. From there I’m sure you could borrow a kayak or just walk across to Muri Beach.
Otherwise catch a bus from anywhere on the island and spend a relaxing afternoon at the beach. You should stay a night or two if you can. It’s a different experience to the other beach areas and I reckon on a typical 6-night itinerary it’d be a good idea to stay in two places — Muri and somewhere else (Aroa Beach if you’re asking me).
The Back Roads
You’re never too far away from Rarotonga’s mountainous interior. The backroads in Muri feature some good views — check out the Avana Valley if you’re after an easy walk or do the Cross Island Walk (and The Needle) which starts in the main village (a short bus ride from Muri).
The beaches further south / west are good too, without standing out quite as much as Muri. We walked all the way from Palm Grove Resort to Muri, past Turoa Beach and Titikaveka Beach. The beaches were great (mostly) but Muri is still the best I reckon. We also stayed at Aroa Beach, on the West Coast of Rarotonga, which was the second best beach area we saw. More on that in a separate post.
Are you planning a trip to Rarotonga? Have I convinced you to go to Muri Beach? Let me know in the comments below!
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