Rarotonga Weather December Averages, Cook islands
What's the weather like in Rarotonga in December
With averages that equal those of May, December has some of the more moderate temperatures of the year. Daily average temperatures in December range from a high of 27C (81F) to a low of 22C (72F), with an overall average of 25C (77F). The average sea temperature in Rarotonga is 27C (81F) in December, which is just under the year's high span that runs from January to April with averages of 28C (82F).
You'll see the year's lowest level of sunshine in December with an average of 8 hours a day, contrasted by the highs of 12 daily hours in September and October. The clouds that gather over Rarotonga's interior all year are more pronounced in December.
Falling early in Rarotonga's wet season (from November to May), December sees moderate precipitation. The month has an average of 17 rainy days with an overall average rainfall of 160mm. But the weather won't ruin your trip. Rain falls in brief downpours during afternoons, leaving mornings and early evenings with sunny skies.
December begins Rarotonga's highest period of humidity that continues until May. In December, the average relative humidity is 85%, with humidity of around 87% in the mornings and 75% in the evenings.
Sunrise and Sunset
The duration of daylight is constantly increasing in December. On December 1, the sun rises at 5:48 am and sets at 7:08 pm, with 13:20 hours of total daylight. On December 31, with the longest amount of daylight in the month, the sun comes up at 6:00 am and sundown takes place at 7:24 pm, with 13:24 hours of total daylight.
Falling squarely in the South Pacific's cyclone season that spans from November to April, December is more likely to see storms. However, the region rarely gets hit with fierce cyclones that strike places such as New Caledonia and Fiji. The rare foul weather that touches Rarotonga's shores can bring gusts of up to 55 m/s (124 mph) and extreme flooding.
Rarotonga Hotels in December
Stay close to a town centre or away from the crowds at nature retreats. Rarotonga's lodging options offer diverse choices that are all close enough to the shore to enjoy the island's famed lagoon.
Offering four-star getaways on Titikaveka Beach, Royale Takitumu has thatched-roofed villas that capture South Seas style with upscale exclusivity. Palm-lined paths wind through tropical gardens with lily ponds, rock pools and breadfruit trees. Modern free-standing accommodations feature oceanfront patios, kitchenettes, dining areas and bathrooms with luxurious spa tubs. Laze the morning away in a hammock and grill your own lunch at barbecue facilities. A plunge in the freshwater pool awaits. With few hotels nearby, you're almost guaranteed secluded south-shore sands that meet the warm waters of Rarotonga's famed lagoon.
Paradise Holiday Homes Rarotonga
Tucked into a private patch of hillside nature, Paradise Holiday Homes Rarotonga offers a tranquil break from seaside holidaymakers. A handful of homes offer amenities including kitchens, dining and living rooms, and a private pool at their most-upscale option. With a four-bedroom home, it's a good choice for large families or groups. Constructed with fragrant cedar and rich mahogany, accommodations have soaring ceilings and wide decks that look out over a lush expanse of tropical greenery. When you're ready to leave the forest for the beach, it's a ten-minute walk to the island's southern shore.
Aroa Beachside Inn
An affordable option on the sunset coast, Aroa Beachside Inn has a prime spot on the white sands of Aroa Beach. Featuring kitchens and separate seating areas, guestrooms are rich with natural wood and have furnished patios with sweeping ocean views. Settle into a hammock to enjoy the serenity of the lush surrounds and cook out at on-site barbecue facilities. Don't feel like cooking? Enjoy a casual meal and a tropical cocktail at the Shipwreck Hut beach bar. For more dining options, you're a 12-minute drive to Avarua's town centre.
Nikao Beach Bungalows
A three-star choice with luxury trimmings, Nikao Beach Bungalows has studio-style cottages and two-bedroom villas on the island's northernmost tip. Enjoy magnificent ocean views from furnished balconies. Interiors with high ceilings have splashes of vibrant colour that reflect Polynesian style. Accommodations come with full kitchens, ample living areas and a private pool at one of the villas. Grab snorkelling gear for underwater exploration in the Nikao Lagoon. Grill before seaside views at barbecue facilities. For dining out, you're less than a ten-minute drive to a multitude of eateries in downtown Avarua.
Rarotonga Beaches for December
While Muri is one of the best known and most beautiful beaches on Rarotonga, there's a stunning world of white sand just across the lagoon. You can wade to Koromiri Beach on the tiny coastal isle opposite Muri though a strong current makes either a kayak or a boat trip more advisable. Tours often stop on the island to enjoy barbecue lunches on the sand. Koromiri's stunning beauty also makes it a popular place for beach weddings.
Bars and Restaurants
Grab a quick bite at one of the on-the-go eateries at the Punanga Nui Market, linger in a garden bistro over European cuisine, or indulge in fine dining at an upscale beachfront resort. Whichever culinary adventure you desire, Rarotonga has the restaurants and bars to satisfy your craving.
Little Polynesian Restaurant & Bar
The Little Polynesian Restaurant & Bar blends island flavours with Mediterranean cuisine at the Little Polynesian Resort on the island's southern shore. The open-air eatery looks out over a stunning infinity pool that gives way to the shimmering Titikaveka Lagoon. Enjoy a bistro-style meal with a choice vintage from an array of fine wines from New Zealand and Australia. Save room for a tropical-inspired dessert. The restaurant is open daily from 7:30 am to 9 pm.
LBV - Le Bon Vivant
A popular bakery in the centre of Muri Village, LBV - Le Bon Vivant serves what some say is the best coffee on the island. They also offer some of Rarotonga's freshest baked goods. You can enjoy hearty sandwiches, gourmet pizzas and mouth-watering quiches in a garden setting or on the veranda of a restored traditional limestone structure. LBV is open daily from 7:30 am to 4 pm.
Deli-Licious Café Limited
Surrounded by swaying palms and tropical greenery in Muri, Deli-Licious Café Limited serves a range of traditional South Seas fare and western favourites. Enjoy pineapple pancakes from the all-day breakfast menu, a toasted panini and fruit smoothie for lunch, or order from an assortment of home-style sandwiches and salads. A dessert of cheesecake or custard square awaits. The breezy open-air café is open from Sunday to Friday from 7:30 am to 3 pm.
Serving from a bright colourful hut at the Punanga Nui Market, Michele's Café offers an array of fresh-from-the-sea fish with Asian flair. Delight in seafood dishes such as coconut-rich mitiore and ika mata, spiced carpaccio with capers, and sashimi with Michele's secret sauce. The tiny eatery is also known for its Vietnamese-style coffees and teas. Michele's is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm.
Things to do in Rarotonga in December
Savour Seaside Cuisine
If you're going to Rarotonga, you're going to eat. There's arguably no better place to enjoy a meal than before stunning sea views. Set just back from the island's northern shore, the Punanga Nui Market has a sizeable number of food huts with gourmet grub you can take away to any seaside location. Pick up exotic fruits, kebabs, crepes and smoothies for a picnic on the sand. You can always relax at one of the island's many beachfront cafés to dine amid a balmy sea breeze or sip a tropical cocktail before a magnificent sunset.
Leap Off a Black Rock
While the east side of the island has the most-iconic lagoons, you'll find one of Rarotonga's most-dramatic seaside locales on the west coast. Rugged volcanic rocks dot the white sands of Black Rock Beach, creating a dramatic landscape onshore and calm swimming spots offshore. The beach is a favourite with locals, especially children who love to leap from rocks into the deep calm water. With a lush backdrop of tropical greenery and a west-facing orientation, Black Rock Beach is a wonderful place to take in a magnificent sunset.
Kayak from Sunrise to Sunset
The sun plays an integral part in life on Rarotonga. Early risers on the island's east coast are rewarded with inspiring sunrises that peek over small coastal islands near Muri's shores. You can hop in a kayak and visit these tiny "motus". On Rarotonga's west coast, there's perhaps no better place to explore the sea than the Aroa Marine Reserve. While fishing, motor boats and jet skies are banned, you can take a kayak into waters that have huge numbers of tropical fish. It's a good idea to stay until dusk and enjoy stunning sunset views.
Splash at a Waterpark
One of the newest attractions on the island, Rongohiva water park welcomes you to plunge into the waters of the Avatiu Harbour. Propel down one of the largest water slides in the South Pacific. Delight as you slide and slip across a massive inflatable obstacle course. Rongohiva also offers water adventures such as banana-boat rides and speedboat tours.