Free visitor activities will take place daily during the new Kia Orana week being launched by Cook Islands Tourism. Starting at 11am and running through to around 2pm each day visitors to Rarotonga are encouraged to join our community partners, for fun activities and entertainment, showcasing Cook Islands culture and heritage.

Following on from the successful Tourism Week in September 2017, Cook Islands Tourism will kick off Kia Orana Week on Monday March 19 2018 at the Maire Nui Park across the road from the Banana Court in uptown Avarua.

“The purpose of Kia Orana Week is to highlight Cook Islands culture and heritage as a key part of the Tourism industry” says Kia Orana Ambassadors Manager Mrs Nane Papa affectionately known as Aunty Nane. “Visitors will be able watch and learn, as well as participate in our different free activities” she added.

“Starting each day at 11am will be local entertainment, followed by the activity for the day” said Aunty Nane. Aunty Nane went on to elaborate “On Monday will be a tivaevae demonstration. The tivaevae is the traditional Cook Islands quilting and embroidery that is still practiced today. The demonstration will be free for all visitors and will run from 11.40am to 12.10pm. This will be followed by a Fabric Painting and Tie‐Dying demonstration from some of the local mamas engaged in this craft”.

On Tuesday 20 March there will be an Ei‐ making demonstration, as well as a Weaving demonstration to teach visitors more about the styles of head and neck garlands common to the Cook Islands, and about our fun and easy weaving techniques.

Wednesday 21 March will see local jewellery and craft making demonstrations as the main visitor activity for the day. This will be followed by the Vaka Pride prize‐giving. “The Vaka Pride awards will be presented in a short ceremony starting at midday and all visitors are invited to join the local community to celebrate Vaka Pride” said Aunty Nan.

Thursday 22 March will see a coconut husking and grating demonstration, followed by Ika Mata making demonstration, after the daily entertainment. Ika Mata is the iconic local raw fish dish and visitors will be offered a sampling. Also highlighted on that day will be a Maori medicine demonstration for all to learn more about our local herbs and potions.

Aunty Nane also added that “Friday 23 March will see us getting physical and active while celebrating our culture with a Ura Fitness class and demo to be held at the Maire Nui Park from 12pm for an hour”. Ura Fitness is the local fitness craze involving Cook Islands and Polynesian dancing.

For more information about how your guests can get to experience Kia Orana Week please contact Cook Islands Tourism.