Te Vara Nui Village
Te Vara Nui Village
4.5
About
Te Vara Nui Village is the Cultural Centre of the Cook Islands offering 3 amazing products: a 2.5 hour VILLAGE TOUR offering a full authentic journey into our past, a Stunning Over-Water Night Show and first class Island/Western fusion buffet dinning experience on floating and fixed stages set in botanical gardens surrounded by rock gardens and waterfalls, and our COMBO PACKAGE offering both Village Tour and Over-Water Night Show and Buffet dinner in one night. Your ultimate cultural experience not to be missed!!!!
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  • Bborell
    Manurewa, New Zealand7 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great night if you’re new to Rarotonga.
    Pretty good night out. The setting is pretty special and a key feature of the experience. Guests are seated on raised platforms on either side of a shallow lagoon with an elevated stage in the middle. The buffet meal was quite nice, not the best we’ve had but def not the worst. Well presented and good variety of local delicacies. The show is the real cornerstone of the village experience and is quite special. Well choreographed story that makes great use of the stage and lagoon space to tell the story of how Rarotonga was settled. Great music dancing and singing. If you’re new to the island and it’s culture this would be a great introduction. The matriarch of the village and its namesake was in the audience for our show so that was very special. Prices are $140 per adult which is pretty standard for these shows.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 August 2023
  • Irenke F
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular Over the Water Night Show with Buffet Dinner
    I did the buffet dinner and over the water night show at this beautiful village in Muri. Lots of delicious food, dances, fire twirling and more with a story that told the arrival of the Polynesians to the Cook Islands and the culture they brought with them. Highly recommend this experience.
    Kia Orana and MEITAKI (thank you) We are so pleased you enjoyed your night with us and not only had a good time, but also learned some of our culture and history! We hope to see you again one day! Ka Kite Te Vara Nui team
    Written 17 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 25 August 2023
  • redunn55
    Auckland Central, New Zealand98 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly recommend Te Vara Nui
    From the moment you arrive you are greeted by the wonderfully friendly staff. Shown to table and drinks ordered and came promptly. Great welcome our our wonderful hostess who explained the programme for the evening and she came around every table to make sure everyone was having a great time. Food excellent and certainly plenty for everyone. The show was just spectacular and the lagoon garden is stunning. Dancers and the band 10/10 from start to finish. Highly recommend booking this show the buffet.
    Kia Orana and we truly appreciate your review! It is lovely to hear that our staff looked after you and that the evening was a 10/10. We will share this review with our team and thank you!! Take care Te Vara Nui team
    Written 17 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 October 2023
  • Michelle T
    Mount Maunganui, New Zealand27 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Add it to the Raro list
    Definitely recommend doing this while visiting Rarotonga . Food, hospitality and show were all fabulous . Only lost one star as we were in the smaller restaurant and couldn’t hear the story telling of the show very well at all . I would suggest having a speaker in that room . Thank you for a wonderful night
    Kia Orana and meitaki (thank you) We are so pleased that you enjoyed your night with us!! Thank you also for your feedback regarding the sound system... with 3 restaurants, the sound team strive to keep the sound consistent in all 3, however working with live entertainers (drummers + dancers) it can be difficult to keep the sound levels consistent... There are speakers in all 3 restaurants and we have passed your feedback onto the tech team so that the can make any necessary improvements. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your Rarotongan holiday! Take care Te Vara Nui team
    Written 17 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 October 2023
  • Han Pearl
    Christchurch, New Zealand6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Cultural Evening and Buffet Dinner
    We were recommended this tour by the boys from Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises, who also happen to dance at this show. We were not disappointed! The music, the dancing, the food, all of it was fantastic. This is one of the more pricey cultural shows but for us it was worth it. The food was beautiful, and the venue staff made sure everyone was looked after including making sure everyone had a seat for the show. The show itself is spectacular, although we did have a little trouble hearing the story itself, the music and the dancing was just incredible. Rarotonga is passionate about sharing their culture and this evening did exactly that! As someone who is careful about wanting to experience authentic culture rather than touristy gimicks, this felt genuine and the passion of the performers for their culture was obvious. Definitely recommend for a wonderful night shared with friends or family, and the shared tables means you might even come away with new friends!
    Kia Orana You have written a lovely review and for that... we sincerely thank you. Yes a lot of Capt Tamas (and Koka Lagoon) cruise boys are part of our Entertainment team and their energy and enthusiasm (even after a day on the cruise boats) is pretty amazing! You mention the performers passion and we cannot agree more... we are privileged to see them perform each of our operating nights and that passion is genuine and they show it every single night! Meitaki (thank you ) and we hope to see you again one day soon - take care!
    Written 14 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 October 2023
  • Tash J
    23 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful experience!
    We loved the cultural night show so much! Unbelievably beautiful energy, music, dancing and talent! We loved the beauty of the grounds, restaurant and stage. Ruth was a fabulous host! The dancers were amazing and we were moved to tears at one point. The food was delicious and I really enjoyed Ruth sharing recommendations from the buffet and explaining the traditional dishes. Such a wonderful way to see the beautiful culture of the Cook Islands and spend the evening. Shout out to the band also for their fantastic work with providing the sounds.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 January 2024
  • mjoy93
    49 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent food and village tour
    We went to both the village tour and the island night. During the village tour, we were given an overview of Polynesian migration, weapons used in the cook islands and a demonstration of different plants and their uses (including different ways to use a coconut). Ruth was a very engaging and enthusiastic host. During the island night, we had a buffet of excellent food that was mostly Polynesian cuisine, and all dietary requirements listed. Drink service was good but best to order before the show starts. There are two restaurants that face each other across a pond with the stage in the middle. The show includes dancers on a moving raft and there was one performance with fire dancing which was amazing. The dancers are quite far away compared to other shows and it was hard to follow the story (but it is written on the back of the toilet doors!).
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 February 2024
  • Mrs Smith
    Sydney, Australia43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A very enjoyable evening
    Very very enjoyable. We usually avoid ‘tourist shows’ but the website looked interesting so we went, and had a great time. We chose the show and dinner package. The food was delicious and there was plenty on offer. The show was slick, the performers young, energetic and the story was informative.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 April 2024
  • Andrea
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular
    We did the Village tour, dinner, show combo. I was worried that it would be too commercial. But, no way. It was awesome. The guide was very knowledgeable and a true descendant ot Rarotongan origin, the food was plentiful, acknowledging local traditions,and the performers looked as if they enjoyed showing off their skills. Loved it.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 April 2024
  • Happy Browser
    Auckland, New Zealand4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Evening Spectacular!
    The excellent buffet dinner was very tasty, with a large variety of dishes offered. With three restaurants around the pool/stage area, everyone got a wonderful view of the simply great show that followed dinner. The drumming and dancing was terrific!
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 2 July 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Brad
11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
The show itself and the dinner were both great. Unfortunately I think they oversell the venue which ruins the experience a bit. Because of the amount of tickets they sell to each show you are seated in random locations with random other guests, my wife and I were seated at a small round table of four with two guests from Eastern Europe who spoke little to no English which made the experience a bit awkward. Then as were were seated at the back for dinner, we were asked to sit on the ground up the front for the show, where there were young children constantly moving around and more interested in talking to their parents about the Eels in the water than the show.
Overall I think the simple fix is to sell less tickets and make the show more ‘intimate’ as such. The tickets are reasonably highly priced as is when compared to other attractions in Rarotonga. I wouldn’t recommend Te Vara Nui to people unless they have done every other activity Raro has to offer.
Written 21 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your feedback and we are delighted you enjoyed our Overwater Night Show and also the buffet dinner. With our Rarotongan culture being very much about sharing (of food and experiences), we have opted for the “family style” dining, with guests mixing and being seated together. The seating allocation is based on numbers per booking, and while every care is taken, we agree that unfortunately not every allocation can be 100% successful, because we do not know in advance the likes, dislikes, ethnicity etc of our guests. Guests seated on the smaller tables (such as you were) are offered the opportunity to shift closer for viewing of the show… the “front row” (or ledge of the restaurant) is prime seating for a close-up view of the stage and dancers. Another option for you, could have been to be seated on a bar stool height chair behind the lower tables, for an elevated view. Most evenings Te Vara Nui is fully booked in all 3 restaurants, and despite pressure from some visitors to “just squeeze in a few more” we do have a limit on how many tickets we sell, with guest comfort being one of our primary concerns, along with ensuring we have ample food for the buffets. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention and we will take this on board when looking at seating and guest numbers in future. We hope to see you again at Te Vara Nui
Written 31 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Han Pearl
Christchurch, New Zealand6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
We were recommended this tour by the boys from Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises, who also happen to dance at this show. We were not disappointed! The music, the dancing, the food, all of it was fantastic. This is one of the more pricey cultural shows but for us it was worth it. The food was beautiful, and the venue staff made sure everyone was looked after including making sure everyone had a seat for the show.
The show itself is spectacular, although we did have a little trouble hearing the story itself, the music and the dancing was just incredible. Rarotonga is passionate about sharing their culture and this evening did exactly that! As someone who is careful about wanting to experience authentic culture rather than touristy gimicks, this felt genuine and the passion of the performers for their culture was obvious. Definitely recommend for a wonderful night shared with friends or family, and the shared tables means you might even come away with new friends!
Written 29 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Orana You have written a lovely review and for that... we sincerely thank you. Yes a lot of Capt Tamas (and Koka Lagoon) cruise boys are part of our Entertainment team and their energy and enthusiasm (even after a day on the cruise boats) is pretty amazing! You mention the performers passion and we cannot agree more... we are privileged to see them perform each of our operating nights and that passion is genuine and they show it every single night! Meitaki (thank you ) and we hope to see you again one day soon - take care!
Written 14 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Patricia H
New Zealand1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I am not one to write reviews but thought I would as found the previous negative comments way out of context, so much so I am not sure they even got the place right. We went to Tevara Nui with another couple and just loved the show experience. The dancers were captivating and it was very professional yet warm with the dancers coming into the restaurant after the show to invite us to dance. The venue itself is amazing and you cannot find anything like this in Rarotonga with the over-water gardens and lake. Yes I admit the drinks took a bit long to arrive but I think everywhere on the island there are staff shortages, but you could see the staff were really trying to please everyone.
The food was tasty and a variety thereof with my wife applauding the vegetarian options. Overall such a great night out with our friends. Definitely the highlight of our trip!
Written 18 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrea
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We did the Village tour, dinner, show combo. I was worried that it would be too commercial. But, no way. It was awesome. The guide was very knowledgeable and a true descendant ot Rarotongan origin, the food was plentiful, acknowledging local traditions,and the performers looked as if they enjoyed showing off their skills. Loved it.
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Doris2U
Wellington, New Zealand6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
We loved this! The dancers were so much fun! The fire dancers were amazing. The staff were helpful, especially bringing out chairs and making sure everyone could see the entertainment.
The drinks came quickly and were delish. The food was fabulous. And the people we met at our table were great too - a nice way to get to know others.
Written 11 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Happy Browser
Auckland, New Zealand4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
The excellent buffet dinner was very tasty, with a large variety of dishes offered. With three restaurants around the pool/stage area, everyone got a wonderful view of the simply great show that followed dinner. The drumming and dancing was terrific!
Written 2 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Harry T
Auckland, New Zealand8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Family
We absolutely love the show. The welcome was friendly, the food was great with a lot of options. The performance was top-class with professional MC and dancers.

Highly recommend as one of the must-dos when visiting Raro.
Written 3 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bexselector
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
This was the most "polished" experience we had whilst on the island. The setting is beautiful and the performers and staff brilliant. The food was really delicious and plentiful. It was one of the more expensive activities we did, and for the price I would have liked soft drinks/water included. But, we still felt it was worth it for the experience.
Written 11 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irenke F
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
I did the buffet dinner and over the water night show at this beautiful village in Muri. Lots of delicious food, dances, fire twirling and more with a story that told the arrival of the Polynesians to the Cook Islands and the culture they brought with them. Highly recommend this experience.
Written 25 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kia Orana and MEITAKI (thank you) We are so pleased you enjoyed your night with us and not only had a good time, but also learned some of our culture and history! We hope to see you again one day! Ka Kite Te Vara Nui team
Written 18 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mrs Smith
Sydney, Australia43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Very very enjoyable. We usually avoid ‘tourist shows’ but the website looked interesting so we went, and had a great time. We chose the show and dinner package. The food was delicious and there was plenty on offer. The show was slick, the performers young, energetic and the story was informative.
Written 4 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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TE VARA NUI VILLAGE (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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