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“The Raro Museum” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cook Islands Library & Museum

Cook Islands Library & Museum
Ranked #4 of 21 things to do in Avarua
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This museum contains a collection of artwork and historical artifacts including weapons, carvings and costumes.
Tauranga, New Zealand
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“The Raro Museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

We liked the selection of items on display. the museum needs more advertising, we stumbled across it one day whilst out driving.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Vanessa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Auckland
Level Contributor
124 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Needs an over haul”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

There were some very interesting items in the museum, it all looks rather tired. The building houses both library and museum and is cramped. It is a pity.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank VitaAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Level Contributor
111 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Space lends itself well to large exhibitions.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2014

As the title of this Museum implies, it is run by government being a national asset or facility. This venue is not to be confused with the small private museum situated 100 metres away, which is attached to the Cook Islands Library, opposite the USP campus. Many of the reviews below actually refer to that museum in error.

The National Museum retains a small permanent collection of artefacts either gifted or on loan as subjects of national and historical importance. These heirlooms are also used as art objects to support major exhibitions and cultural installations on several occassions each year.

I attended one of the annual Tivaevae displays last year, created by several individuals and local women's embroidery groups. These large pieces were all magnificently displayed, and well were suited to the lofty height of this large arena. For anyone interested in material manifestations of Cook Islands culture, do not miss a Tivaevae heirloom display.

I also reviewed the work of some amateur photographers and local artists at an earlier exhibition within the same venue. Again the chosen location was used to good effect. A gold coin entry fee is requested.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Frangipani08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
137 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“An Appreciation For The Culture”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2014

Although small, this little museum gives a nice background of the Cook Islands people, the culture, and how the missionaries changed the culture of the people. Some very interesting stories and displays to give one a better appreciation of the island. If your in town, take the half hour or so that it takes to peruse the museum. On your way, check out the cemetery on the left. It houses the first premier of the Cook Islands. There is a bust of him that sits atop his grave as well as one in the museum.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank tmboc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Tired exhibits, but one of few places to see genuine tivaevae”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

Very modest little museum. Some very interesting artefacts, to be sure, but the displays look like they haven't changed in about 40 years. I mainly visited because I was keen to see some genuine tivaevae, the traditional Cook Islands quilts. There were four on display when I visited, they were beautiful, and it was worth going to see them because of my particular interest in the subject.

Otherwise, I'd recommend the museum mainly just for history buffs and the like. For natural history and with kids you'd be better off heading to the Whale and Wildlife Centre on the outskirts of town.

$5 to get in, photographs not allowed, and you'll be done in an hour.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank lonealbatross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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