Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe
Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Please note: While the gardens are Open 7 Days a week. Our Cafe currently operates from Monday - Friday 10am - 3pm. Started in 1996 by Hinano Macquarie, Maire Nui Gardens has evolved from what was originally swampland, into a tropical oasis loved by both visitors and locals alike. Maire Nui Gardens is located on the South side of the island, and encompasses 7 acres of colourful and unique plants, walkways, rock formations, bridges, water features, lily ponds, compost stations and worm farms. Children especially will enjoy running along our many pathways and spotting fish and aquatic life in our ponds. Hidden amongst our lush vegetation you will find our cafe which offers unique island dining experience. Enjoy fresh foods of the tropics enhanced with our organic herbs and spices. We also offer spectacular space for luxury weddings, corporate and private events. Get in touch, we'd love to help you plan your perfect day.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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  • DaveAnita2016
    Snells Beach, New Zealand65 contributions
    Enjoyable garden
    We stumbled upon this place and thought the gardens were well worth a look and the $10 entrance donation. Had an iced coffee which was nice and cheesecake at the cafe. Thought the cheesecake was a bit expensive so ordered 1 to share but when it came it was very good , a large slice of proper homemade cheese cake and a good selection of tropical fruit and it was an ample morning tea for 2 of us. Staff friendly and helpful.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 10 March 2023
  • Hannah M
    Auckland, New Zealand11 contributions
    Beautiful setting, lush surrounds and the freshest of food in a relaxed setting PERFECT for the whole family.
    While there are numerous beach bars and waterfront restaurants in Rarotonga - Maire Nui Gardens offers something different. We visited twice during our trip, once with our whole extended family (8 adults and 6 kids ranging from 3 - 13 years old) and the second time a smaller group of four - both times a wonderful experience. You can tuck yourself away at a table amongst the beautiful gardens, and there's heaps to explore either during or after the amazing kai and drinks on offer. You'll find warm and welcoming hosts, and everything on the menu is made with fresh fruits and produce from the gardens themselves. The food is thoughtfully made, and you can taste the difference. A hit for our group were the seared tuna tacos, tropical fruit smoothes, and gorgeous iced coffees. An absolute bonus was the kids platter, full of healthy island treats and beautifully presented including slices of pawpaw, fresh bread, hummus and veggie sticks. If you're passing by this tropical oasis while travelling around the island be sure to stop in. Thanks Tirito and team!!
    Visited March 2023
    Written 14 April 2023
  • Jessica C
    Greater Sydney, Australia1 contribution
    Best lunch on the island by far!!!
    The most amazing lunch we've eaten on the Island! We ate the seared Tuna tacos and they were bursting with flavour and freshness. Highly, highly recommend for lunch, with lovely, friendly staff aswell. Only open Monday to Friday.
    Stoked you enjoyed our Cajun seared tuna tacos, we're incredibly lucky to know quality fishermen who are able to provide us with fresh catches of the day. Thankyou for joining us.
    Written 28 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 April 2023
  • Hamish B
    4 contributions
    Beautiful fresh local food, special environment
    Amazing all round. Went with my family for a long brunch and the main takeaway for my wife and I was that we wish we were a bit younger so that we could have had our wedding here! The food was beautifully presented, tasted great, local beer on tap, and the service was awesome - friendly, unpretentious and professional...and you can feel the 30 years of love that have been poured into the gardens. A very special place.
    Thankyou for taking time out of your day and placing a review. We're so happy you enjoyed your time with us, and remember, you can always renew your vows in our wedding area.
    Written 28 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 June 2023
  • lyndylou6
    Tauranga, New Zealand7 contributions
    Disappointed
    We visited on a Sunday when the cafe is closed. That was ok though as we wanted to see the gardens, but we were very disappointed. Apart from at the entrance there was no signage. There was no map and we did get a bit lost. Also the paths were very muddy. Would be much better if all the paths were stones like at the entrance. It would have been great also to have some signs with descriptions of the planting so we knew what we were looking at. Overall a very underwhelming experience which was not worth the $10 donation that we honestly paid into the donation box.
    Thankyou for taking the time to place a review. Unfortunately we are unable to provide a map as the garden is constantly evolving, however we are working towards installing path markers to help lead people around the garden. We have also just finished producing 150 plant name signs which will start to be installed over the next fortnight, finally! Sorry to hear you had an dispaoointing experience, if you ever care to return please come through on a week day when the cafe is open and our staff can point you in the right direction and provide more history as to the creation of the garden.
    Written 28 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 June 2023
  • dundada
    United Kingdom188 contributions
    Beautiful! I love all of the flowers & plants in the Cook Islands
    I went to the Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe the day before I flew back home to London. These gardens are beautiful green and have the lush plant life all over the place and the most gorgeous flowers growing all throughout them. Which isn’t exactly shocking because all of the Cook Islands looks like that! It’s so serene and tranquil walking through those gardens also and for most of the time that day I was the only person walking around through those gardens. The cafe in the gardens was closed at the time and they had a sign up on the cafe’s door that said that the cafe was closed for three weeks because the person who runs it had to go out of the country for a bit so of course I have nothing to say about the cafe. I did leave a donation in the little wooden box in the Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe even though nobody else was around including the people who usually work in the cafe in there. It was very easy for me to get into the Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe because I was staying in the Little Polynesian Resort at the time which is right across the street from those gardens. I do highly recommend going to the Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe if you love to walk around in solitude in a very quiet place with all of your thoughts while you’re surrounded by the most lush and green flora all around you.
    Visited October 2022
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 July 2023
  • Ollie C
    Kings Point, Australia11 contributions
    Great Gardens. Even better Food.
    We visited the gardens three times it was so good. The gardens are gorgeous , a labor of love by a visionary. The cafe serves the freshest foods & salads on the island. The daily special s real treat.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 July 2023
  • Michele H
    Auckland Central, New Zealand4 contributions
    A hidden piece of tropical garden paradise
    This is a really lovely experience, visiting these incredible gardens which have been grown wish love and devotion over many years, by one woman and her family and friends. The Cafe is lovely, the food is fresh and delicious! Such a wonderful, informal setting amongst the gardens, it is a beautiful little "escape", and well worth a visit. The family operate the Cafe, and are so welcoming and friendky, taking time to chat with everyone and talk about the history of these gardens. Enjoy a lovely wander through the gardens and explore the mighty traveller palms, the beautiful flora, its all just so gorgeous. Highly recommend this for something different to do. Make a donation towards the ongoing care of this amazing garden paradise, while you visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 7 August 2023
  • Traveler49393565207
    1 contribution
    Delights of nature, brilliance and serenity
    Most attractions in Rarotonga include eating drinking and the beautiful sea. But we went to the serene and beautiful Maire Nui Gardens and Cafe and found such a delightful wonderland of plants. So many magnificent palms of all varieties, water gardens, fruiting and flowering plants in abundance as well as a developing edible garden. We had the delightful experience of spending 20 minutes chatting with Hinano, the woman with a mission. Over 20 years ago she envisioned a tropical wonderland on what was a swamp land. Today she has realised part of her dream, but always looks to the future with ongoing plans to develop more of her 7 acres. The cafe is divine. Try the butterfly tea! The cheesecake. Everything! There are plenty of photo albums and videos detailing the development of the gardens. This was our last adventure before our flight, and what a magical way to end our unforgettable 11 days. If I'd gone earlier in our holiday I'd have gone back! Great for couples, singles, families and groups. Kids have an absolute ball running around, hiding and enjoying nature. Also a lovely cool way to spend a hot day.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 September 2023
  • holidayreviews10
    Auckland Central, New Zealand56 contributions
    Plant lovers paradise
    As a plant lover, I was in heaven here! $20 donation to walk the gardens, but it was so worth it. So many paths and benches to relax on. So many butterflies, geckos and incredible plants to see. Also got in early for an INCREDIBLE lemon meringue cheesecake. It really is worth the hype. Highly recommend
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 24 October 2023
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4.5
608 reviews
Excellent
319
Very good
202
Average
66
Poor
14
Terrible
7

GRZ
Chicago, IL10,071 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
The gardens based on 10NZD per person honor system are pretty but nothing to rave about, but when you add to this an opportunity to eat inside the gardens at their lovely cafe then things becomes a must stop while on Raro... especially it's literally on the main road so you can walk to it, depending of course how close you stay to it, or do a super quick drive to it.

TIP: entrance is cash only for the box but the cafe takes credit cards, also be careful for some plants/leaves as they have a razor sharp leaves (we saw it one spot but on the height of your neck/face I was glad I didn't blindly walk fast into it)
Written 25 November 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.

Gardengirl212
Sydney, Australia1,362 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
Not far from our accommodation we found Maire Nui Gardens and Cafe - and what a find it was!

We wish we'd visited here sooner in our stay so we could return again at least once more - it was that good.

We had such a lovely lunch of paw paw and smoked chicken salad plus a cajun seared tuna taco washed down with Rarotonga Brewery's delicious ginger beer and then a walk around the spectacular gardens photographing and delighting in the gorgeous flora and foliage.

This experience is highly recommended and a must-do when visiting Rarotonga.
Written 6 November 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.

Andrina J
8 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
Some places in the Garden were lovely but overall disappointing. It’s a self guided tour with a lack on sign as to which way to go we ends up in circles . Lack of signs as to the plants n flowers on display. Overall disappointing
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.

Cheryl B
Denver, CO114 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Solo
I seem to be in the minority, but I didn’t find these gardens to be much special. The cost is $10 and I spent 45 minutes there and I tried to drag it out as long as possible to get my moneys worth by wandering basically every pathway. There’s very little interpretation or plant labeling, although it is lovely for photographing exotic flowers.
Written 24 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.

holidayreviews10
Auckland Central, New Zealand56 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Couples
As a plant lover, I was in heaven here! $20 donation to walk the gardens, but it was so worth it. So many paths and benches to relax on. So many butterflies, geckos and incredible plants to see. Also got in early for an INCREDIBLE lemon meringue cheesecake. It really is worth the hype. Highly recommend
Written 24 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.

Alfred W
3 contributions
Oct. 2023 • Family
Beautiful tropical garden, really worth visiting. Small cafe for lunch, we had a smoothie that was very good.
Written 11 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.

826ivankac
Sydney, Australia6 contributions
Sep. 2023 • Couples
Very nice gardens, great for a stroll around. Cafe serves great lemon meringue cake & fun pea flower tea that turns a different colour when you add lemon
Written 16 September 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.

Traveler49393565207
1 contribution
Jul. 2023 • Couples
Most attractions in Rarotonga include eating drinking and the beautiful sea. But we went to the serene and beautiful Maire Nui Gardens and Cafe and found such a delightful wonderland of plants. So many magnificent palms of all varieties, water gardens, fruiting and flowering plants in abundance as well as a developing edible garden. We had the delightful experience of spending 20 minutes chatting with Hinano, the woman with a mission. Over 20 years ago she envisioned a tropical wonderland on what was a swamp land. Today she has realised part of her dream, but always looks to the future with ongoing plans to develop more of her 7 acres.
The cafe is divine. Try the butterfly tea! The cheesecake. Everything! There are plenty of photo albums and videos detailing the development of the gardens.
This was our last adventure before our flight, and what a magical way to end our unforgettable 11 days. If I'd gone earlier in our holiday I'd have gone back!
Great for couples, singles, families and groups. Kids have an absolute ball running around, hiding and enjoying nature.
Also a lovely cool way to spend a hot day.
Written 6 September 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.

sydneysider48
Sydney, Australia1,090 contributions
Aug. 2023 • Couples
This is a beautiful tropical garden, well maintained with an interesting array of colourful plants and a cafe which unfortunately was closed during our visit.
Written 1 September 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.

Passport66277737973
Napier, New Zealand1 contribution
Jul. 2023 • Couples
Tranquil setting and interesting variety of plantings to meander through, at extra cost to the cafe. Enjoyable coffee and well-presented food
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.

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Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe

Maire Nui Gardens & Cafe is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm