Leaving Australia on the Saturday before Christmas seemed like a good idea at the time of planning, the roads around Sydney airport turned into a parking lot and we nudged our way closer and closer to the terminal while watching the clock tick away…finally we checked in and were winging our way to Auckland for a forty minute transfer of planes, only trouble was the cheeky kiwi’s made us go through customs check again just to change planes, we waited and sweated as the time for boarding had passed, for some strange reason the bottle of alcohol I bought at Sydney airport and sealed in a bag had to be opened and checked. As final calls were being made over the intercom we bolted through the terminal arriving hot, sweaty and out of breath at the gate, Cook Islands here we come! Crossing the International Date Line we arrived a day before we left Sydney and were greeted by a bubbly face who drove us to our accommodation. We made it yay, now time to relax 🙂
The Island of Rarotonga is a small island which has a ring road of 36 km’s around it, and surrounded by a beautiful aqua blue lagoon filled with beautiful fish perfect for snorkelling. The middle of the island is covered in thick green vegetation (not the best for exploring in thongs!) and high rocky mountains.
We hired a car (watch out for the chooks that roam the street randomly darting out in front of the car) and spent the week exploring:
Muri Lagoon is just perfect for relaxing along the water with a beer or fruit smoothie from one of the resorts. Small islands jut out from the lagoon and it seems like a big swimming pool perfect for swimming or snorkelling around the islands.
Aro’a Beach is a perfect little beach for snorkelling and a nice fish n’ chip shop across the road.
We stayed along Arorangi which was the perfect spot for postcard sunset shots every evening while lounging on hammocks care of the resort next to us, they didn’t seem to care we used their facilities each evening. Black Rock is a lovely spot for snorkelling in this area, although I did high tail it out of there pretty quick when a big eel came wandering past me and a little obsessed fish kept charging me, why was I afraid of a little fish? Answer, it had teeth!!
Avarua is the island’s biggest town perfect for grabbing a few supplies from the local supermarkets or souvenior shopping. Punanga Nui Market on Saturday mornings is a great spot for buying some local crafts, listening to some island music or grabbing some fruit and vege. Don’t forget to drop by Trader Jack’s on the harbour for pint of the local brew. We invested in an afternoon of game fishing which is very popular on the island and leave from Avarua, it poured down with rain as we left the harbour the only time it rained on our trip and we spent the next four hours or so going round and round in circles over a man made reef and shared one fishing rod between the four of us on the boat, wasn’t what a had in mind with game fishing but we did catch some yellow fin tuna and had plenty for a few meals.
One of the highlights on the island for me was the Te Vara Nui Village tour and Island night. We saw what island life was like back in the day with an interactive tour highlighting how they fish, dress, even making ladies dresses out of wood, bush medicine and most important how good a coconut really is for you. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the Island night dance show, drinking cocktails and eating a big buffet!
Having such a good time on the island I lost track of time and the receptionist said in the afternoon “you haven’t checked out yet?,” “we don’t leave until tomorrow?,” “no it’s today.” On checking my airline ticket we did in fact leave that day! Oops, holiday over!
Travelled to the Cook Islands: 22 to 30 December 2017