Cook Islands

The Cook Islands, the South Pacific archipelago nation, lies southwest of Tahiti. Of its 15 islands, the largest is Rarotonga, site of the capital city, Avarua, known for its white-coral churches. At Avarua’s Saturday market, with offerings from black pearls to sarongs, traditional Polynesian drummers and dancers perform. The country’s blue lagoons and extensive reefs make it a popular scuba-diving destination.

HOW TO GET THERE

Most used way is by the air .The unspoiled beauty of the Cook Islands is in no small part due to their remoteness.  But that doesn’t mean they’re isolated from the rest of the world.   With a bit of careful planning, they are accessible from wherever you live.  All flights are to the capital island, Rarotonga.

WHAT TO DO THERE AND WHAT TO SEE

Aitutaki’s stunning lagoon, brimming with marine life and ringed by 15 palm-covered motu (islets), is a South Pacific tearsure. Maina (Little Girl) offers superb snorkelling and is home to the red-tailed tropicbird, once prized for its crimson feathers. Nearby is the wreck of cargo freighter Alexander, which ran aground in the 1930s. Tapuaeta’i (One Foot Island) is the best-known motu, fringed by white beaches and divided from its neighbour, Tekopua , by a deepwater channel that’s teeming with tropical fish.

With its four motu (islets), Muri is the most beautiful section of Rarotonga’s encircling lagoon. The blue water is packed with tropical fish, especially around the motu (Taakoka, Koromiri, Oneroa and Motutapu), and out towards the reef. Taakoka is volcanic while the others are sand cays. The swimming is wonderful over sparkling white sand. Water-sports equipment and lagoon cruises are available from Muri through Captain Tama’s and Koka’s Lagoon Cruises. Other attractions include kitesurfing, paddle-boarding and good restaurants.

Tuck into tuna and mahi mahi sandwiches on grilled Turkish bread at this funky blue shipping container on the edge of Avana Lagoon. Variations include Tijuana Tuna or Cajun Spiced, and other goodies include Rustys – marinated chicken pieces with pawpaw salsa. Refresh with a fruit smoothie or a nu (fresh coconut), and park yourself with views of Avana’s sparkling waters.

A real highlight in this region is the deep sparkling-blue Vai Nauri, Mitiaro’s natural swimming pool. Local women used to hold gatherings known as terevai at Vai Nauri and at nearby Vai Tamaroa, where they met to swim and sing the bawdy songs of their ancestors. With Mitiaro’s declining population, the terevai tradition is now largely limited to holiday periods like Christmas and New Year when islanders return to Mitiaro from their homes in Australia and New Zealand.

ACCOMMODATION

Plenty of resorts and hotels there. Depend what you looking for price is a different Place is popular honeymoon location and most of the resorts are that style of resorts.

 

BEST TIME TO GO THERE

Rarotonga and Aitutaki, which are about as far south of the equator as the Hawaiian Islands are north of it, enjoy a tropical climate. Even during the summer months of January and February, the high temperatures on Rarotonga average a comfortable 84°F (29°C), although there can be hot, humid, and sticky summer days. The climes are much more pleasant during the winter, from June to August, when the average high drops to 77°F (25°C), and the ends of Antarctic cold fronts can bring a few downright chilly nights. It’s a good idea to bring a light sweater or jacket for evening wear during the winter months.

December through April is both the cyclone (hurricane) and rainy season. There always is a chance that a cyclone will hit during these months (three struck almost back-to-back early in 2005), but most of the rain comes in short, heavy cloudbursts that are followed by sunshine. Rain clouds usually hang around Rarotonga’s mountain peaks, even during the dry season (June to Aug).

In short, there is no bad time weather-wise to visit the Cook Islands, although the shoulder months of April, May, September, and October usually provide the best combination of sunshine and warmth.

NOTE- New Zealand Dollar is a currency there and English is official language alongside Raratongian.

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