The Cook Islands is one of the world’s best kept holiday secrets in the Pacific Ocean. They are not only a set of tree-laden islands with stunning white sand beaches to be seen from the top of magnificent dormant volcanoes.
The Cook Islands has its history imbued with a rich infusion of Polynesian and European histories, and is reflected in their lush culture of song and dance, which is so potent that it would make any visitor’s heart sing with joy.
The 15-island self-governing democracy currently holds a free association with New Zealand. With a total of 236km˛ of land, scattered over two million square kilometres, the coast line stretches a massive 120kms – so there’s plenty of beach-space to go around.
Most people’s first experience of the Cook Islands is most likely to be that of Rarotonga, the youngest island in the Cook Islands southern group. Situated within the Southern group of islands, it’s also the capital of the Cook Islands.
32km˛ in circumference, the island has a permanent population of around 9,500 residents and has a unique small town feel. The locals are laid back and friendly, the local bus that goes around the island stops to pick-up and drop-off customers anywhere along the route, even though there are marked bus stop points.
The atmosphere of leisure and relaxation is enhanced by the miles of beachfront, and the lack of people, the mild weather and the peace and quiet. These spots of unspoilt Polynesian gems are the perfect place for a break away from the hustle of the city.
When at the Cook Islands, besides the beach activities, of which there is plenty, visitors must also go on an ‘Island Night’ to check out the local singing and dancing. Visitors are also encouraged to get involved with the dancing, not just watch from the sidelines.
Also while in the Cook Islands, guests should try the Noni Juice, made from the Noni fruit found in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands grows a large quantity of the unique plant. According to traditional healers the fruit is good for treating ailments including arthritis, allergies, infections and ulcers.
With a range of properties from the luxury to the budget, it’s the perfect location for any discerning traveller. With mild weather all year round, why not plan a winter getaway to a place where ‘cold’ is 20-25 degrees Celsius?