Travel Story «Rarotonga - Cook Islands.»
03 May 2006
Last Update 04 May 2006
Kia orana family and friends...
We landed this morning (3 May) after a very smooth four hour flight back from Paradise: Rarotonga, the main island of the Cook Islands. I suggest you browse through our Cook Island pictures first to get an imaginative idea what Rarotonga is all about. We didn't really know what to expect from such a country that's virtually unheard of. But it certainly diserves a great place smack between Tonga and Tahiti.
This island group is supposed to be one of the least touristy and it welcomes about 80.000 tourists a year. Given the fact that many travellers stop in Rarotonga enroute to Tahiti and the USA, it's a small number of tourists.
It's really a dot in the Pacific, far away from all it all, and you sense that. We spend ten days in Rarotonga, we actually wanted to go to the outer islands but actually, we've imagined that if you've seen one of the islands, the other ones won't be very different apart from the number of inhabitants and a different lagoon shape.
We had ten days of great weather, however, there was a clear pattern, before noon mostly cloudy, and in the afternoon, a 29 degree strong sun that burns the brain out of your skull if you're not in the turquoise blue waters of the lagoon. The heat really catches you. So we were a lucky couple splashing around the waters, snorkelling and swimming in the clear waters of the Rarotongan lagoon. If you don't like water activities, one will have a hard time coping with the sun. The alternative I can think of would be sipping coctails from the half-a-dozen luxury resorts dotted around the coastline. We hired a car for a number of days and I (Kurt) even had to obtain a special Cook Islands drivers permit to be able to rent a vehicle there. Thursday (27th of April), we went to the Staircase restaurant and enjoyed one the island nights of which Cook islands is known for and it was a memorable evening with yummie local food, noisy drums and magical Polynesian dance.
The Cook Islands really depend on tourism and the other big business is black pearl. Other than these, there isn't much other income for the locals, but they seem happy, and they do wear these flowers in their hair! Enjoy our photographic journey through Rarotonga.
Kurt and Nicki