Our first afternoon in Rarotonga was a 4WD tour around the island up to the highest point and into the interior of the island with a stop at a beautiful waterfall for a quick swim. We then checked into our hotel for the evening which is the newest hotel on Rarotonga the Nautilus Resort. Each room is very spacious and has its own private pool and some with direct beach access where you can snorkel straight from the beach.
The next morning we checked in for a quick 45 minute flight to Aitutaki to join our Lagoon Cruise. The Lagoon is one of the clearest most turquoise waters I have ever seen. Our first stop was for snorkelling over the reef spotting all the colourful fish and reef, then we were dropped off at the famous Heaven Sand Bar from where we then waded through the water over to our lunch stop at One Foot Island, where I racked up another stamp in my passport from the smallest, uninhabited post office in the world. We had a few hours to snorkel or take a walk around the island or simply relax and take in the beauty of the island.
Another day and another short flight to the Island of Atiu which is a small island also know as ‘land of the birds’ with a population of just under 600 people. The island was very different to that of Rarotonga and Aitutaki, it is a volcanic island surrounded by coral reef, swamps and tropical bush. One of my highlights of the trip was the Anatakitaki Kopeka Bird Cave Walk, the walk into the cave was quite tricky, walking over all the old coral and trees and then down a ladder into the cave. Once down in the cave it was so peaceful and we listened out for the Kopeka birds that nest deep within the cave and they navigate in the dark by using clicking noise that echo’s to locate their nests. We had a quick cool down after the walk with a swim in one of the cave pool by candlelight before walking back out over the coral through the forest.
That evening we went to a local Tumunu, which is basically their version of a local pub, a wooden hut and a few benches. We got to meet the locals and sing songs (or listen) and sample some of their special homebrew which tasted just like fruity wine! We then had an island night which was by far my favourite, a few local families got together for a special night of dancing just for us and the other 2 tourists on the island. It was so authentic and not touristy at all, which is what I loved about Atiu as you know not many people have been or go there so it’s really unspoilt and a very special place.
For our final few days in the Cook Islands we flew back to Rarotonga to get a chance to visit some of the many hotels and resorts on the island, one of my favourites being the Crown Beach Hotel which is on the sunset side of the Island and for a Villa stay Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa was a favourite. Our week in the Cook Islands ended with an evening at the Te Var Nui Village Overwater Night Show, where we got to see the best of Rarotonga’s dancers and musicians perform by torchlight on a floating stage.''