The Cook Islands..location..halfway to Hawaii from Oz..and just over the international dateline..a cluster of small islands..with aqua blue water and often vocanic mountains on the other side..pick an island depending on your vacay requirements..then prepare to go slow and enjoy the tropical surroundings..time is of no use here…if you are travelling as a couple and want romance..there are many honeymoon’esque islands with secluded huts right on the beach and a limit on guests..if you’re looking for a family fun version..opt for the main island of Rarotonga and pick one of the 3 only 5 star resorts that cater for kids..Thats what I did for out latest OS adventure..I’ve never been to the Cook Islands..and for those of you not aware..the surroundings are 5 star..the resorts are 3…very circa 1985..luckily the amazing surroundings make up for the lack of design aethestic..If you are looking for tropical hustle and bustle..ie shopping and warm weather,..this is not it..the Cook Is are in their own time warp..No shopping..but plenty of sunshine..We arrived at midnight and headed to our resort..The Rarotongan Resort and Spa..we had booked beach front rooms..thank goodness..as the garden rooms are very average..you need to see that beach upon waking…the palm trees and the sound of the surf ensure peace and calm..the reef surrounds this resort and the lagoon is magical..
Nite 1 : We headed into the town to check out the array of restaurants on offer..and decided upon the Tamarind..a beach front establishment with a no kids under 12 rule..lucky my youngest is tall!!..Perfect NZ wines..fresh seafood and the service was above standard for this relaxed place..expensive seems to be the norm here..so be prepared…however it was delightful first night and we headed back full of good food and happy.
Night 2: it goes without saying that you simply must treat yourself to a local traditional night out..especially with kids in tow..our hotel offered an authentic island Nite..which means local dancers..drums..and a traditonal dinner of local meats cooked in an underground like oven..the meats are wrapped in banana leaves, put over hot volcanic rocks and left to cook for 12 hours..this ensures a smokey tender flavour that is an aquired taste…the kids loved it and the ritual dancers told the story of the local people and their struggles..tropical cocktails and mocktails and a history lesson all wrapped in a big banana leaf like experience..a must do when visiting a country like this..
The days have been lazy..snorkelling the reef and chasing the most amazing coloured fish..paddleboarding..ensuring core strength is not lost whilst on holidays..or just floating in the warm aqua waters..sure beats the chilly Melbourne winter back home…it’s good to take time and just breathe again..