A Day In Paradise On Rarotonga, Cook Islands juni 23, 2022 – Posted in: Cook Islands, Travel – Tags: Attractions, Cook Islands, Holiday, Rarotonga, Vacations
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PARADISE EXISTS – ON A SMALL ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN
5.30 am: First rooster crows on Rarotonga.
5.31 am: Second rooster wakes up and crows.
5.32 – 6.15 am: Third rooster wakes up and also crows. Now a chorus of roosters crowing, interrupted by a bird singing along. Maybe it’s sad it’s not a rooster?
6.15 – 6.45 am: The sun rises over Rarotonga. We also get up, slowly and at our own pace. We see the island awake from the terrace. The sea hasn’t slept and the waves are still roaring. We talk about why we don’t allow ourselves the luxury of just sitting and being alive when we are at home. But what if there was something on the internet that we would miss? The internet on the island is expensive, so here are no phones beeping, but instead a break from social media. We just exist.
6.48 am: The baker has are done with the breakfast bread: Cheesebread (with a slice of baked cheese), a croissant and a date scone . The island is also famous for its donuts with cinnamon sugar, but the crispy scone also tastes heavenly. In addition, coffee, with canned milk. We are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the island has only a few cows. The fresh pineapple is sweet and sour and picked when ripe. There are high sugar taxes and soft drinks are expensive. But who needs sugar when the fruit is picked directly from the tree and sold from small stalls by the roadside?
6.58 am: First propeller plane takes off and flies over the Pacific Ocean. Is it going on a long trip? New Zealand is 1600 kilometers away and is thus closest to the archipelago.
7.13 am: Well, the propeller plane was just going to one of the other small islands in the archipelago. There are many opportunities to be entertained here: day trips, diving excursions, fishing and cultural shows where the natives perform. The brochure stand at the airport was full of offers on colorful flyers. But we agree that we are here to relax. The entertainment will mostly consist of swimming, playing cards, going for walks and reading. But it’s nice to know it’s there if we’re ever get tired of looking at the Pacific.
7.17 am: It’s hard to break away from the rhythmic and mesmerizing sounds of the Pacific waves, but we finally succeed. We get ready to head to Aruveo, the capital of the island.
7.41 a,: The rattling bus picks us up. The driver greets us with a “Kia Orana!”, which means “May you live a long and satisfying life.” Thank you for that, and it’s definitely not hard here in Paradise! There are two buses on the island and they run clockwise and counterclockwise once an hour. We squeeze in with the other tourists and enjoy the view up to the green mountains. The trees are tall in the beautiful rainforest.
7:52 am: We get off at the Punanga Nui market. On Saturdays it is full of tourists and locals who meet to eat and shop. In that order. The many stalls offer fish sandwiches, pancakes with coconut and mango, fruit and vegetables and locally produced souvenirs. We arrive early so we avoid the worst heat around midday. At 11.30 am there is a live show, with drums and dancing in palm skirts and Ei, the beautiful flower wreaths that adorn the heads of the women.
1.33 pm: The bus drives us home from the island’s largest supermarket, CITC Supermarket, where you can get everything you need. However, not fresh fish, which is sold at Ocean Fresh a little further down the road. There is a long queue at the fishmonger, who has finally come home from the sea. Luckily we manage to save ourselves a piece of mahi mahi as well as some yellowfin tuna and blue marlin for the freezer.
2.01 – 3.30 pm: It was actually the plan to go for a swim in the coral blue lagoon as soon as we got home. But the midday sun is strong and we can also watch the waves from the terrace. Luckily, the sea goes nowhere, and it’s time for a little nap in the deck chair before we put on the swimwear.
3.30 – 4.03 pm: There are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and diving around the island. However, we just lazily splash around in the water by the beach close to Black Rock, which is also the locals’ favorite bathing spot. The small fish slip around between our feet, but the reef keeps the big sharks out of the lagoon. Apart from sea urchins and stone fish, there are no dangerous animals in the sea, and you can protect yourself against them with a pair of bathing shoes. The bathing shoes also protect well against the sharp corals and stones. It was good we remembered to pack them.
4.10 – 5.33 pm: The bathing trip develops into a walk. It starts with us encountering a small hermit crab that slowly crawls along the beach. We look at the beautiful rocks and conch shells and gather a small pile for the terrace.
6.07 pm: After a bath under the outdoor shower, there is some more reading on the terrace. Without internet and TV, we have rediscovered our great joy in reading paper books. Soon we’ll run out of reading material, and the bookstore in Aruveo couldn’t offer the large selection. Luckily, we found a cookbook by local author Sue Carruthers, who also runs the amazing Tamarind House Restaurant, where we had the pleasure of eating. The days ahead will be spent experimenting with Polynesian cuisine.
6:23 pm: Grilled mari mari with snake beans and breadfruit fritters is brought to the table. There are good restaurants on the island, but it is also nice to have your own kitchen and eat the same as the locals. By the way, we have to go to bed early. It will be cloudy tomorrow so we can finally make our planned hike across the island. The hike goes from Papua (Wigmore’s) Waterfall across the rainforest and up to The Needle. We are already looking forward to the view over the island.
7.00 – 7.30 pm: Sunset over the sea. Our new friends, the geckos, are cautiously peeping out from the cracks in the ceiling. They help keep the mosquitoes away, and then they are great entertainment as they dart across the ceiling and fight over the fat moths. The palm trees move gently in the evening breeze. There are no sounds other than cicadas and waves. Now another day has passed in Paradise.
HOW TO GET TO THE COOK ISLANDS
The Cook Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, and you can only get there by either flying over New Zealand or Los Angeles. From Rarotonga there is a fixed flight connection to the other small islands with propeller planes.
We booked the trip ourselves and took over Los Angeles. To find the best prices, it is a good idea to search for the individual flights, Your city – Los Angeles and then Los Angeles – Rarotonga.
FIND A GREAT HOTEL ON THE COOK ISLANDS
Rarotonga offers hotels, resorts and apartments in all price ranges. Here you get a few recommendations on some of the best hotels in Rarotonga, all of which can be booked directly through Booking.com. See more hotels by doing your own search here:
BEACHFRONT HOTEL ON MURI BEACH
Right at the beachfront in the Blue Lagoon at Muri Beach lies the luxurious Muri Beach Club Hotel. Here you can enjoy the view of the small islands in the lagoon, while the tour boats sail past with tourists. When the body needs to cool down, there are few steps to a dip into the coral blue water. In and around Muri Beach there are also quite a few restaurants and bars.
RELAXED LUXURY OVERLOOKING THE PACIFIC OCEAN
There are few places on earth that are more beautiful than the Cook Islands – and with the south-eastern tip of Rarotonga at the very top of the list. Here on the coast is a gem of a beach hotel, the Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel. The hotel is for you who have flown many miles just to have the ultimate vacation. Here, all your needs are taken care of, which here on Cook Islands are quickly limited to blue water, hammocks all the way down to the beachfront and a bartender who is ready to poor you a cool drink.
A GOOD HOTEL CLOSE TO THE BEACH AND TOWN
Ten minutes drive from the main town Avarua is the large Black Rock. The stone marks the start of some of the island’s best beaches, located all the way down the coast. The area therefore also has many small and larger hotels and resorts, but the area is somewhat quieter than Muri Beach. Here you can swim from the sandy beaches and enjoy the sunset to the sound of the roar of the waves. If you are looking for a good value hotel, The Edgewater Resort and Spa is highly recommended. In the morning you can go straight out into the lagoon for a swim, and the island small bus has its own stop at the resort.