Somewhere in the South Pacific, lies a tiny group of Islands called the Cook Islands (this photo from our flight gives you an idea). We were awesome, and planned a destination wedding here in September 2014 (I’ll write a blog about this eventually – if people are interested). So we took the WHOLE family – about 25 of us!
There isn’t any traffic. No traffic lights. No major intersections. Just one main road around the island and some tiny rural roads up the mountain.
Ok, so maybe if you arrive one morning and there’s the marathon on, and maybe if you happen to choose the direction to your accommodation against the runners, you might find it a bit slower than normal. I may have done this when we arrived at 7am. I thought I was doing everyone a favour, taking all our bags with to our accommodation. But it took me a lot longer than I had expected, opps. My name was mud for the rest of the day, eeek.
It’s slow in Raro everyday! Did I mention everyone rolls round on scooters? Whole families can fit on, mothers tie their small children on. Yes, this is awesome!
The best thing about restaurants located on beaches, is kids can go play while you order and wait. And you can enjoy your husband/wife/partner/lover’s company. Oh wow, it’s kinda like being on a date! One place we dined at, Sails Restaurant at Muri Beach, even had a tyre swing out front!
The beaches are beautiful. Muri beach is calm, there are a few Islands around. It’s tropical and just heavenly.
We stayed on Vaimaanga beach. It’s the southern side of the island. The were plenty of palm trees. And hammocks. And star fish. And sea cucumbers. Kayaks are a wonderful way to explore the coral reefs!
The Koka Lagoon Cruise is one of those must do activities on the island. The guys on this tour are absolutely awesome and HILARIOUS. We were laughing our butts off the entire trip. There’s a fair bit of learning about coconuts in this type. You get to drink them, eat them, and if you are lucky, you might even be taught how to climb a tree to get them!
The Koka boat lands on a small uninhabited island, there’s a mean feed, a toilet and a massage therapist ($20 gets you an all good massage on the beach with a gorgeous view).
You go snorkelling with all sorts of fish, and you can try to spot the eels. Choice as! If the kids are a bit chicken, or if the water is too cold, you can watch the sea life from inside the boat. It has a glass bottom. My kids thought it was pretty awesome.
There’s a cultural show too. We went to the Te Vara Nui concert. You get a bit of a discount if you do the Koka cruise and the show. I left my kids behind for the dinner show. It was a pre wedding get together, we had a pretty big group and got bumped up to the VIP both. The locals told us the Prime minister sits up there when he comes over from NZ (I think they were trying to make us feel extra special – it worked). We had the joy of getting some up close and personal dance lessons with the guys and girls. I’ll have to ask around and get one of our guests to send me a video link because it was bl***y hilarious!
There’s the Saturday markets. And night markets at Muri beach.
Go fishing! My husband and a few of our mates went out with Akura fishing charters. They had an awesome time. Rimaha was gutted they dropped a Mahi Mahi at the boat. But his mate caught a huge wahoo which fed us all (about 20 of us) for a few days. Yeehaa. We had raw fish, BBQ fish, cooked fish… Yep we ate a fair bit of fish. And it was gooood. Go with Akura, as we had heard some other charters will make you pay for your fish!!!
We recommend taking some food for your fridge if your flight isn’t too long. All the packaged food like cereals, milk and bread is ridiculously expensive. Don’t expect much change from a $50.
If you can, head over to Aitutaki. It is an absolutely GORGEOUS island, with the most amazing lagoon ever!
Life is all good on the islands. We will definitely be back, maybe to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary!
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