Blogs from Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Oceania


Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga August 3rd 2019

Here we are...finally back on the road to places I haven't been for a while, so here is a little blogging! No, they don't have direct flights from Durban to yes, we have been on the road and planes for a little while... First came 2 days in Hong Kong to say hi to few friends, and deal with few business issues. Than came nearly a full week in Bangkok for friends, food and a lot of shopping. Next a little stop in Sydney for more friends, more fun...actually....I will do a little blog about Sydney in the coming days. Cook Islands are not an independent country recognized as such by the UN. They are part of the Common Wealth of New Zealand. But this is not New Zealand, there is clearly a different immigration....with ... read more
Ready to dive!
Nothing special here beside hard corals...

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga April 20th 2019

‘Don’t listen to what they say…go see’– Chinese Proverb (I know we’re not anywhere near China but I don’t know any Polynesian proverbs or sayings!!) Yesterday was a strange day. Not the best we have experienced in all the years of cruising; with the heavy rain, the cancelling of the tender for two hours, stranding us on the island not to mention the somewhat underwhelming excursion. Unfortunately, we had to relive this day again as we crossed the international date line. The international date line is not, as it sounds a world-wide telephone pick up service!! It is an imaginary line that runs from North to South. By crossing this line, one will either gain or lose a day depending on whether you are travelling east to west or vice versa. We were travelling ... read more
The Maasdam cutting through the Force 8 gales
The characteristic skyline of the Cook Islands
Welcome to the Cook Islands

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga January 23rd 2019

One of life's special travel moments has resulted in the title of this blog, and rest assured more details of my brush with royalty will be revealed later in the journal. Here I am in the Cook Islands, made up of 15 islands spread over vast distances in the Pacific Ocean, and it's a privilege to visit this paradise for the first time. The influence of the islands has been crucial to the spread of Polynesian culture throughout the Pacific. Arguably the first landing in modern day New Zealand took place in 1350 according to legend, which means Cook Islanders are the forefathers of the Maori people. The local greeting Kia Orana means "May you live long", and in New Zealand it's Kia Ora. Rarotonga is the capital and affectionately referred to by locals as the ... read more
Beach views
Palm trees on the beach
My friend Jesse

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga September 2nd 2018

Rarotonga is the first stop of my 10 island South Pacific travels - woohoo! I only stopped for a day or two, on each end of a longer stay in Aitutaki, but it's a beautiful island. There are lots of green mountain peaks, the most known is called The Needle, and a coral lagoon around the island with postcard pretty blue water. As far as I can tell, this is primarily a huge holiday destination for people from New Zealand - it's a small island, but lots of focus on tourists and tourist activities. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great either of the days I was here although I did have one beautiful sunny morning. Fortunately it's whale season in the South Pacific (similar to Hawaii, they spend a portion of the year here to give birth, ... read more
The lagoon
An area known as Black Rocks, my favorite whale watching spot (even though I'm way too slow with my camera to have good pictures)
The lagoon

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga July 24th 2018

Stewdate: 22-07-18 So I finally arrived in Rarotonga (Avarua), the largest of the Cook Islands after a 4 hour flight from Auckland with Air New Zealand, on a warm cloudy afternoon and realised it's still Sunday (the day I departed Adelaide!) after crossing the international dateline! A trip to Hawaii in 2011 was the only other time I had experienced this sensation, and I am still yet to fly right across the Pacific! The 20-minute transfer from Avarua gave me the opportunity to view about half (the eastern side) the island, with tropical forests and cloud-shrouded peaks inland (to the right-side of the road) and coastal views (to the left-side of the road), before arriving for a 3-night stay at the "Pacific Resort Rarotonga" on Muri Beach. Although I was contemplating a retirement decision, I enjoyed ... read more
John - Island Discovery Tour Guide
Stew - Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise
Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga May 9th 2018

Monday morning dawned bright and clear. After breakfast Fletcher and I decided to try some kayaking. Once we worked out how to get into the boats we were off and enjoyed the peacefulness of the lagoon. I soon worked out how to paddle and we headed to the larger island and meandered around the lagoon for a while. We saw one large orange coloured fish but had to keep a look out for rocks as the water is quite shallow and I got stuck once or twice. After that effort we rested for a while. The family decided to hire paddle boards and try their skills at stand up paddle boarding. We walked with them, well along the beach to the hire place. The younger boys had already learnt this skill but the little girls wanted ... read more

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga May 7th 2018

Saturday morning it was bright and sunny. We all met by the cars at 10am and headed into Avarua for the markets. These are held every Saturday and are a bustling place with plenty of tourists and locals, and a mixture of souvenir and food stalls. As usual the local Cultural Group was putting on a show with young dancers doing the traditional dances to the beat of the drums. We wandered around here for about an hour and a half and then all recovened at Trader Jack’s for lunch. This is an iconic Cook Island restaurant. It overlooks the harbour at Avarua and has been hit by 3 different cyclones since 1986 when it was established. Now they can no longer get it insured so if a cyclone approaches they take out all the glass ... read more

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga May 5th 2018

On Friday, May 4th at 4-30am Fletcher and I were in a taxi on our way to the airport. This was the start of our family holiday to the Cook Islands. 2018 is a significant year for us. Fletcher has just turned 70, I will reach that milestone in September and then on October 11th we will celebrate our 50thWedding Anniversary. When asked how we wanted to celebrate this auspicious occasion our response was to go with the whole family for a week’s holiday somewhere. After much discussion we suggested the Cook Islands and, in particular , Muri Beach and so, a suitable week when everyone was able to go, was decided on and bookings duly made. We met up with Lucy, Rowan and Emilie and Scarlett, and Tracey and Sam at Adelaide airport where we ... read more

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga February 20th 2017

Our last couple of weeks in The Cook Islands was very relaxed. Crazy how we can put in a full day just "chillin out"! I did go on a 4 hour bicycle tour with a local company and guide. The scenery was beautiful as we wound our way through the local villages and tropical forest. Every so often we would stop for a story about the history of the island, the local culture or some interesting information about some of the native plants and trees. We are amazed how most all of the trees around produce fruit that is either eaten or used for medicinal and antiseptic purposes some of which is exported to health food stores around the world. We tasted guava and candle nuts along the way. The Cook Islands was originally inhabited by ... read more
Miracle Fruit
Traditional Dancing and Drumming
Beautiful Folage in The Cook Islands

Oceania » Cook Islands » Rarotonga February 15th 2017

Hello Everyone. . . still having a great time in Rarotonga, Cook Islands! We have pretty much covered the whole island on our scooter so have seen most of the beaches, swimming spots, beach bars and scenic spots. We have kind of settled into a routine where we relax and sip coffee on our deck in the morning with a trip into town to pick up groceries and other necessities like beer and wine (lol)! We usually plan a destination by scooter in the afternoon where we enjoy a swim, snorkelling and sometimes have a fresh fish sandwhich for lunch at the many quaint cafes. We normally go out for dinner but once or twice a week we stay in and cook at home. Our kitchen is very effiecient and there is also an outdoor grill ... read more
40 lb wahoo!
Bringing the umu out of the ground
Getting the bite!

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