DEFINITELY A BUCKET LIST DESTINATION
For such a small group of islands in the South Pacific, this tropical and lush destination packs a massive jolt to the senses. We’ve decided to go to Cook Islands during the Qld school holidays (Easter) and to escape the chaos of the 2018 Commonwealth Games that were hosted by the Gold Coast. It was a work/holiday trip that was well needed and rightly deserved. Initially Fiji was the target of our affection, however almost everyone from the Goldie would have been there and due to our late decision the prices to Fiji were rising by the second. So for equal value the Cook Islands were the goods for the next 10 days. I’ve never been before and asked a mate who was originally from this place of the world gave some valuable info; He said “It’s just like Tahiti, so expect Island time”. Luckily, I’ve been to Tahiti before (Should be also on your bucket list and only a three hour flight from Rarotonga)so there were no expectations. They share the same language and culture which I got very excited for. And to confirm, island time in the Cooks is slower than in Fiji or Kiwiland
These islands became British territory in 1900 after James Cook initially visited in 1773. It now a self-governing group of fifteen islands in free association with New Zealand. The preferred currency is NZ dollars so be sure to get an exchange locally in Australia prior to arriving. They do however have ANZ banks which is convenient for Aussies and Kiwis. The average temperature is 25 degrees C. and honestly pack light with just essentials like sunnies, thongs, hat, Aesop SPF50 Sun protection and 7 pairs of boardies or togs. We packed linen and cotton for the evening and active wear for the rest. Most of the time it was just boardies and a smile from me.
The Cook Islands are just a five and a half hour flight from Sydney where you will immediately walk off the plane blissed out by the atmosphere… until you line up for customs. Depending on how many other holiday goers were travelling with you to this paradise, the queue to check out of the airport is about at least a 1 hour wait. No worries though. I managed to take landscape photos on the tarmac while watching the sunrise and listening to local Jake Numanga has as he greets everyone upon landing with his guitar and island vibes. This legend as been jamming for about thirty eight years for both arriving and departing guests. FYI: You miss a day of time as the Cook Islands are roughly 23.5 hours behind the international date line.
After spending most of the morning at the airport, I sorted out a local SIM for the mobile. There is almost no mobile coverage for Aussies and having a $50 SIM card from Blue Sky comms was more than enough for the entire 10 day trip. Get it before you leave departures.
With our taxi transfer bus waiting for us, our adventure has now begun in Rarotonga…
Our entire trip will be vlogged on our YouTube channel dropping soon