Carrying on with my South Pacific adventures this year, I recently visited the Cook Islands! Having been lucky enough to visit French Polynesia last year, it fabulous to return to this part of the world and understand the differences between the two. The Cook Islands is the perfect destination for those that want more of a laid back atmosphere and that like to explore. As soon as you land it is hard not to immediately slip into the ways of ‘Island time’! I wanted to share my experiences and highlights from my trip by collating a Turquoise top 10 things to do in the Cook Islands!
1. Visit Aitutaki and experience a lagoon cruise. Step foot on uninhabited islands and snorkel with the vast marine life. Make sure you have your passport stamped at the famous ‘One foot island’. Home to the world’s smallest post office!
2. Hop on either the ‘clock-wise’ or ‘anti-clockwise’ bus around the island. Theses are the only buses on the island and the best way to get around. Make sure you get chatting to the locals they all have a unique story to tell.
3. Hire a scooter or bicycle for the day to explore, buy or make a picnic and stop off at different beautiful beaches.
4. Try the local delicacy (Ika Mata), raw fish marinated in coconut cream and lime – delicious!
5. Visit Punanga Nui market on a Saturday morning to experience locals and visitors flocking for seasonal fruits, vegetables and flowers.
6. Take an island walk with Pa, the amazing medicine man to learn about the different natural medicines available in abundance throughout the Cooks.
7. Enjoy one of the ‘Storytellers’ eco cycle tours where you will learn all about the history, culture and island by bike. For those more adventurous there’s ‘extreme’ tours too!
8. Snorkel or take your PADI diving course in Aitutaki one of the best snorkelling/diving spots in the world.
9. Visit church on Sunday morning and enjoy all their charismatic singing.
10. Whilst on Rarotonga, make sure you make it to Trader Jacks by the harbour for either lunch or dinner. Great food and a fantastic atmosphere… get to know the locals