Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


As the pic above states, Kia Orana to the Cook Islands and more specifically Rarotonga. As you might have gathered from the number plate (there's only four numbers) Rarotonga and in fact the Cook Islands are not very big. If you wanted to buy a car on the island I don't think you would be overly concerned about its mileage as the total circumference of the island is only 31km and takes less than half an hour to navigate!

Rarotonga is home to the Cook Islands capital Avarau and only 9,000 inhabitants. If you want to learn a little bit more about the islands I found a very nice web site here. To emphasis how small it is here's a pic of the capitals international airport terminal!

Once you arrive into the airport terminal you are greeted with a garland of flowers as per the ones pictured below. (We had no willing models for the blog!)

The hotel we were due to stay in was overbooked so we got upgraded to a hotel on Muri Beach which is in the southeast and the most picturesque part of the island in my opinion. The whole of the island has a reef around it which protects it from the south pacific. The reef makes the water very shallow and very warm as well as giving it this amazing turquoise colour. Whats makes Muri Beach so special is the extent of the lagoon and the four islands along it's outer edge which makes the views far more interesting. Here's some pics taken on Muri Beach.

Surprisingly enough there is lots to see and do on the island and the local experts on trip advisor recommend that you do the following.

Go snorkeling, snorkeling and then do a bit more snorkeling
Go to the Saturday markets in the capital Avarua
Go to Aitutaki which is another one of the Cook Islands
Go to a Sunday Service, whether you are religious or not!
Go on a hike across the island with Pa the local guide.
Go to an island night to see the locals strutting their stuff.
Go to the west side of the island to experience the magnificent Raro sunset.

We only got to do the first three but we were not disappointed. The first thing we did was the market on Saturday and here's a few pics to give you a better idea of what it is like.
After the market, which is worth going to, we took a stroll around Avarau the capital. I didn't take many pics, in fact only one, but here it is none the less. London it ain't!

The island has more of less one road and it circles the exterior of the island. There are buses than run every hour both clockwise and anti clockwise so getting around it never an issue. Here's a pic taken on the bus we took back to our hotel after the market.

When we got back to Muri Beach we decided to catch a few rays and sample the local beer!

The island might be small but they can at least boast their own beer!


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