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The Cook Islands - never before have you experienced such an intoxicating blend of rare beauty, sunny skies and powder white beaches, warm welcoming locals, a surprising amount to see and do, and a pace of life unsurpassed for romance, adventure, and unforgettable experiences.
Now you can get to this unspoilt, modern Polynesian paradise in under six hours direct from Sydney. Located midway between Sydney and Hawaii, the Cook Islands is perfect for families; couples; friends getaways; weddings and honeymooners; special celebrations and those seeking an exciting island escape.
There truly are endless adventures both on land and in the turquoise lagoons. Have a go at scuba diving, and see giant turtles, colourful fish and diverse corals. Try the fastest growing sport of kite surfing, or even paddle boarding. Hire a scooter or convertible to explore the island, find secluded waterfalls, dine at popular locals cafe's, explore the bustling markets, and check out the limestone churches for a truly authentic cultural experience. There's safari tours, lagoon cruises, plenty to keep the kids occupied with kids clubs, cultural evenings, there's even an exciting, but safe nightlife, with open air bars and a cool island vibe!
When it comes to where you'll rest your head at night, the Cooks is all about service and genuinely warm hospitality. We like to say Rarotonga is one big resort, all in one island, so it really doesn't matter where you stay, because it's so easy to get around (it takes 45 minutes to circle the island, so you can't get lost either).
Accommodation on both Rarotonga and Aitutaki ranges from the ultimate in five star indulgence to full-service affordable resorts, holiday homes by the beach, to private villas complete with jacuzzi's and private chefs.
You really are spoilt for choice by the dining experiences in the Cooks, with over 52 cafe's, restaurants and eateries, as well as a fun and relaxed nightlife scene in Rarotonga alone. Everything is available from the best burgers you have ever had, to local favourites like ika-mata (marinated raw fish in lime juice) at Trader Jacks, to fine dining with a Polynesian twist at Tamarind House and everything in between
A highlight of your visit will be to include a Polynesian cultural tour, dinner and performance. And the Punanga Nui Markets on a Saturday offers so much variety, and the smell of organic coffee just kick starts your day - everybody, locals and tourists alike, come to the markets, so it's a real social occasion.
You can't go wrong wherever you choose to dine, half the fun is scooting around the island and stopping where the day takes you!
The island of Rarotonga is the vibrant hub of the 15 Cook Islands. It is spectacular looking, dominated by a once mighty volcanic pyramid, jagged peaks that fall into a turquoise lagoon. Only 32 km's in circumference, it takes 45 minutes to drive, scooter, or bus around - you'll feel like you are in one big resort! Avarua is the main town where a range of shops and galleries and the unmissable Saturday morning markets are.
Aitutaki offers the most beautiful lagoon in the world. After Rarotonga, Aitutaki is the most visited island in the Cook Islands. Just a short 45 minute flight north of Rarotonga, make sure you see this for a scenic flight day trip, or savor the romance and relaxation for a few days. Aitutaki is a magnet for wedding parties, honeymooners and those seeking a private escape. Languid, leisurely days simply reveling in the jaw-dropping surroundings. Here's our favourite activities:
The Cook Islands is located halfway between Sydney and Hawaii in the Polynesian triangle. It is so easy to get to us with direct flights offered by Air New Zealand Sydney-Rarotonga every Saturday from Sydney at 9:15pm on arriving into Rarotonga at 7:05am on Saturday morning. Departs Rarotonga at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon and arrives back into Sydney at 8:05pm on Saturday evening. There's also a plethora of flights via Auckland from all major Australian cities with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. Once your in the Cooks, it couldn't be easier to get around. Hire a scooter or a convertible jeep, or catch the local bus (it goes clockwise or anti-clockwise and there's no bus stops, just flag it down when you want to go somewhere)!