Flight Centre's Michelle Ošust enjoyed a relaxing vacation on the Cook Islands. While there, she enjoyed the island lifestyle and the amazing natural beauty of Aitutaki Island. Michelle snorkeled in the crystal waters and sampled the local delicacy Iki Mata.
Unbelievable, untouched, unreliable and unforgettable were the words our Safari Tour driver used to describe the Cook Islands on our 4x4 expedition of Rarotonga. Those words sum up the Cook Islands very well.
Unbelievable is the beauty of the country with its crystal clear turquoise waters, pristine white sand and lush jungle centre. It is just like a postcard; even better. And the people are so friendly and inviting, they welcome you into their country like you are a long lost cousin.
Untouched are the outer islands, where nothing but birds and crabs rule the land. Even the inhabited islands like Rarotonga and Aitutaki feel untouched because they lack the concrete jungle, unlike other more visited Pacific Islands. Cook Island's beach front is just coconut trees, white sand, and blue lagoon.
Unreliable is usually thought as a negative but it is wonderful here. 'Island time' as they call it, is so relaxing. It takes a day to get used to. You don't have to be anywhere at any certain time, and no one expects you to… This laid back look on life is so relaxing.
Unforgettable, well it absolutely is. I can still close my eyes and remember it like it was yesterday. It instantly relaxes me. But I may need reminding again, I can't wait to go back!
We stayed on Rarotonga for a week, and took a day trip to Aitutaki. Visiting Aitutaki was the highlight of the trip, and an absolute must when you visit this beautiful country. You need to take a light aircraft there which fits only about 30 people, so a little nerve wracking for some, but trust me it is worth it.
Aitutaki has a few hotels and bungalows so you could stay overnight. On our day trip, we went out to One Foot Island and had a lunch and snorkel. There were so many fish, live coral, turtles, giant clam and starfish… and the water was crystal clear. Even back on Rarotonga, the water is beautiful; right out the front of most hotels and bungalows is a coral reef; but One Foot Island is sublime.
The Cook Islands aren't just about relaxing and snorkeling. Some other activities include;
- Hiking and bush walking
- Bike riding through the lush jungle centre
- 4 x 4 driving (for those who don't want cycle)
- Cultural dance shows during the buffet dinner, full of local delicacies including coconut jelly and 'Iki Mata', which is raw fish.
- After dinner enjoy the night life! Great reggae jungle beats and friendly people, and cheap beverages - a great combination.
- There is also a great market where you can purchase gifts, clothes and local produce, but maybe don't do it the morning after the night before!
The Cook Islands are definitely a must for many. They have warm weather, white sand, blue water, tropical jungle and friendly people. You can do a little or a lot, while on a truly magical holiday. You are made to feel like family, so much so you won't want to leave.
Looking for more information about vacationing in the Cook Islands? Contact [email]text=Michelle Ošust[/email],an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre based in Beenleigh, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 340 327 or by [email]text=email[/email].