Another beautifully lost dreamer with an incurable case of wanderlust.

Cook Islands, Island Time

I don’t usually like going back to the same place twice, but the Cook Islands were an exception. Shortly after arriving home from the trip last June, we booked more flights and counted down the days until we were visiting the island paradise again!

The first time we visited Rarotonga and Aitutaki. We had the most incredible time, but it was pretty hectic, so we decided this trip was going to be more of a chill out holiday. We stayed at our favourite accommodation, the Muri Beachcomber. Our room was amazing, it was situated in the watergarden and was so peaceful, just steps away from the beach. The staff are so welcoming at the Muri Beachcomber too; one of the gardeners saw us struggling trying to get into a coconut one day, so he came and showed us how to do it with the blunt side of a knife! Just little touches like that make such a difference to me. Plus they have cute little resident chics and kittens!

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Aside from hiring a moped to get around, we planned nothing; it was bliss. We were officially on island time.

I feel like we spent the majority of our time either at the beach getting our daily dose of vitamin sea, eating delicious food or drinking exotic cocktails. Three of my absolutely favourite things to do.

I’m not going to bore you with everything I ate but let’s just say, if you go to Rarotonga, you need to eat at the Moorings cafe, Trader Jacks and Sails. Don’t forget to check out the night market too; the local food on sale there is absolutely divine. We did book on to the Progressive Food Tour, which I was really excited about, but the tour leaders forgot about us, so I won’t be recommending it anytime soon! However, that night we did purchase a couple of yummy dishes from the market and ate a picnic on the beach instead, which was perfect.

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Every morning we would get up and take a stroll along the beautiful stretch of beach outside our accommodation. We would often be the only people on the beach, with a couple of cute four legged friends joining us on our walkies! The weather was so perfect in October, a light breeze, blue skies, warm sunshine and gorgeous sunsets.

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Did I ever mention how idyllic the Cook Islands are?!

One day we booked in a SUP yoga session with Brynn at Kitesup, which was amazing. We paddled out to another little island in the lagoon and worked our stretches and balance on the boards. The sound of the ocean and sun on our skins was just perfect during the peaceful practice.

The lagoon in Muri is crystal clear, one evening at sunset we decided to grab a paddleboard and just float in the middle of water. It was magical; the lagoon sparkled, but it was as still as glass. We could even watch the pufferfish playing around the coral below. After that, we set off on a kayaking adventure… without having a domestic. Seriously… the place works wonders!!!

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The snorkelling in the lagoon is great too; in the South West of Rarotonga there’s a great spot called ‘Fruits of Rarotonga’. I’d recommend grabbing your mask and checking out the marine life that calls the lagoon home.

If you’re geeks, like us, you should check the times of the flight arrivals and stand on the far North of Raro for the Air New Zealand landing. The plane literally flies right over your head, it’s only one of a few places in the world you can stand so close to the runway!

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This time in the Cook Islands we did have a bit of a saga; we went to take money out of an ATM and no money came out but it was taken from our bank. It was a bit of a pain lodging the complaint and getting transferred from place to place but we ended up getting our money back three months later, thanks to Commonwealth! I’d probably advise to take enough cash with you if you head over to the Cooks, to save you from a drama!

If you’re a jewellery nut like me, your visit to the Cook Islands isn’t complete without purchasing your very own little piece of the country. Have a read about my pearl jewellery making experience with Paul Rattle who has a workshop in Muri.

Literally the Cook Islands are so spectacular and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. The people are so warm and friendly and the feeling you get when you set foot off that plane is one you’d want to put in a bottle and keep forever.

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I love you, Cook Islands!

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