We know why you want to book one of our Cook Islands holiday packages: the beach! Aitutaki is called “Honeymoon Island”, but it’s cool if you’re just not sure about your eternal love for your travel companion. You can still enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Tour the motus (atolls) in the lagoon and be sure to visit One Foot Island, site of innumerable weddings (again, no pressure) and profile pictures—plus, it has its own passport stamp, shaped like a foot! See if your guide can show you Exile Island, from season 13 of Survivor. Being exiled to paradise must have been real tough.
Rarotonga is the largest island in the archipelago and another great home base for Cook Islands holidays. On the eastern side, Muri Lagoon beckons with sparkling waters and postcard-perfect beaches. Fuel up at a beachside cafe, then rent kayaks, paddleboards and more and explore the motus and massive schools of giant kingfish just chillin’ beneath the waves. There’s no commitment here, either; Rarotonga has loads of beach spots, and you can circle the whole island in just under an hour with spiffy Cook Islands car hire options from lastminute.com.au.
In Muri, complement your island-style day with some shopping! You have to grab a pareu, the Cook Islands version of a sarong. These all-purpose wraps can be a both dress and skirt—for both dudes and ladies (we swear!). Traditional tivaevae quilts and contemporary basalt sculptures are sure to make you look worldly and impress your dates. You’ll also find pop-up shops on Aitutaki, especially around Arutanga.
Ever wondered what sea cucumbers taste like? (You can probably guess what they look like.) You’ll just have to take a Cook Islands holiday to find out! On the two larger islands, it should be easy to find an Umukai feast. Fresh-from-the-sea food is cooked in an underground oven and served with delicious tropical sides like coconut cream and banana. For a walk on the wild side, try eke (octopus) or ika mata (raw fish marinated with lime).
Walk along the beach of any island in the evening, and you’re bound to hear “the call of the drum” accompanying traditional Ura storytelling, a combination of dance and drumbeats that can be pretty intense. Take the edge off with tumunu, the local brew made from fermented oranges—or be a typical tourist and stick to your frozen pina coladas. You just might be inspired to shake your own groove thang.
Do you feel the call of the conch? (And we don’t mean Lord of the Flies-style.) Hop across the South Pacific with Cook Islands packages on lastminute.com.au. Even if you forgot your special someone’s big day, don’t worry, be mata’ora (happy)—they never have to know.
8 Jul. - 9 Jul.
Our villa was well appointed and having absolute beach front was a bonus. The restaurant prices were a bit expensive but very well presented.
9 Jul. - 10 Jul.
The resort is located on a private island and is adults only. We particularly love the site as it is on the best part of the lagoon - surrounded by pristine waters. The management and staff are extremely hospitable and get to know each and every guest. Some of the units are currently being upgraded ...
We had the garden villa which was nice a private. The staff were friendly and helpful, and happy to have a chat, recommend activities and ensure we got the best out of our stay. Loved the ease of being able to borrow a kayak or paddle board whenever I wanted. This included a fantastic sunrise on ...
9 Jul. - 10 Jul.
Some renovations of the rooms would be great. Otherwise all good for 3 stars resort level.
8 Jul. - 9 Jul.
The staff made our stay very enjoyable. Everybody was so friendly and helpful. Rooms were spacious and comfortable. I wouldn’t call the buffet breakfast “buffet” but it was included so I can’t really complain. Overall, good experience
13 Jul. - 14 Jul.