Major Tourist Attractions: Aitutaki Lagoon, Sir Geoffrey Henry National Culture Centre, Anatakitaki
For the traveler searching for a piece of Polynesian paradise, visitors will tell you it gets no better than the Cook Islands. Whether you choose to lose yourself in a sea of technicolor coral of the northern atolls or seek solace in the shade of palm tree lined white sandy beaches, the Cook Islands are a perfect South Pacific vacation spot.
Spreading across fifteen islands with jewel color waters lapping on the crisp white shores, it’s easy to understand the laid back approach of locals. Kia orana, a greeting meaning may you live long, can be heard as locals pass one another, their almost carefree island lifestyles ensuring a relaxed environment. With fewer residents for an entire country than that of a small town, finding your own private oasis is almost impossibly easy.
Cook Islanders are happy to show off their island’s beauty, and with so many close ties to New Zealand, English is widely spoken and the country’s official language. Maori customs run deep and are proudly displayed through traditional tattoos as well as local fabric arts, and tasted in the coconut infused dishes prepared in earth ovens.
From grand oceanfront resorts to simple beach bungalows, lodging options in the Cook Islands are plentiful. Most visitors call Raratonga home for the majority of their stay, but those who venture further will be happily rewarded.
Here is a list of the adventures that await you in the Cook Islands:
- Taste a cocoa coffee, straight from the plantation at Atui.
- Cruise the warm waters of the northern atolls.
- Snorkel the vibrant colored coral, in search for giant clams.
- Swim the deep blue underwater caves.
- Get a traditional tattoo created with bone or shell chisels, a practice once banned by settlers.
- Feast on uma food, a meal prepared using a fire buried in the earth.
- Get your drink on with a craft beer tour at Cook Islands Brewery.
- Watch a cultural dance show, with traditional Polynesian music.
Address: 3rd Floor, Citigroup Building,
23 Customs Street East, Auckland (cnr. Commerce St)
Phone:(09) 303 2724, Extns: 2800;
Internationally 64 9 303 2724, Extns: 2800