Everyone who I spoke to and told that I was going to the Cook Islands had either heard of it and really wanted to go, had been themselves or had known someone that has been and said that they thought that it was incredible.
In light of that, I thought this would just be a bit of a travel blog with photos of the food (obviously because what else?! haha), what I thought of the accommodation, beaches and of course sunsets and just my general thoughts on going to the Cook Islands.
My general thoughts on the Cook Islands
So I don't know why but I had always been fascinated by the Cook Islands. It always seemed this remote Paradise - which is literally only 4 hours 45 minutes direct flight from Sydney! One of only 3 places in the world that has a direct flight there so aren't we lucky! And also may I add one of the places that Australia is actually close too and isn't an 18 or 24hr flight to get there!!
So at the beginning of this year when I decided that I was going to go away for my birthday, the Cook Islands instantly popped into my mind. And from then on I was just so determined that I was going to be laying on a beach soaking up the sun in August.
So when I got there, I'm pleased to say it definitely did not disappoint!
It honestly is as beautiful as you imagine it and these photos don't even do it justice.
So basically what i'm saying is . . .
GO!!! Like right now GO!!
It should definitely be on everyones' travel bucket list.
It is still such an untouched piece of paradise that is getting busier and busier every year as more people find out about it so I would go sooner rather than later before it changes too much.
Where we stayed
Both of the places we stayed were absolutely amazing.
For starters they were on the West side of both Islands - meaning amazing sunsets (see below) and secondly the resorts themselves were simply beautiful. It's funny everyone was saying you definitely want the west so you get the sunset cause who's up for sunrise on a holiday - apart from me haha. But i definitely agree to stay on the West side of both Islands.
The view over the ocean from the Pacific resort from the Infinity pool is simply breathtaking and you could honestly just sit there for hours and stare into the crystal clear water. And the Crown Beach Resort is situated right on a crystal clear lagoon and coral reef (they both are) with amazing snorkling right there on your doorstep!
Pacific Resort, Aitutaiki
Crown Beach Resort and Spa, Rarotonga.
Arorangi Beach at The Crown Beach Resort and Spa, Rarotonga.
What we ate
I know this is what you've all been waiting for . . . The food.
The food overall was just amazing. It was all so fresh and delicious and lots of it being locally grown.
Below were 5 of my favourite meals. Although my favourite place to eat overall was Tamarind House (The last photo) - we all loved it so much that we ate there twice and went there on the night of my 30th. The house and grounds that it is situated in is so unbelievably stunning and the food is absolutely so delicious. It is situated right on the beach and if it is a nice clear night, it gets the most incredible sunsets!
Home made granola, coconut yoghurt and fresh local fruit - Pacific Resort, Aitutaki
Prawn salad with local green veggies - Pacific Resort, Aitutaki
Chicken and haloumi salad with beetroot and local green veggies - New Place Cafe, Rarotonga.
Chicken salad with cashew nut dressing - Little Polynesian, Rarotonga.
Tamarind House, Rarotonga.
I really don't think I need to say anything else about these but #breathtaking.
Arorangi Beach, Rarotonga (taken right outside our villa)
The sunset from the infinity pool at The Pacific Resort, Aitutaki
The Needle Hike
So when I was reading about things to do in Rarotonga, I read about the hike up the needle (one of the mountains). I thought it would be a nice thing to do because I saw a photo of the view and it looked stunning. Now looking back I can say that I am so glad I did it, and I would definitely do it again, knowing what to expect. But it was on the of the most physically grueling things I have ever done. There is hardly a path and for quite a bit of it you are using tree roots to rock climbing up (that photo below doesn't even do it justice how steep an incline that actually was and that was not the worst of it - that makes it look like it's flat but I have the camera on an angle so that I could get it all). In saying all that, you get such an incredible view from the top and I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat!