This is probably a stupid question but i am booked to visit the Cook islands in April and am travelling with Air New Zealand via LA were we have to change planes. Can anybody tell me what happens to our luggage do we have to pick it up and check in again or will it be transferred to the next plane automatically . Would also love to hear from anyone who has visited the Cooks we plan to spend time on both Rarotonga and Aitutaki
Whether or not your checked all the way through to Rarotonga depends on Air New Zealand. Check with them and the'll be able to tell you.
As for Rarotonga and Aitutaki, both fabulous islands. Let me know if you have any specific questions.
Hi there UKman, You can find more info at http://www.the-cook-islands.com/
Don't go to Ariana Bungalow and hostels. Bad location and old and leak
houses. Swimming pool not opened.
Some information about the best coconut tree climber
If you visit Rarotonga you can't avoid Piri Puruto III, the self-proclaimed
Coconut King of the Cook Islands. This small but energetic 62-year-old will
probably greet you at the airport. If you watch television he's hawking his
"amazing one-man show" between Seinfeld reruns and the Jerry Springer Show.
Open the newspaper and there's a photo of Puruto atop a coconut tree.
Despite the cheesy marketing campaign, an afternoon with Puruto, which
includes a traditional feast, is worth the ticket (about $25).
Did you ever visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa?
There is a certain Raro that gives very good advice about locations.
You also can find information from travellers.
We spent three weeks on the Cook Islands: altogether 9 days on Rarotonga, 7
on Aitutaki and 5 on Atiu. The Cook Islands were definitely a highlight in
our trip and those Pacific Islands that matched our ideas of the South Seas.
The highlights of this trip were definitely:
(x) Riding our scooter around on Atiu on roads surrounded by thick lush
primary rainforest and still hearing the waves breaking on the reef.
(x) The many attractions on Atiu: to the different caves as well as the
eco-tour with "Birdman George", the historical tour with Papa Paiere or the
visit to the coffee plantation with Juergen followed by the visit of the
Atelier of Andrea.
(x) The Lagoon Cruise in Aitutaki.
(x) Riding our scooter on the back road on Rarotonga through the greenest
possible vegetation, passing small plantations full of exotic fruits.
(x) An evening at a Tumunu on Atiu, enjoying homebrewed beer in a Bush Pub
with the locals.
(x) Shopping the freshest tropical fruits, all kinds of herbs at Tauono's
Garden on Aitutaki and cooking delicious meals following Sonja's recipes.
(x) Snorkelling in Aitutatki near the old runway.
When thinking back of the Cook Islands, the following will always stay in
(x) Impressive tropical scenery and Aitutatki's breathtaking lagoon.
(x) Extremely friendly people, especially in Atiu.
(x) Travel really off the beaten tracks: we were only 5 tourists on Atiu.
(x) Extremely expensive supermarkets with no fresh food except potatoes and
(x) Locals waiting for weeks for goods arriving on the monthly cargo boat.
x) English backpackers descending on Rarotonga and doing nothing but hang
out at Vara's.
Of course, few things we should have done differently:
(x) Spend less time on over-advertised Aitutaki, which really only has a
lagoon to offer to tourists.
(x) Spend maybe one or two days more on Atiu, it is so pleasant and there is
so much to do.
(x) Try to see other and more remote islands, but unfortunately Air
Rarotonga forces tourist to go through Rarotonga for each island, which
makes it tiresome and expensive.
The Cook Islands are a great destination in the Pacific: they are very
scenic, offer the so much longed for South Seas flair and are very
different. Budget accommodation is widely available. Hopefully, the outer
islands, especially Atiu, get the attention they deserve.
ukman, just ask the Air NZ staff to check your luggage all the way through and you shouldn't have any problems. I was in the Cook Islands for about 10 days in 2006. What a fantastic place!! We were staying on the Titikaveka side, which after seeing the rest of the island, is in my opinion still the best part to be staying. It's quieter than say Muri, but with a nice beach, and nothing is particularly far away anyway. We walked to Muri the first day and whilst a decent hike, it's fine for a lazy day.
We rented a little house called Tia's Place back then, but looks like it's changed names now to Islander on the Beach and it was perfect for my wife, 5 month old and me (2 bedrooms). Here's a pic I took of the deck. If you are looking for something bigger, the Main Islander is right next door. Here's a pic from the lagoon of the Main Islander. If you are looking for something cheaper, we met an English couple that were staying right across the road at Rau's Guesthouse and really enjoyed it. Just cross the 'main' road and you are at the beach. There was actually internet there too as I went by one day to check some emails and the owner gave us some parrotfish to grill at home. Really nice guy and seemed to take a genuine interest in making sure everyone was having a good time there.
There's countless other options too though, but these are the ones I'm familiar with