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Cook Islands, Fiji, Lord Howe Island
New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island
Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Vanuatu
Lord Howe Island
Discover Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are an archipelago of 15 islands located 4790km north east from Brisbane. The Cook Islands are neighboured by Samoa to the west and French Polynesia to the east. The nation’s capital lies on the main island of Rarotonga, where the international airport is located. The islands are divided into North and South groups, where northern islands are mostly low-lying coral atolls, and the southern group are higher islands, volcanic in origin.
The Cook Islands will overwhelm your senses with bright hues of colour, the scent of fresh flowers, the taste of seafood cuisine, the feel of sand between your toes and the sounds of beautiful island voices raised in hymn on a Sunday. Rarotonga is only 32 kilometres in circumference and features a coastal road that winds around the island exposing breathtaking beaches, making travel an absolute joy.
History is rich on the Cook Islands and most of it is exhibited in local museums. Yet Polynesian identity can be found in everyday life in many of the art galleries around Rarotonga and in local buildings and crafts. Dance and drama is an everyday aspect of the locals, more so during Te Maeva Nui Constitution Celebrations in July, where the warrior’s might and dancer’s grace are renewed.
The islands are named after Captain James Cook, the famed British explorer who sailed through them in 1773. The name ‘Cook Islands' appeared on a Russian naval chart published in the 1820's in honour of Captain Cook. Yet the islands were inhabited from around 800AD where the Cook Islands ancestors arrived as a result of the Great Polynesian Migration on giant double-hulled canoes (called Vakas). It is during this original migration that Chief Toi is believed to have arrived in the Cook Islands, where he presided over the creation of a grand road, built of coral, laid through the inland swamps. The road still exists today, though sealed by tar it lies inland and is called the Ara Metua. Although legends explain its presence, the real purpose for its construction remains a mystery.
The Cook Islanders have been greatly influenced by the arrival of Europeans and particularly Christian missionaries, and today, the Cook Islanders have been able to preserve a harmonious balance between pride in their Polynesian heritage alongside their commitment to Christian faith.
When you step off the plane you will be welcomed with smiles and “Kia orana” the traditional greeting meaning “may you live long”. The Team re-visited Rarotonga and Aitutaki in August 2011. Call us today to make your Pacific Island dream come true and ask us about our holiday offers to the Cook Islands.
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