DISCOVER THE COOK ISLANDS
Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu.
This tour can operate any week year round for a minimum of 2. Why not join me for a hosted excursion to meet the people and explore the off the beaten tracks parts of 3 beautiful, but very different, islands. I will be flying to Rarotonga at 4.30pm saturday 25 August crossing the dateline and arriving Rarotonga 10.15pm. The return is open depending on how many people want to go to Aitutaki and Atiu. Air fares are not included. Flights to Rarotonga on saturday are available with Air New Zealand, Virgin, and Jetstar. If travelling independently we are flexible and happy to tailor make your tour. Options also available to Mangaia, Mauke, and to the remote northern island of Manihiki, home of Cook Island pearls.
Day 1. Friday. ARRIVE RAROTONGA
Arrive Rarotonga and you will be met and transferred to Edgewater Resort.
Day 2. Saturday. RAROTONGA TOUR (BL)
Optional early morning visit to the weekly market at Avatiu. Enjoy a leisurely orientation tour of Rarotonga, just 32 km in circumference. Circle the island and visit Avarua, the capital including the Cook Islands Museum, plantations, the "Ara Metua" ancient road, Wigmore's waterfall, Muri lagoon from where the Maori migration left for New Zealand (with time to swim), enjoy beautiful beach and lagoon vistas plus the rugged mountains of the interior. See and learn of the culture and the value of the coconut tree from the local people.
Day 3. Sunday. RAROTONGA (B)
The day is free to relax or explore at your leisure, snorkel and swim in the lagoon or whatever you wish. We recommend a visit to a local church to enjoy the beautiful singing.
Day 4. Monday. MURI LAGOON CRUISE (BLD)
You will be picked up from your accommodation and transferred to beautiful Muri lagoon.to join your crew for a fun day out on the water. Swim, snorkel, relax, enjoy a fresh fish barbecue lunch, watch the coral through a glass bottom boat and be entertained by your crew. Return to your hotel mid afternoon.
This evening you will be picked up and transferred to Highland Paradise historic marae to learn of the history of King Tinomana. Tour the ancient village and enjoy an Umu feast and cultural show.
Day 5. Tuesday RAROTONGA (B)
Free day to explore at your leisure. Maybe take a guided hike across the island (a good level of fitness required), relax, enjoy the facilities of your resort or snorkel and swim in the lagoon. We recommend a visit to the Cook Islands museum and whale and wild life centre.
Day 6. Wednesday RAROTONGA - AITUTAKI (B)
Transfer to the airport and fly to the beautiful island of Aitutaki, renowned as one of the most beautiful atolls in the Pacific and flying boat stopover point on the historic Coral Route. Transfer to the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort. Beachfront bungalows. This afternoon enjoy a tour including the site of an ancient marae, main village, historical landmarks, plantations, and WW2 bunkers.
Day 7. Thursday. AITUTAKI – LAGOON CRUISE (BL)
Enjoy a full day cruise on Aitutaki lagoon to Barefoot and Akiami islands. Plenty of time to swim and snorkel and enjoy a barbecue lunch.
Day 8. Friday AITUTAKI - ATIU (B)
Fly to the island of Atiu, a raised coral atoll. On a clear day the islands of Manuae and Takutea are seen en route. Arrive Atiu and transfer to Atiu Villas or similar.
Sightseeing includes the Cape where Captain Cook landed in 1776, the harbour, main village, a coffee plantation, and Fibre Arts village
Those on the 8 day Rarotonga and Aitutaki tour only fly back to Rarotonga to connect with your flight home. You are welcome to stay longer in Aitutaki or Rarotonga if you wish.
Day 9. Saturday ATIU (B)
Atiu is a raised coral atoll surrounded by the “Makatea” fossilised coral cliff rising from a narrow reef and lagoon and includes many caves. Walk through the rainforest to visit Anatakitaki cave, home of the Kopeka swallow unique to Atiu and enjoy the eco tour.
Day 10. Sunday. ATIU (B)
A day to relax and, meet the local people, and chill at your leisure.
Day 11. Monday. ATIU - RAROTONGA (B)
Fly back to Rarotonga to connect with your flight home. You are welcome to stayover in Rarotonga or visit Mangaia or Mauke if you wish.
Discover Manihiki and Pukapuka
Visit the Remote northern Cook Islands where very few tourists go
Special hosted departure available any week subject to availability of aircraft for a minimum of 6 passengers.
Day 1. ARRIVE RAROTONGA
Arrive Rarotonga and transfer to our accommodation at Pacific Resort.
Day 2. Sunday. RAROTONGA (B)
Free day to relax, enjoy the lagoon or explore the island.
Day 3. Monday. RAROTONGA - MANIHIKI (BLD)
Our 2 hour flight by chartered Citation jet will bring us to the remote atoll of Manihiki, home to the Cook Islands pearl industry. Here the lagoons are dotted with small structures serving as platforms for the seeding of oysters that will, after nearly 2 years yield a lustrous South Seas black pearl. Manihiki's lagoon measures some 44.6 sq km enclosed in a reef almost 17 km long topped by 30 atolls, 2 of which are inhabited.
Day 4. Tuesday. MANIHIKI (BLD)
Travel by boat to an islet in the lagoon to learn about seeding pearls with swimming and snorkelling time around the pearl beds. Later try your hand at the outrigger canoes and fishing, and visit the fish traps and bird sanctuary. For bird watchers and fishers we will arrange special activities for you.
Day 5. Wednesday. MANIHIKI (BLD)
The day is free to relax in the lagoon, visit the local school and meet the people
RAKAHANGA Two hours by boat north of Manihiki lies the island of Rakahanga. Subject to weather, a day cruise may be available for extra cost.
Day 6. Thursday. MANIHIKI – PUKAPUKA (BLD)
Rejoin our jet for the 1 hour flight to Pukapuka and enjoy a 1 hour cruise across the spectacular lagoon to the main village of Wale. This is a fascinating island and community. This afternoon we meet the local people including visiting the local school and explore the main village. Stay in local bungalows.
Day 7. Friday. PUKAPUKA (BLD)
Cruise the lagoon stopping off at remote motu's (islets) on the reef, seeing the main entry passage and some of the massive bird life including a stopover at one bird sanctuary as well as meeting the local people.
Day 8. Saturday. PUKAPUKA – RAROTONGA (BD)
Back on our jet for the 2 hour 12 minute flight back to Rarotonga. In clear weather we will see spectacular views of Tema Reef, Nassau Island, and Suwarrow Island where hermit Tom Neale lived his solitary existence Transfer on arrival back in Rarotonga to the Pacific Resort. Farewell dinner
Sunday 29 July. RAROTONGA DEPART (B)
Transfer to the airport for departure
Tour cost per person Share twin $9,600 Single room $10,800
Tour cost includes:
** Arrival and departure transfers in Rarotonga, Manihiki, and Pukapuka
** All travel by charter jet from Rarotonga to Manihiki, Pukapuka, and return to Rarotonga
** 3 nights accommodation and breakfast at Pacific Resort
** 5 nights accommodation on Manihiki and Pukapuka in local bungalows. All meals provided.
** All visits and activities on Manihiki and Pukapuka except Rakahanga cruise.