Unique Places in Cook Islands

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Jessicaoff07
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by emmicat
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by emmicat

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Cook Islands

  • Yes visit Suvarow!

    by esontheroad Written Apr 3, 2009

    Ever wanted to go to one of the most remote places in the world? Visit the island Suvarow in the northern group of the Cook Islands. Sense the feeling off living without time, only one family lives on this island and that is to look after the reef, which is a marine reserve. The lagoon has different types of rays including the manta ray, many reef shark and the island can be walked in a few hours. A little dot in this wide ocean- a great sensation!

    Arriving by yacht is the way to get there. living from sun, wind and water- we hitchhiked on a yacht from French Polynesia that passed by this island as crew. We found a yacht in 3 days (very fast) and arrived at this island in 2 weeks time. Otherwise you cargo ship from Rarotango but sailing schedules are irregular. If you love sailing, there was a large sailing ship from LEF Expeditions sailing by. Live the islands and live the ocean!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating

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    In Aitutaki: Hike Moungou Po

    by kimchicowboy Written Apr 6, 2007

    Moungou Po is the highest peak in Aitutaki and can be a bit of a hike, especially when wearing flip flops! But there's a GREAT view of the lagoon from the top. Don't forget the repellent! There's a little dirt road a little past the Paradise Inn (i believe is the name) on the right when heading towards the airport. Take that up to where it ends (there's a house on the left) and the trail is right there.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Aitutaki is a slice of paradise

    by latida Written Jan 10, 2007

    The island is the quintessential picture of paradise. Endless turquoise lagoon dotted with uninhabited islands, white sand beaches and palm tree coveried islands. It is less expensive and less croweded than Tahiti with all the beauty. There are some nice resorts like the Aitutaki pacific resort and the Tamanu resort and then there are lots of beach bungalos. The best place to see island dancing is at the Blue Nun, a local bar near the wharf. There are charter boats to go see the lagoon, clams, turtle, one foot island and other spots. You can also hire a local fishing boat to take you out after they come in from their early morning fishing.
    It is a great spot for a destination wedding, a family reunion or other group get together.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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    Hibiscus

    by emmicat Written Jul 7, 2006

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    There's a woman who lives on the back road behind Avarua who grows the most amazing hibiscus. She cross-pollinates and creates hundreds of different variety of blooms - she even grafts different types of blooms onto one tree. She has thousands of plants and is now going to start growing/experimenting with orchids. I'm looking forward to going back next year when the first of her new orchids start to bloom.

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    Rarotongan ghost resort.

    by worldkiwi Written Oct 8, 2005

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    On the south coast of Rarotonga is a ghost resort. It is a sad blot on the landscape of Rarotonga. The uncompleted Sheraton Resort was financed by the Cook Islands government to the tune of about $100 million. Of course, no doubt due to corruption and poor planning, the government bungled the whole thing and the Sheraton pulled out - leaving the government financially ruined (this folly accounts for a majority of the country's debt today) and the remains of an unfinished resort scarring the beautiful countryside of the south coast.
    We wondered through this eerie place with it's installed bathrooms and ceiling fans, manky swimming pool, and smashed windows. It was like "the day after" - very weird. The extent to which the resort was complete is the most astounding thing.

    The unfinished Sheraton on Rarotonga.

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    The Arutanga Church.

    by worldkiwi Written Oct 8, 2005

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    Arutanga is the sleepy administrative centre on Aitutaki. The oldest church in the Cook Islands is also located there. The Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) in Arutanga is built of whitewashed coral and was finished in 1828. It is a picturesque old building and you are welcome to go inside and have a look.

    Arutanga CICC, Aitutaki
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Climb Maungapu on Aitutaki.

    by worldkiwi Updated Oct 8, 2005

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    Maungapu is the highest hill on Aitutaki. It is 124m high. From the summit you get a good view down the chain of islands on the eastern edge of the turquoise Aitutaki lagoon. Climb the hill in the late afternoon, as it is too hot in the day!
    The track to the hill is signposted (the sign is on the opposite side of the road to the track) and a sealed driveway for the first 100m or so. It gets a bit steep in places after that, so make sure you have shoes with grip. The track is about 5 minutes north of the Pacific Resort and it's on the right if you're walking from the south.

    Panorama from Maungapu, Aitutaki
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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    The Most Romantic Island

    by catalysta Written Apr 24, 2005

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    Aitutaki is a side trip you won't regret. The island is barely more than a rim around a huge shallow lagoon, with islets (motus) of sugar sand & swaying palm trees. I've been told by some of the most experienced South Pacific travelers I know that this island is the most romantic of all.
    While there, you can stay in a thatched bure over the water, and take a day trip to snorkel with the famous giant clams. (photo of my friend Bob from his anniversary trip)

    See Transportation Tips for information about getting there.

    Bob & Clamato
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Beaches

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    Maungapu Hill, Aitutaki

    by bijo69 Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    Maungapu is the highest point on Aitutaki with 124m. From top of it you have great views over the lagoon and the motus.

    According to the legend this little mountain was stolen from Rarotonga, chopped of Raemaru mountain which has a flat top now.

    View from Maungapu
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • visit the veterinary volenteer group

    by ausiebkpker Written Aug 13, 2004

    Volenteer at the vet clinic. there is always something to do and its a great way to meet the locals. there is not always a vet there-they fly in to volenteer from various places- but street dogs always need care.

    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Backpacking

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    Well, it's really along the main road, but..

    by catalysta Written Aug 3, 2004

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    ...just wanted to emphasize, you are on a beautiful tropical island, for heavens sake, so RELAX! Take time to notice all the delightfully quirky little details that make this such a wonderful place - like One Way Jesus.

    One Way Jesus
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    A Wild Ride With A Native Guide

    by catalysta Updated Aug 3, 2004

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    Try the Raro Safari 4x4 Tour of the island (see travelogue for more details).
    It was a lot of fun, and an easy way to see the interior of the island. The guides are Rarotongan Maoris, all of whom seem to have a great wry sense of humor that keeps you rolling.

    4x4 Safari
    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Fishing
    • Beaches

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    Rent a car and drive the back country

    by Tieggan Written Dec 19, 2002

    On several occassions we took our rental car and headed down back roads to see how the locals lived. This was a great experience. You saw huge Black Pearl Farmer plantations and homes of the general public.

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  • Rarotonga Steam Railway - A...

    by tully8 Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Rarotonga Steam Railway - A tiny, tiny island in the middle of the Pacific, and it has a steam train! It's a lovely walk past fields full of crops, and into Tim Arnold's tropical garden to discover something that will delight any train-lover. Tim has lovingly restored this Polish steam train, and hopes to lay track to enable the train to take short trips in the near future. The story behind the train's arrival in Rarotonga is a great one, and your entry price to see the train includes a big mug of tea/coffee/milo, and a train biscuit, and a nice chat with Tim. It's a nice little side trip, for when you are sick of snorkelling/lying in the sun etc.

    Rarotonga Steam Railway Ltd.
    P O Box 486
    Avarua, Rarotonga
    Cook Islands'

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    there are a few things to do...

    by mocca Written Aug 26, 2002

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    there are a few things to do off the beaten track, one of them is DON'T RENT A CAR, as the island of Rarotonga is small, you can cycle it in two hours.
    There are also some drives to look out points, but don't bother, walk there instead ( or drive if due things you can't walk, but otherwise walk) it is healthier for you and the environment. You can also do the cross island track, takes about three hours, and you cross the island, and you will see some nice views.

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Cook Islands Hotels

  • Manuia Beach Boutique Hotel

    PO Box 700, Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Etu Moana

    This place is amazing! The service is top notch. The resort is very nice. We were greeted by...

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  • Sea Change Villas

    Main Road, Rarotonga, Titikaveka, Cook Islands

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Cook Islands Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Cook Islands off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Cook Islands sightseeing.
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