Cook Islands



This trip has been everything I could have wanted and more. When I was planning it, I had some goals:

  • Relax! The main purpose of this trip was to de-stress.
  • Do something new and outside my comfort zone.
  • Work on my extroversion - talk to everyone!
  • Have fun!

This was the longest trip I’ve been on by myself and I can confidently say I achieved all my goals. I didn’t want to feel rushed with a full agenda of activities, but at the same time I didn’t want to be completely unprepared or not leave the hotel - I wanted to experience the island!

In preparation for the trip, I created this list, knowing that it didn’t matter if I didn’t do any of them and if I felt like sleeping all day or walking by the beach I would do that, but when I felt like doing something more interesting, I was ready.

The List

  • Get a Local Motorbike Licence
  • Hire a Scooter
  • Kite Surfing
  • Kayaking
  • Photography
    • There’s a waterfall
    • The sky will be really clear - try star trails!
  • Buggy Tour
  • Scuba Diving
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
  • Lagoon Tour (glass bottom boat)
  • Party Bus
  • Massage
  • Punanga Nui Markets (in Avarua)
  • Muri Night Market
  • Cultural Night - Dinner and Show
  • Coco putt (mini golf at a really good restaurant)
  • Try Ika Mata (raw fish in coconut cream)
  • Light Up SUP, Night Lagoon Tour
  • Paddleboard Yoga

I managed to do all of this, except for the last two!


I always refer back to my blogs to see how much stuff costs and I never include prices, so now this trip gets it own pricing section!

  • The Black Pearl accommodation (14 nights): $1932 NZD
  • JetStar flights (MEL -> AKL -> RAR -> AKL -> MEL): $890 AUD

Key Points

Just like in previous blogs, I thought I’d do a summary post of some of the things that stood out to me or stuck in my memory. This should help with planning future trips (because I definitely want to go back!)

  • Kia Orana == hello
  • Nu == coconut
  • The Black Pearl was nice accommodation, although Muri seems more central
  • Winter is pretty good here, rains a fair bit but normally not for too long at a time
  • Chickens, dogs and geckos everywhere! But especially chickens! …beach chickens
  • Bus drivers are really entertaining - take a bus!
  • Scooter licence requires more effort than I first thought. The written test requires local knowledge and practical test requires the ability to ride slowly around cones without your feet touching the ground. Make sure to have a read of the “Road Code” before doing to the exam, the rules are different to Australia.
  • Scooting around the island is so awesome - definitely get a scooter!
  • The water is still a bit cold this time of year, so it requires some adjustment time, but it’s not too bad.
  • Groceries are expensive - not too bad, but more than I expected
  • Jet blast area is not like the ad
  • So many kiwis!
  • More families, older people and couples than younger party goers (still some)
  • 5 digit phone numbers
  • Food is awesome, common food are:
    • BBQ meats with tomato or mushroom sauce
    • Chop Suey (noodles)
    • Rakau (Rarotongan spinach aka taro leaves soaked in coconut cream)
    • Home made desserts
    • Prawns
    • Marlin
    • Ika Mata (raw fish with coconut cream)
    • Really nice bread (normally bakery fresh)
  • Local beer is Matutu, they have a pale ale and a lager
  • Weather report is generally not to be trusted and changes regularly, although did a pretty good job of predicting the wind a week ahead for kite surfing
  • Animals don’t try to kill you here, most things are safe, including swimming in the lagoon, the sharks are on the other side of the reef!
  • Power points are the same as Australia
  • Uses New Zealand money, with the addition of the Cook Islands Triangle coins!