Clear turquoise water, sunshine, friendly people and plenty of things to do, or the ultimate in relaxation.
This place is a small island only 33km around, and is easily acceable from anywhere in the South Pacific with plenty of flights in and out a day.
I stayed at the Pacific Resort, which was friendly and welcoming, they had a lovely beachfront, a nice pool and plenty of lush gardens to wander around in, also located very central in Muri makes for good out of resort food choices too, with lots of cafes and restaurants close by. Plus a really good restaurant in the hotel for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a couple of happy hours per day.
I hired a scooter for my stay, and if you have an international motorbike license they are easy to rent and only cost around $15NZD per day, if you don’t have a license you can go to the police station and do a test and have one pretty quickly after passing the riding test. So scooter equipped I went and circumnavigated the island.
My room at the Pacific Resort.
The first stop was the abandoned Sheraton Hotel, which has been built since the 1980’s but now is abandoned due to some allegedly corrupt contractors and then as they were 90% complete they stopped work and have been sitting here for the past 20+ years. There was supposed to be 200 rooms the next photo is just a small sample of the rooms still there but unfinished and looking a bit derelict.
Then onto Black Rock which is an awesome swimming area near the airport in a safe lagoon, really warm water and plenty to see if you want to snorkel or just lay on the beach and cool off in the water.
The stuffed pork belly was amazing.
The next day saw more exploring by scooter, taking in the waterfall, fruits of Rarotonga a great snorkelling area, and lunch at the Moorings Fish Cafe, right in Avana Harbour, these guys are not only family friends, but catch all the fish themselves and Cook it up fresh and make the best fish sandwiches anywhere.
That night we took in a cultural show at Tevara Nui was great, with a buffet dinner followed by a story of some of the rich culture and history of the Cook Islands, the set up is awesome, a stage over water with seating all around and after dinner the show happens, well worth it to learn some history and see some amazing dancers and music.
Then onto Trader Jacks for dinner, Trader Jacks is a bit of an institution in Rarotonga, simple pub food, but always good and fresh quality, it’s worth a look. Try the pizza.
The last morning was another cruise around the island, and a stop to cafe Jireh, whose sign claims to have the best custard squares on the island, we tried them and they were (not that we saw any others haha) but really fresh and all made in house.
All in all a short break away but really good to see, do, and learn some new things whilst away.
The Cook Islands are full of friendly people and have a great relaxed lifestyle, the pace is slow (island time) so if you are in a rush, not for you, or be prepared to chill out.
And if you want to sit by the pool or at the beach at Muri Lagoon and do nothing, grab a book, a cocktail from the bar and do as much nothing as possible.
This is just a small sample of some of the things I did, there are many more things to do and see, but for me it was just a short break.