When you think about it, my hands were practically tied: we’d managed to accumulate $1200 in Airpoints dollars, the Easter break was looming, Air New Zealand were advertising $159 airfares to a range of different locations… it’d have been foolish NOT to book a spur-of-the-moment holiday, right?! Well, I thought so too (ha!), and even my incredibly conservative, let-me-think-absolutely-EVERYTHING-through-first partner responsed to the idea with “let’s do it!”
From a list of five destinations, Casey chose Rarotonga, and in hindsight, The Cook Islands seem like such an obvious vacation choice if you’re living in New Zealand: flights are generally inexpensive, and require less than four hours of travelling time if you’re departing from Auckland. Perfect! (And especially so when you’re travelling with little ones, but that’s a whole other post in itself…!)
From the second I spied a glimpse of white sand and palm trees from the window of our plane, I loved Rarotonga. For starters, it’s disarmingly beautiful (“this is ridiculous; it ACTUALLY looks like a postcard,” I murmured to Casey one morning, as we stood there, gazing at the turquoise waters. “It’s even better,” he replied), and life moves at a charmingly slow pace. Have you heard of the expression “island time“? It’s most definitely ‘a thing‘ in Rarotonga! Bus drivers tend to run to their own timetable (if your bus is supposed to be at your stop at 11.00AM, expect it to arrive anywhere from 11.30-12.00PM), and one of the most common sights I saw were signs in shop windows stating “opening and closing hours: whenever!” It’s pretty brilliant. If you’re not quite used to relaxing and going with the flow, you soon will be when you’re in Rarotonga!
In saying that, one of the other reasons why we enjoyed our trip so much is that Rarotonga really caters for both rest AND adventure. Want to spend your days pool-side, where your only activity consists of lifting a cocktail glass to your lips? You can! Keen to cram as much activity as possible into each day? Good news: there’s an abundance of spots where you can swim, snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddle board to your heart’s content!
I apologise in advance for what’s likely to be a steady stream of Rarotonga posts over the coming weeks…!