Some travel tips for the Cook Islands

In the evening hours of my assignment here in the Cooks, the gift book I’m planning on the destination is taking shape (a compilation of the best of the images captured). I have weighed up doing a Pocket Guide (40 short stories, illustrations and 100 photographs) rather than a gift book but it appears the market is a lot more likely to be receptive to the later. Pity, as I’ve met some interesting characters and pieced together some stories that would make good reading. Still, pictures it is and there is an abundance of them here which, collected, should make a reasonable publication.

A few quick tips for those visiting: Neil and Janet’s roadside cafe about 10 minutes out of town going clockwise. Neil’s a serious barista -roasts his own blend of exotic beans – and his coffee shop bakes perfect croissants Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Koka Lagoon Tours, I can’t speak more highly about. Perfectly paced, a taste of all the lagoon has to offer, great ukulele playing, entertaining cultural insights and arrives on the island an hour before the crowd. Oh, and a fish recipe that is to die for (which I was told could happen if I persisted in trying to find out the recipe). Two  more: Meana and Loui’s Island Living shop which – apart from being so cute – is a hub of locally made products and Kay George’s Art Gallery – simply ’cause I love her work. So far, the food everywhere’s been great. As I said earlier, the Tamarind Restaurant for Sunday breakfast and Waterline Restaurant for a sunset dinner. And, possibly, the biggest tip I can offer: don’t come here for a week, rent a house and stay for at least two, make sure you include a couple of days in Aitutaki, and explore Rarotonga either on a small motorbike or in one of the cute little soft tops you can rent.

Did I mention the Saturday markets (below)?


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