THE PACIFIC RESORT RAROTONGA
Words and photos Daniel Resnik
The Cook Islands have a very familiar feel. Around a six-hour flight from Sydney and you’re landing in Rarotonga, which is an Island of only 32 kilometres in circumference.
Upon entering the airport the obligatory guitar player accompanied by beautiful harmonies greet you along with the first of many ‘Kia orana’ greetings, which means…hello.
The familiar feel is New Zealand dollars are the currency. Cook Island Maori is spoken but everyone speaks English and the relaxed atmosphere makes most Australians feel very much like they’ve returned to a long lost home.
Flying into the Cook Islands offers you spectacular views and gives you a quick insight to what you’ll expect from Rarotonga. The island is rimmed with palm fringed white sandy beaches surrounded by a cobalt coloured lagoon that covers the entire island.
Getting around the island is quite simple there is one main road and a bus leaves five minutes past the hour in a clockwise direction and fifteen minutes past the hour another bus goes in an anti clockwise direction.
Scooters are easily hired and the most popular form of transport on the Cook Islands. Personally I would never throw a leg over any two-wheeled mechanical contraption unless I have the scooter/motor bike box ticked off on my travel insurance. If this isn’t the case and you have an accident, well you’re in deep shit!
Like the buses the locals are very much unrushed and move like most Pacific Islanders-at island pace. And in this case Cook Island pace takes Island time to another chilled level.
It suggested that when you arrive watches should be cast aside and your body clock reset to ‘Cook Island time.’
Our first introduction to island life was a three night stay at the Pacific Resort, Rarotongathat has Muri Beach as its backyard and what a beginning. The beach is a stand up paddlers, kayakers, kite surfers, snorkelers and sun worshipping paradise.
Muri beach is striking with four uninhabited islands close by and surrounded by water with such an inviting temperature that once in you never want to exit. At low tide it’s also the perfect walking beach.
The contrasting colours on Muri beach are vividly layered. The green palm filled beaches, the white sand, the aquamarine waters of the lagoon that changes as the water gets slightly deeper till it reaches the reef with its crashing waves where the ocean morphs into a deep aqua blue.
The Pacific resort has an array of accommodation that caters for most budgets and consists of an intimate collection of just 64 rooms, suites and villas.
All the accommodation is decorated in a contemporary Polynesian style and located amongst beautiful landscaped gardens and native trees offering a natural privacy to all rooms.
There are two restaurants Sandals and the Bare Foot Bar, which also offers a very inviting outside area, which proves extremely popular at ‘happy hour.’ Realistically every hour spent at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga and particularly Muri beach is happy
Facilities include an inviting pool and the resort offers professional spa and beauty services and there is also a Kids Club.
THING TO DO:
Stand up paddling
Full island tours
Glass bottom boat tour
4 wheel drive tours
The Te Punanga Saturday markets
Night markets, Muri Beach
Island bar hopping bus
HOW TO BOOK:
HOW TO GET THERE:
Vicki Gilden at Rose Bay Travel (02) 9371 8166..