DAILY TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Cook Islands
Sometimes called the “Hawaii of Down Under” the Cook Islands are a scattering of 15 inhabited islands in the South Pacific, roughly halfway between New Zealand and South America. The Cook Islands have significantly less infrastructure and have suffered less impact from mass tourism than their northern neighbours, leading many older Polynesians to suggest that the Cook Islands are the most unspoilt islands in the region.
Like many islands, the main attraction is the crystal clear waters in the lagoons and reefs that comprise the Cook Islands. The sand cays of Muri form what must surely be one of the most beautiful and idyllic beachfronts on Earth. There’s stunning beaches almost everywhere, but Aitutaki lagoon and Vai Nauri cave pools are some of the more impressive places to take a dip.
The Cook Islanders have also taken care to protect and preserve their cultural history. There are regular displays of fire dancing around the islands, but head to the local markets to discover great local handicrafts like hand carved ukeleles or brightly coloured quilts. If you are on the islands in August don’t miss the Te Maeva Nui festival. Expect dance, music and dramatic performances from some of the most experienced and talented artists in Polynesia.
Read more on Cook Islands below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.
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