The Cook Islands are the stuff of Pacific dreams. White, sandy, coconut-strewn palm beaches, translucent lagoons in all shades of shimmering blue, and a laid-back atmosphere where everything just circulates on island time. But there are also craggy peaks beckoning in the interior of Rarotonga, the main island. Most notably The Needle sticking out in the middle, Te Rua Manga. You can explore it on a walking track across the island.
Lost in the jungle of Rarotonga
It was quite an adventurous route. I almost got lost in the thick jungle, crossing a bewildering amount of streams where the track was barely recognizable at some points. Luckily I had borrowed a local booklet, describing the route with pictures of significant trees and rocks along the intertwining tracks. So eventually I emerged out of the bush on the other end 🙂
NaturePic Challenge – Remote Islands # 6: Rarotonga (Cook Islands)
Muri Beach lagoon, Rarotonga.
The Rarotonga Cross-Island track. Follow the orange triangles – although they sometimes seem to disappear…
The distinctive Te Rua Manga peak, in the jungle interior of Rarotonga.
How to get to the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and Tahiti. The flight from Auckland only takes 3 hours. But you will actually go back a day in time, as you fly over the international date line between New Zealand and the Cook Islands. Air New Zealand has regular flights to Rarotonga on their trans-Pacific route between Auckland and Los Angeles. A stopover in Rarotonga can be arranged on a return ticket to New Zealand, or on a round-the-world ticket combination with other airlines. There are also connections from Australia and Tahiti. The Cook Islands Airports website has an overview of airlines that are currently flying to Rarotonga.
(c) Nancy Claus – Wilderness Coffee & Natural High
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