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Welcome From the Prime Minister Kia Orana, To all our visitors and those planning a holiday in the Cook Islands, I’d like to extend to you a very warm greeting and welcome. You can do that at your own pace and as your desire allows. There is a natural freedom here that will put you at ease and you will soon learn that Cook Islanders are keen to join you in the fun – out on the lagoon, trekking in the mountains, or dining out at our many restaurants and cafés. Our world is your world to experience – in our culture and traditions, as well as a wide range of recreational activities.
s your hosts, we want your stay with us to be as memorable and enjoyable as possible. We are your home away from home and your time with us will be more than comfortable – it will take your breath away! There is much for you to explore and discover, whether you are a first time visitor or a returning holidaymaker.
Above all, we want you to stay safe in this environment we call our ‘little paradise’. Take care wherever you may be, whether on our roads or out in the water. And allow us to share with you all the reasons why you must come back and see us again! Kia Manuia, Honorable Henry Puna Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism The Cook Islands PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Alastair Blount TELEPHONE: +682 20 222 or +682 77 183 EMAIL: email@example.com DESIGN & LAYOUT: PMP Limited - New Zealand DISTRIBUTION RAROTONGA: 20 222 or 77 183 DISTRIBUTION AITUTAKI: 31 009 POSTAL: PO Box 30 Avarua, The Cook Islands
In this issue INTERVIEWS 10 Des Eggelton’s lifetime achievements in tourism 17 Robbie Brown, the happy chef from Mangaia
TOURISM AWARDS 8 Sponsors and winners of the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards 9 A night out at the 2018 Tourism Awards 12 Meet Jack Cooper, the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award 13 CITC continues its long term investment in Cook Islands Tourism ISLAND LIFE 4 Things you might like to know about the flora and fauna of the Cook Islands 28 Live in the Cook Islands 30 Hokule'a, the Mother Ship: what she meant to me, and my generation DINING & ENTERTAINMENT 16 Island Night Shows on Rarotonga 17 2018-19 Guide to Eating & Drinking in Rarotonga 20 Relish Raro – eatery reviews and recommendations
SEE & DO 24 Off Shore Adventures 25 Inland Adventures 27 Learn Kite boarding in Rarotonga 31 Ten tips on taking amazing photos of Rarotonga
AITUTAKI 33 Enjoying Aitutaki ATIU 35 Many good reasons to visit Atui COMMUNITY 36 Take home an eco-souvenir from the Cook Islands
FRONT COVER IMAGE: The Tereora College dance group performed at the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards (Image: Jaiah Arai)
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Things visitors m flora and fauna in A CHAT WITH GERALD MCCORMACK, THE DIRECTOR OF THE COOK ISLANDS NATURAL HERITAGE TRUST, WHO HAS WORKED WITH THE COOK ISLANDS GOVERNMENT SINCE 1981 AS SCIENCE ADVISOR TO THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, DIRECTOR OF THE CONSERVATION SERVICE, AND DIRECTOR OF THE NATURAL HERITAGE PROJECT. GERALD HAS A FIRST CLASS MASTERS IN ZOOLOGY, AND IS AN ACCOMPLISHED PHOTOGRAPHER AND AUTHOR. HE IS ALSO PRESIDENT OF THE COOK ISLANDS LIBRARY MUSEUM SOCIETY COUNCIL.
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if you go to the Takituma Conservation Area on a nature walk with a guide. “By far the most common animal encountered by visitors is the dog. “Europeans introduced dogs, though there was once a Polynesian dog. About 1000 years ago the Polynesians brought chickens, dogs, pigs and the Pacific rat – they bought them all mainly as food. “The Polynesian dog was a very different looking dog. It was a small dog with up pointing ears, and it was barkless. The strangest thing about it was its outturned front feet. Today you see many dogs with outturned front feet – the question is whether this in fact indicates that some of the genetic material from those early dogs survived, or does this feature come from dogs more recently, possibly a dog like a corgi?
Opposite the Airport www.rarotongarentals.co.ck firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 22326
“The Polynesian dog died out fairly quickly, the people lost interest in it when they saw the bigger dogs coming in with the European settlers; as they did with the pigs too!”
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Some of the Cook Islands have no dogs, including Aitutaki. Gerald McCormack on Raemaru
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Look for our sign west of the airport – opposite the Weather station in Nikao
hen Gerald McCormack came to the Cook Islands in 1981 schools were not teaching about local plants and animals; what’s more, the locals didn’t know their names and he didn’t know them either! “Someone needed to make an effort to start naming the plants, animals and fish of the Cook Islands.” Gerald has been the lead researcher since then and continues to contribute to the Cook Islands Biodiversity Database. “Nowadays the database contains around 4500 plants and animals, including fish”. We asked Gerald what plants
and animals a visitor to the Cook Islands might typically encounter. “Most will encounter the house gecko. It’s a new gecko that arrived around 1990 and spread quickly. It is a loud gecko. Most geckos make little noise. This one is almost like a chirping bird. “None of the geckos or skinks found in the Cook Islands is indigenous”. Gerald pointed out that the Cook Islands do not have native mammals either, except for the fruit bat, which was originally native on Mangaia and has since spread. “Only people wandering up valleys in the evening will encounter a fruit bat or
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“There are many colourful stories as to why there are no dogs on Aitutaki including the possibility that in the days of leprosy (1880s-1920s) it was thought that dogs spread the disease. Whichever is correct, Aitutaki has been clear of dogs since the early 1900s”. What will visitors come across in the lagoons and on the beaches? “The Pacific reef heron on the beach, on a rock, or in the shallow water. It can be white or speckled. They are very shy and stay away from people. “Another one visitors will see is one that runs ahead of you on the beach, the sandpiper. It is actually the wandering tattler. It stays around the waters edge looking for its food. If you walk behind it long enough it will fly around you and land behind you. At the same time
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might like to know about n the Cook Islands it gives a characteristic call and the local name for that is Kuriri – after the sound it makes. It is highly territorial bird.”
When you go snorkeling you’ll see a whole variety of fish
What about in the lagoon itself? “The most common creature everybody sees is the black sea cucumber. There is lots of sediment and organic matter in the lagoon and the sea cucumber is like a vacuum cleaner that sucks up the sand and poops it out cleaned.”
Coconut Crab (Image: Kieran Scott)
Gerald reminds visitors there are number of ways they can easily injure themselves in the lagoon: “You shouldn’t be touching anything in the water!” “Grabbing hold of a rock or coral that is sharp. You certainly don’t put your hand in any hole – that is just asking a moray to take a finger. The only thing that people really worry about is the stonefish, though they’re not that common here. The thing that is common here is the scorpion fish – and it is nowhere near as dangerous as a stonefish. Neither of them dig in to the sand, they lie on top of it. They are an ambush predator. They lie disguised on the sand or near coral waiting for a little fish to go over the top; then they just leap up and suck it in. “They don’t attack people; people attack them. If it doesn’t think it has time to move, it raises its spines, and you are going to inject yourself with a poison. The treatment is very simple, just use nonscalding hot water.” “When you go snorkeling you are going to see a variety of fish. The convict tang (aka surgeon fish) is a dramatic little fish often in big schools. You’ll see lots of goatfish and parrot fish too”. What about the turtle? “We have hawksbill turtles and green turtles. Hawksbill turtles are non-migratory wandering turtles; it is not easy to predict where they are going
to be. The green turtle is a traditional turtle that does not normally breed in the Cook Islands. They breed mainly in Fiji and Vanuatu then swim to the Cook Islands. They’re seen regularly in the lagoon on Aitutaki, and more and more around Rarotonga”. What are the most common trees seen in the islands? “On the lowland, the flamboyant is the most spectacular tree from November through the summer, aka the flame tree. You can easily recognise its umbrella –type appearance. Another beautiful tree is the golden shower – incredible bundles of yellow flowers hanging off these trees. “Here in Rarotonga we have the hibiscus that was originally introduced by the Polynesians. When you do the cross-island walk you will see the hibiscus shrubs there; the flowers on those shrubs is a dark red with multiple petals. Red is the colour of chiefs. There is a smaller hibiscus on the lowlands, which you often see in hedges, that too was introduced by the Polynesians”.
Utu flower (Image: Kieran Scott)
Gerald has also been recording medicinal plants since he came here in 1981. On the database they record 160 plants listed as having some sort of medicinal use. More than half the plants listed have come since the missionaries in the 1800s. He tells the story of one of the famous cases of medicinal plants in the Cook Islands the source of Mauke Miracle Oil discovered by a fourteenyear old girl in the late 1970s. “By the time I came to the Cooks, everyone seemed to have a bottle, putting in on every little sore they had and
so on. And, they were all saying this was miracle oil!” said Gerald. “The story behind miracle oil was that this fourteen year old girl had a dream that a woman dressed in white came to her and took her to a place on the island, which was well described in the dream, which showed her a plant which was used to make an oil. When she woke up she told her mother about the dream. Now her mother was a famous medicinal person on the island on Mauke, and also a royal person. She said that is the ‘medicine for the man’. The night before,
Find the Pacific Reef Heron on the beach, on a rock, or in shallow water
her father had said he knew of a man that was extremely ill in hospital. He had put a fork through his foot and the medicines from the hospital were not working. The mother made the oil according to the dream and they gave it to this man and within no time at all he was cured of his infection. So he said it was a miracle – hence miracle oil was born! Now known commercially as Mauke Miracle Oil.
“Other medicines are family traditions, so they are not available commercially; they’re part of the social structure of the islands.” The palm tree – the tree of life! Whilst it is known there was a native coconut palm here before Polynesian habitation, they brought with them the coconut trees we see most abundantly today. The native one was smaller. “The variety the Polynesians brought had bigger nuts because they contained more juice and more flesh. Coconut trees last only up to a hundred years, so when the native coconut tree was replaced by the version brought by the Polynesians it didn’t take long to die out”. The productive coconut palm is considered by Cook Islanders as the ‘tree of life’. They could not imagine living without it! Enjoy the flora and fauna of the Cook Islands.
The dogs of Rarotonga are generally friendly
Most will encounter the House Gecko
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Pearls for Pandora Carved Pearls Shell and Bone Jewellery
OPENING HOURS Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm
Monday-Friday, Tokerau Jim’s shop at9am-2pm Arorangi Tokerau Jim’sroad shopopposite at Matavera - main Crown Resort - main roadBeach on eastern-side next to Tik e-tours before Muri Beach
Saturday morning, 8am-12pm
Lesley & Temu Okotai Harbour House, Avatiu, ph 20 635 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
COOK ISLANDS Top Jewellery & Gift Store BEST PRICES • QUALITY • SELECTION • SERVICE
BLACK PEARL JEWELLERY – Avaiki Black Pearls – Karen Walker Jewellery Polynesian Style Rings In Gold & Silver Wedding/Engagement & Dress Rings Gold & Silver Chains, Charms, Earrings Lladro | Amber | Jade | Coral | Opal
For the best deal in the Cook Islands Come to Goldmine, Main Road, Avarua Phone 24 823 | Fax 24824 | email email@example.com
Tokerau Jim’s shop at Punanga Nui Market in Avarua, with pearl carving demonstrations and free name engraving.
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Five things you should know about buying Cook Islands Black Pearls
B L ACK PE AR L S
Beautiful pearl jewellery Never forget your visit, take home unique Cook Islands Black Pearls surrounded by Cook Islands art THE COMBINATION OF STYLISH COOK ISLANDS BLACK PEARL JEWELLERY WITH THE ADDED APPEAL OF COOK ISLANDS ART BY FEATURED ARTISTS ARE TWO GOOD REASONS TO VISIT THE SHOWROON OF THE MOANA GEMS PEARL & ART GALLERY IN AVARUA!
Why are black pearls so called?
ne of the featured artists, Swiss born Judith Kunzlé, came to Rarotonga in the late 1980s to illustrate schoolbooks for a United Nations project. So inspired was she by the local dancing, Kunzlé has been drawing Cook Islands dancers ever since. Her connection
Because they grow in the black lipped oyster. When the oyster shell is ground and polished you can see the spectrum of colours. So the pearls are not black as such but range in colour from aubergine, to champagne to peacock green.
What is special about Cook Islands black pearls? Most Cook Islands black pearls are produced in the pristine lagoon of the northern atoll of Manihiki. The depth of the lagoon, the water temperature, the current, provide ideal conditions for growing black pearls. They are unique because of their variety of colours.
What is a ‘cultured' black pearl? We help the process along by implanting a nucleus (like a round bead ) into the gonad or water sack of the oyster. The oysters natural instinct is to expel it, but if it doesn't the oyster is trying to accept this foreign object so it creates a solution called nacre to coat or layer over the nucleus, to try to accommodate this irritant.
How do black pearls compare with other pearls in value? They are second only to the Australian golden ‘South Seas’ pearls.
What are the basic guidelines for buyers of black pearls? We value each pearl on its size, shape and quality. The quality of a pearl is determined by its lustre and how clean the surface of the pearl is. So we look for any imperfections on the pearl and the sheen or lustre of the pearl and grade it accordingly. To judge the lustre of a round or symmetrical pearl, the sharper the definition of your reflection the better the lustre. This contribution is courtesy of Lesley & Temu Okotai from Farm Direct Pearls, Harbour House, opposite Avatiu Harbor.
Ngari Tutaka-George (pictured) has managed Goldmine since it opened in September 1994; there are few in Rarotonga more knowledgeable in the jewellery and pearl business. Goldmine is Cook Islands' most established jewellery and gift store with a boggling variety on display, from wedding, engagement and dress rings, to unique Polynesian-style rings in gold and silver. And, of course Cook Islands black pearl rings and earrings, necklaces and pendants. Located on the Main Road between the town centre and the Punanga Nui Market, a visit to Goldmine is something not to be missed!
Art by Allan Tuara of Mangaia
“Buying Tokerau Jim carved pearl jewellery, you are also buying art!” After twenty years in Matavera, Tokerau Jim Designs, famous for its affordable pearl carved jewellery, have moved their main retail shop to Arorangi on the other side of Rarotonga, opposite the Crown Beach Resort.
okerau Jim, the man, is one of only a few genuine pearl carvers in the world; he personally creates not just pearl jewellery, but works of art! He is a spiritual Cook Islander whose family comes from the island of Manihiki, the heart of the Cook Islands pearl industry. His tribal tattoos and muscular frame seem incongruous with the delicate work he skillfully creates with pearl shells and pearls. According to Tokerau Jim’s bubbly business partner and
wife, Nicky Jim, the market for pearls in the Cook Islands is changing so they decided to make the move to Arorangi to
be closer to resorts and visitor accommodation. “The main reason though was wanting to complete renovations and expand our family home, to include the old retail premises. In order to do that, we needed to find another retail space suited to our business.
Nicky Jim at the new Tokerau Jim Designs shop, opposite Crown Beach Resort.
“When the space came available opposite Crown Beach Resort, we knew straight away it was the right spot for our new retail shop,” said Nicky. “Many pearl shops offer black pearls in form of rings, earrings etc., while we specialise in affordable carved pearl jewellery; with Tokerau Jim Designs you’re not just buying a Cook Islands black pearl, which is rare anyway, you are buying an art form, with a story, and which can be customised”. For a demonstration of Tokerau Jim pearl carving and pearl engraving visit the Tokerau Jim Design retail hut at the Punanga Cultural Market any Saturday morning, and meet the man in person!
Cook Islands’ dance painting by Judith Kunzlé
to Moans Gems is not coincidental - Jackie Tuara, one of the owners and a former Cook Islands dancer, modelled for much of Judith’s early work. Inspired to explore and convey dynamic movements and body language, Kunzlé works with charcoal, pastels and acrylics to bring alive the energy and grace of Cook Islands dance. She has had many solo exhibitions, she has illustrated the local plants and animals for the Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, and her work has been displayed at the Cook Islands National Museum.
Simple elegance & timeless beauty! Other artists whose work is regularly on show at Moana Gems include Allan Tuara of Mangaian and Rarotongan descent and a resident of Mangaia. Glenn Miller (Hori) - a New Zealand Maori of Ngatikawa-Ngapuhi descent, and Maria File - a descendant of the Ariki Tinomana of Rarotonga and Ariki Numangatini of Mangaia Jackie Tuara co-owns Moana Gems Pearl & Art Gallery with husband Raymond Newnham; they have been wholesaling and retailing Cook Islands black pearls passionately for over 25 years. Their showroom is on the main road in uptown Avarua, opposite the Makea Nui Ariki Palace. Moana Gems Pearl & Art Gallery motto says it all: Simple Elegance & Timeless Beauty!
Pearl & Art Gallery
P R E C I O U S P E A R L S , E L E G A N T J E W E L L E R Y, C O O K I S L A N D S A R T
Simple Elegance & Timeless Beauty
Local Art by: JUDITH KUNZLE - Limited Edition Prints • ALLAN TUARA - Traditional Carving • Located UPTOWN Avarua, Taputapuatea • ph (682) 22312 • www.moanagems.co.ck
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T O U R I S M AWA R D S
Celebrating The 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards COOK ISLANDS’ SMARTEST AND BRIGHTEST TOURISM PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES WERE RECOGNISED ON FRIDAY 20 APRIL DURING THE 2018 AIR NEW ZEALAND COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS HELD AT THE NATIONAL AUDITORIUM IN AVARUA ON THE ISLAND OF RAROTONGA.
Sponsors Title: Air New Zealand Gold: Bank of the Cook Islands, Bluesky, BSP, CITC, Cook Islands Tourism Corporation Silver: Cook Islands News, Cook Islands Sun, Pitt Media Group, Tauranga Vananga (Ministry of Cultural Development)
Winners SUPREME AWARD Air New Zealand Supreme Award: explore.com SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL AWARDS Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award: Jack Cooper Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award: Des Eggelton Sue Fletcher- Vea, President of the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council
he Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards recognised those in the tourism industry
that have shown business initiative, excellence, and dedication to quality. Organised by the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council, the awards are given in three sections: the Special Awards category, the Business Category Awards, and Special Individual Awards. Sue Fletcher-Vea, President of the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council, declared the 2018 awards an outstanding success.
A Tereora College dance group entertained at the award presentation event
“We’ve heard from many entrants that the process of application was certainly worthwhile for their business, enabling them to take a closer
look at how they operate. We have also had congratulatory feedback from the sponsors. I am pleased to say they seemed to have really enjoyed being part of this important celebration of our No.1 industry in the Cook Islands. “A big thank you to our New Zealand-based judges Michael Friend and John Mann, both tourism professionals who are also involved with the New Zealand Tourism Awards. They told us standards are high within the Cook Islands tourism industry, and that the challenges we face here with the growth of tourism are similar to those faced by the New Zealand tourism industry, and that we can learn from each other, particularly in regards to the environment. “Congratulations and well done to the specific awards finalists and winners.
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Specialists for all local tours and activities and inter-island packages. Foreign exchange and money transfers INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC AIRFARES & ACCOMMODATION Located Main Road, Avarua firstname.lastname@example.org www.jetsave.co.ck
CALL 27 707
“Particularly, we are proud that the 2018 Supreme Award winner explore.com is a Cook Islands-based operator whose business is involved throughout the South Pacific. They have grown quickly and are to be congratulated for impressing the judges with their business acumen. “Importantly, the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Industry Awards have celebrated the most inspiring examples of continual business improvement and the delivery of excellence within the Cook Islands tourism industry,” said Fletcher-Vea.
SPECIAL AWARDS Bluesky Emerging Tourism Leader Award: On the Beach (OTB) Restaurant & Bar Bluesky People’s Choice Award: Te Vara Nui Village Pitt Media Group Family Friendly Award: Pacific Resort Rarotonga Cook Islands Sun Social Media Guru Award: Ikurangi Eco Retreat Cook Islands News Business Sustainability Award: Cook Islands Holiday Villas Ministry of Cultural Development Pa Enua Award: Punarei Cultural Tour & Heritage Trust Aitutaki BUSINESS CATEGORY AWARDS CITC Culture Award: Highland Paradise Cultural Centre CITC Environment Award: Ikurangi Eco Retreat BSP Business Excellence Award: Pacific Resort Aitutaki BSP Employer of the Year Award: Edgewater Resort & Spa Bank of the Cook Islands Adventure/Eco Tourism Award: Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours Bank of the Cook Islands Visitor Experience/ Customer Care Award: Koka Lagoon Cruises Cook Islands Tourism Community Development Award: Bank of South Pacific (BSP) Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Award: explore.com
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T O U R I S M AWA R D S
A NIGHT OUT AT THE 2018 TOURISM AWARDS Images: Jaiah Arai, Creative Hype Chairman of Cook Corporation , EwanIslands Tourism Smith
ers , Tina Kae; Standing: Clee Marstssouw, Catherine Healy, seated: Marcelle Ro Teremoana Tangirere Marthalina Opuariki,
waiting to be pr
Bluesky ‘People’s Choice Award’ L-R: Kathy Papatua (Bluesky), Ruth A Tangiiau Mave, Vara Hunter, Apai Warren (all Te Vara Nui Village), Engara Gosselin (Air New Zealand).
ZM , am Henr y KN to the ker Sir Grah Guest spea acks coach, escorted ane former All Blnt y Lydia and Aunt y N stage by Au
A grand feast befitting the occa
Bluesky ‘People’s Choice Awards’ goes to the Te Vara Nui Spectacular Overwater Extravaganza ARGUABLY THE BEST AWARD TO WIN AT THE 2018 AIR NEW ZEALAND COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS WAS THE BLUESKY ‘PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD’. YOU CAN’T ARGUE WITH THE PEOPLE!
T nage nd country ma Air New Zeala for her suppor t acknowledged
r Marissa Newm
BCI’s MD Vaine No oana-Arioka welcomes Koka Lag staff to the stage oon Cruises
his year the ‘People’s Choice Award’ went to Te Vara Nui Village, who had won the Tourism Attractions Award and the coveted Supreme Award in 2016. The inspiration for Te Vara Nui, Vara Hunter, (pictured here receiving the 2018 People Choice Award) personally won the Outstanding Contribution to
Tourism in the Cook Islands Award in 2016. It is no surprise as the spectacular over-water island cultural show is world-class. Vara’s daughter, and co-owner of Te Vara Nui, Moana Hunter Nair, said: “Te Vara Nui is an entertaining cultural show performed over
WINNER OF AIR NZ TOURISM AWARDS - SUPREME AWARD, TOURS & ATTRACTION 2017 & PEOPLE'S CHOICE 2018 !
water on floating and fixed stages, within a beautiful tropical waterfall garden setting. The use of the lagoon to showcase the dancers as they float past the guests gives the audience a real feeling for the story of arrival to an island. “The show follows on from an island-western fusion buffet dinner, which in itself is spectacular”. The Te Vara Nui Spectacular Overwater Extravaganza happens in Muri every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening from 7.30pm. Call 24 006.
Muri Beach Phone 24006
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T O U R I S M AWA R D S
‘Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award’ presented to Des Eggelton FROM AIRPORT DESIGNER TO TOURISM ENTREPRENEUR, DES EGGELTON HAS LED AN EVENTFUL LIFE. AS A YOUNG MAN HE WAS EMPLOYED BY THE NEW ZEALAND DEPARTMENT OF WORKS WHEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK IN THE COOK ISLANDS DURING A SIGNIFICANT TIME AS RAROTONGA AIRPORT WAS BEING READIED FOR THE FUTURE OF TOURISM IN THE ISLANDS.
ustifiably, the engineer turned businessman, hotelier, and benevolent adviser, has been acknowledged decades later during the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards with the prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award.’ Throughout his time in Rarotonga, Eggelton has made considerable contributions within tourism at various levels. As an influencer, never totally comfortable with the limelight, Des Eggelton has been known to both applaud and criticise elements of the tourism industry and the authorities over issues that count, including the governance of the country. Des said he’d like to see a simpler political system and government arrangement. The confidence in expressing his views comes from years of battling to develop his own businesses, and helping others do the same in the Cook Islands. Christchurch-born Desmond Bey Eggelton made his first appearance on the Rarotonga scene in 1970 as a young designer working on Rarotonga Airport. “I didn’t know much about the Cooks then, but I figured if they were spending $11m on airports, there must be something there, so I applied for the job and was appointed manager of the design office. I was 26,” said Des. “The airport had a 3000-foot strip of coral, a bit like some of the outer islands have now. It was designed initially for DC8s and Air New Zealand were moving into DC10s requiring additional length. Our job was to develop it to an international standard with side and end clearances.
“As soon as my daughter became involved with Cook Islands Tourism Corporation I stepped away.”
Whilst working on the airport, Des was accommodated in a single-men’s hostel, where the Parliament is today.
Des explained that the top dancers from each village were brought together to form a troupe under the celebrated local choreographer, Turepu Turepu. Cassey was one of those dancers.
“Throughout his time in Rarotonga, Eggelton has made considerable contributions within tourism at various levels”. “Cassey was schooled in New Zealand. I met her when she returned following her father’s death, to help out in the family bakery and shop in Matavera. “We met at a party, and her sister, who was a policewoman, warned her to keep away from those ‘nasty airport boys’, so it was a bit of a challenge!” When Des’ posting finished in 1971 he returned to New Zealand asking Cassey to return with him. Des said it was a difficult decision for Cassey because her mother didn’t want her to go, and she had just been selected for a dance troupe that was
Des Eggelton, recipient of the prestigious 2018 Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award
to perform in Paris. All Des could do was leave a ticket to Auckland for Cassey and hope for the best.
of Station Works Officer in Rarotonga, which he knew was coming up in 1980.
Des was appointed to a Ministry of Works Office in Auckland.
“I got the job but took quite a salary drop, but it was a ‘win, win’ for us because we were coming back, and I would be employed by the New Zealand Government.
Cassey and Des got married in 1974. In the next two years, their daughters Karla and Liana were born. Today, Karla is the Director of Sales and Marketing with the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, and Liana recently moved to Rarotonga with her family from New Zealand; she and her husband own a modelling agency, Clyne International; her husband commutes monthly. Liana has also taken up the position of accreditation officer for the tourism accreditation system in the Cook Islands.
Soon Des attended his first Rotary night with his brother-in-law, who was President. That night he met Jeff Porter, who owned Puaikura Reef Lodges, who in turn introduced him to Eddie Arkle, who had Lagoon Lodges, and who wanted to sell. According to Des they got drinking and by 2am he agreed to buy the property!
“Six weeks later Cassey joined me in New Zealand”.
Today, the entire Eggelton family resides in Rarotonga. “After my time here in the early 1970s, I had always wanted to come back,” said Des. “We purchased a motel in Christchurch to learn the business, hoping to return to Rarotonga into tourism accommodation. “I was still working for the Ministry of Works in Christchurch, my hometown, and Cassey ran the motel. It was from Christchurch that Des applied for the job
“We got into the home in 1987. I finished up then with the Ministry of Transport. “The next 26 years we stayed at Lagoon Lodges, continuing to borrow and build, ending up with 22 units. I always had this thing of putting money back
Throughout the 2000s Des used his design and project management skills to assist in the construction of accommodation properties and homes in both Rarotonga and Aitutaki, including Little Polynesian Resort. Today, according to Des, the biggest change in tourism is the Internet. “When I started we worked with wholesalers; we paid to be in a brochure and they went out and sold us. Today
“Cassey was just happy to be back with our two kids. We lived above Tereora College in one of the Ministry of Transport homes”.
“Lagoon Lodges had been on the market so I knew about it. I took the next day off work and went to the bank, the lawyer, and the accountant. By 5pm, I had put a cash deposit down. This was November 1982”. Lagoon Lodges had four houses that originally lodged the contactors building The Rarotongan Resort. Des soon took out another bank loan and built six more units, and a swimming pool. In 1985, Des started building a house for his family at Lagoon Lodges.
Des at the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Industry Awards Gala Night
into the business. In 1999, then Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry congratulated me as there was a big downturn in the economy, and I was building new units!” In 2006, Des sold Lagoon Lodges to Tim Tepaki, a Cook Islander who has been involved in property development in New Zealand.
Karla and Des attended Pa’s 5000th Trek celebrations
it’s about OTA – online travel agents. Many homes on the Internet today would not have survived, or even happened years ago. Not just Airbnb, you can even put a home on booking.com or Expedia.
The Eggeltons had already moved into a new family home in Matavera in 2005.
“In a good way this has provided the opportunity for more Cook Islanders to be involved in tourism, and to receive some reward from it. This is biggest change that I have seen in tourism.”
“About this time, Rendezvous Villas had come up. It has two spacious villas each with its own swimming pool, right on the beach.
Des also enjoys helping people around the property scene, with evaluations, rental reviews, and land court lawyers.
Des’ other property Te Vakaroa is also in the luxury category.
“Bankers have been accepting my evaluations and reports for the last ten years. It’s interesting and it’s diverse and it keeps me busy”, Des said.
“We had the land for three or four years. My partner in this venture put an offer to us to build Te Vakaroa, a gated property with maximum 18 guests. We started in 2006 and finished it in 2008.”
At home with Liana, Cassey and Des
During the 1990s, Des counts among his achievements being President of the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce for four years; served on the steering committee of the Accreditation of Tourism Businesses for eight years; and being appointed by the Prime Minister to the ‘Tourism Steering Group’. Between 1996-2004 he served as a director of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation. In 2008-9 he became Chairman for a short time.
Des’ posting to Rarotonga lasted only 15 months, but his life changed forever during that time having met his future wife Cassey Tereapii.
“There was a great social scene, particularly around the New Zealand High Commission. We also went to parties and dances to meet local ladies; I met one I was very attracted to, Cassey, who was a dancer”.
In the 1980s he represented the Cook Islands on a roadshow in Canada; he started the first accommodation marketing/ reservations group in the islands; and, with others, created the Accommodation Council, becoming its first chairman.
Since Lagoon Lodges, Des has been inextricably involved in the Cook Islands tourism industry.
“There are not many people doing this sort of thing, so I’m happy to help. “I have always liked supporting communities, businesses and organisations wherever I could to help strengthen tourism in the Cook Islands”.
CoOK ISLANDS SuN
T O U R I S M AWA R D S
BSP takes out the Cook Islands Tourism ‘Community Development Award’ IT WAS A BIG NIGHT IN APRIL FOR BSP (BANK OF SOUTH PACIFIC) AT THE 2018 AIR NEW ZEALAND COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS FOR 2018, WHEN THEY TOOK OUT THE COOK ISLANDS TOURISM’S COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AWARD.
SP Cook Islands are actively engaged in many community projects including a financial literacy program, the Giving Tree, community sponsorships, and a Go Green campaign.
L-R: BSP staff - Achaal Pandesi, Jacqui Lemaire, Massey Mateariki, June Kokaua, David Street, Tokoa Harmon, Metua Vaiimene (Cook Islands Tourism), Air New Zealand representative.
Go Green activities. BSP’s on-going Go Green calendar includes supporting schools and community groups in cleanup activities. Personally, BSP strive to be the greenest bank in the South Pacific BSP’s Go Green campaign in action recognising the delicate physical environment in which they operate, continually seeking innovative ways to decrease their environmental impact in the operation of their business…a worthy recipient of the 2018 Cook Islands Tourism ‘Community Development Award.’
OTB Bar & Restaurant wins the Bluesky ‘Emerging Tourism Leader Award’
BSP’s Go Green campaign is primarily focused on education and action, teaching children to be aware and
Explore.com two-time winners on the night!
responsible within their island environment. They provide Go Green clean up bags, gloves, and merchandise in support of
Pacific Resort Aitutaki and Pacific Resort Rarotonga both winners OTB’s Laiza Agojo and Phillip Noordt receive the Bluesky Emerging Tourism Leader Award from Bluesky’s Kathy Papatua
Based in Rarotonga, Pacific-region online booking website explore.com not only took out the 2018 Cook Islands Tourism Marketing Award, but also the coveted Air New Zealand Supreme Award for 2018. In the absence of explore.com managing director, Brett Baudinet, his mother, June Baudinet, proudly accepted the awards on his behalf.
The 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Gala Night was a memorable occasion for Pacific Resort Rarotonga scoring the Pitt Media Group Family Friendly Award, and for her sister property Pacific Resort Aitutaki receiving the esteemed BSP Business Excellence Award.
Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours, a perfect match for the BCI Adventure Eco Tourism Award
BSP Employer of the Year Award goes to Edgewater Resort & Spa
ack in March 2016 Phillip Nordt (at the time lead tutor of culinary arts at the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute) was offered the opportunity to lease the restaurant and bar at Manuia Beach Resort in Arorangi offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week. The restaurant then was designed primarily for inhouse guests. Nordt saw the opportunity to create a new brand, offering casual fine dining On the Beach (OTB), a niche ‘up-market’ restaurant concept for all - resort guests, visitors to the island, and locals. “We put a marketing plan into place and promoted the restaurant to the public with free transfers, and offering live
Natavia Brown Furnell (centre) and Jimmy from Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours proudly accept the Adventure Eco Tourism award from BCI managing director Vaine Arioka and Sir Graham Henry.
Engara Gosselin (Air New Zealand), David Street (BSP) with Edgewater’s Bob Taylor, Emile Kairua, Shankar Natarajan and Roland Neururer.
entertainment, degustation menus and theme nights. A beach bar was added with wonderful cocktails and finger food. At this stage we decided to concentrate on the evening service,” said Nordt. “The key to our success was to deliver food and service at the highest level. And, in 2017, OTB received an Excellence Award and 3 pearls/stars, the highest rating for its food by Cuisine Magazine New Zealand, followed by winning best young chef and mixologist of the Cook Islands.” During the 2018 Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards, OTB Restaurant & Bar won the Bluesky Emerging Tourism Leader Award, an accolade Phillip Nordt is very proud to have received.
“The concept of offering contemporary Cook Island cuisine at a unique location has been well received, and OTB has become one of the most popular restaurants in Rarotonga, contributing positively to the overall food & OTB (On the Beach Restaurant & Bar) beautifully situated at Manuia Beach Resort service standard.”
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CoOK ISLANDS SuN
T O U R I S M AWA R D S
An outstanding contributor to Cook Islands Tourism:
Jack Cooper extending the bar downstairs to go out towards the sea. There will be new colour schemes throughout”.
JACK COOPER PLANS TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY ABOUT HIS LIFE IN THE COOK ISLANDS AND HE INTENDS TO CALL IT 'FORTY YEARS BEHIND BARS', A TITLE THAT UNDENIABLY SUMS UP THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE MAN PERFECTLY.
acks signature business Trader Jacks has been in existence for most of Jack’s time in the Cooks. Often described as an ‘institution’, Trader Jacks influence on the business, social and political scene of Rarotonga, especially in the early days, caused it once to be entered into Hansard, and be described by the prime minister of the day, Sir Geoffrey Henry, as ‘Cook Islands’ other parliament’ due to the routine patronage of members of the political, business, and legal fraternities. To many Jack Cooper is the rock star of Cook Islands tourism. As testament to that sentiment he was handed a special individual award at this year’s Air New Zealand Cook Islands Tourism Awards for his outstanding contribution to tourism. Jack said he was ‘blown away’ on the night, and had not prepared a speech. The response from the audience of Cook Islands tourism industry leaders and operatives clearly indicated that he was a popular choice for this esteemed award. The Gordon Ramsay of the Rarotonga hospitality ecosphere, Jack Cooper is well known for his colourful language and irreverent deliberations. “I have put my money where my mouth is; I live here because I want to live here, and I have had this wonderful journey like a roller coaster with the good times and the really bad times, including being wiped out by three cyclones. The last cyclone, Cyclone Meena cost me $1m”. Trader Jacks it situated on the waterfront at Avarua Harbour (Jack is self-appointed harbourmaster). The premises have been damaged and closed down by cyclones on three occasions since opening in
Sitting with Jack in his Ruatonga house overlooking the ocean in the distance, Jack began reflecting on the past and the future.
1986. Much of the building today can be dissembled at short notice if there is a serious threat of an approaching cyclone.
“I am endeavoring to write a book entitled Forty Years Behind Bars. It’s only about my time in the Cook Islands, which is not quite forty years. I want to be factual, but with humour.
At 73 this year, Jack remains true to himself: an unapologetic symbol of rebellious success. His irreverent humour is still intact, his bearing self-assured, and his smile infectious.
“I enjoy the people of the Cook Islands, and their culture. They are blessed to be able to live here. They have their culture and they maintain it. And, they have a very good attitude towards life”.
Jack has dedicated half his life to his businesses and tourism in the Cook Islands. Locally, he is respectfully known as Tiaki Kupa. Tiaki translates as Jack, Kupa as Cooper. First arriving on the shores of Rarotonga in 1983, Jack’s destiny in the hospitality industry was shaped in New Zealand in the 60s and 70s. Born and bred in Wellington with one sister, Jack’s parents were from Auckland.
“I live here because I want to live here” “My father was a boiler maker – one of those essential tradesmen who worked on the floating dock in Wellington during the war. “I started off in hospitality at the age of 18, then I travelled the world working in different places. I even worked on a oil rig in the middle of the Gibson Desert – I remember that well, because that’s when Hey Jude came out. “I was a surfer in New Zealand with a 10’2” long board. I also surfed along the east coast of Australia from Bateman’s Bay to Noosa and Crescent Head, all the time working in hospitality. I worked in Australia a couple of times. “When I lost Trader Jacks in Cyclone Sally, I ended up working at Expo 88 in
One thing that perturbs Jack is the migration of Cook Islanders.
Jack Cooper on the verandah at Ruatonga in classic pose
Brisbane managing food and beverage for staff. I needed to get some money together to help rebuild Trader Jacks.
opportunity to return to New Zealand as general manager of a prestigious Rotorua hotel property.
The years before he came to Rarotonga Jack worked for Lion Breweries Hotel Division starting off as a trainee, then being sent to hotel management school, and at the age of 24 taking up his first management position as manager of the Royal Tiger Tavern in Wellington.
“I liked it here, so I ended up staying!”
A few years later he was appointed general manager of the Hotel St George in Wellington. “Then I got disillusioned with the business and did some world travelling.” When he returned Jack was invited to manage The Rarotongan Resort. “I only lasted eight weeks!” Jack said it was complicated. The resort was set up with the Cook Islands Government owning 60%, and four travel companies having 10% each. He claims one of the shareholders who had the management contract made sure it didn’t work out. Then he turned down a golden
Jack bought the lease on Vaima Restaurant with a partner. He ran Vaima for a couple years, whilst working on his future plans.
“When I came back from Expo 88 there were five businessmen who put ten grand in each, and that got us going with part of the building. As we built up
“The easy access to New Zealand and Australia for Cook Islanders is taking away ‘the employables’, so more and more foreign workers are taking up the jobs”. Jack’s two daughters went
“I figured the Cook Islands was surrounded by water, but there was no place to sit and watch the ocean, everything was set back from the water”. So Trader Jacks restaurant and bar was conceived and built by a company called Lighters Ltd.
Jack Cooper accepting the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award
“Some friends from Wellington originally put up the funding for Trader Jacks. The name Lighters came about because Avarua Harbour use to have lighters that went out to move cargo to and from ships. “Lighter Ltd had the lease on the land. Lighters traded as Trader Jacks. “Just before we opened they took the lighters away, so it made sense to use Trader Jacks. Today Trader Jacks is a company, in which I have the majority shareholding (75%). Lighters still have the lease on the land.
“We had only been open for six months before Cyclone Sally came along in 86-7 and wiped us out. It took a couple of years to rebuild “I ended up going to The Hibiscus in town, which is now The New Place.”
Trader Jacks Restaurant & Bar on the Avatiu harbour front
“We reopened Trader Jacks in ‘89.
Always looking for more money to help the rebuilding process, Jack then took up an offer to work at Expo 88 in Brisbane as the manager of F&B for event staff.
the business again, we rebuilt further”. The next time Trader Jacks was hit by a cyclone was in December 1997; it was Cyclone Pam. “Not as bad as Sally. We got away with only $80,000 worth of damage. Then there was Cyclone Meena in 2005.” After each cyclone people would say: ‘Jack’s back!’ Through three cyclones Jack Cooper was resilient, and the ‘punters’ kept coming for the Trader Jack harbourside experience. Jack is thankful for the continuing patronage of locals and visitors, and the support of his staff. “It has to be emphasised that my success is not just Jack; it’s my ability to surround myself with good people. Amongst them my partner and flat mate (ha-ha) Rosa is one of my managers, Myra has been with me a long time, Metua in the kitchen has been with me for 24 years; I have been fortunate in having so many excellent staff members over the years”. This year Trader Jacks is going to have a big facelift. “A new roof! And, I’m
to school here. Melanie lives in Rarotonga operating a successful photography business, and Vanessa works for the New Zealand government in Wellington. So far as the future of tourism Jack would like Rarotonga to have a proper 18-hole golf course with accommodation to attract higher end visitors. He said there is a site around near the old Sheraton that would be ideal. When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, his answer is unsurprising: Drink! After all he is the selfappointed President of the Bombay Gin Society. Jack’s long time friend and drinking pal John Kenning aka JK, who sadly died in 2016, was Vice President. “JK was a very, very good friend of mine, and a great contributor to our nation. It emotionally upset me when he died.” Together Jack, JK and friends would drink Bombay Sapphire Gin, often on the verandah of Jack’s Ruatonga home. Up here it is ‘home pour’. There’s a feature wall of Bombay Sapphire Gin bottles
CoOK ISLANDS SuN at Bamboo Jack’s Restaurant in Tupapa that is testament to the Bombay Gin Society’s success. “The wall at Bamboo Jacks had to stop because there is not enough room for more bottles now!” Jack bought Portofino Restaurant six years ago, changing the name to Bamboo Jacks. “I wanted to go pan-Asian. I couldn’t get Asian food here. “I have Trader Jacks, Bamboo Jacks and Blue Pacific Foods. Blue Pacific Foods started primarily to be fish processing. At one point we were exporting tonnes of fresh fish to Japan and LA every week. Costs rose bringing in the fish, especially from the northern islands, so today Pacific Foods buy and process fish locally,
T O U R I S M AWA R D S and only for Trader Jacks and Bamboo Jacks. In 2009 Rarotonga hosted the Pacific Mini Games and Jack organised the catering.
“It has to be emphasised that my success is not just Jack” “An amazing international event! We produced 78,000 meals in 17 days”. When it comes to local events though, none get much bigger than Cook Islands’ major annual paddling event, Vaka Eiva, an event Jack sponsored for 12 years. He’s having a break from sponsorship right
now, but that doesn’t stop Trader Jacks being pivotal to the event as dozens of vakas are housed adjacent to his premises, and they are put in the water at the harbour, with hundreds competing in, and supporting the event. Jack’s high profile and the popularity of Trader Jacks as a tourism icon, led to him being invited on the board of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation for two years. “I was also a board member of the Liquor Licensing Authority – I was sacked.” But that’s a long story best told over a drink with Jack! Traders Jacks has attracted many interesting patrons over the years, none the least being Hillary Clinton who visited the Cook Islands as US Secretary of State for a Pacific Islands Forum in 2012. “Hillary Clinton and her entourage came for breakfast. They took over upstairs. Forget about her politics, what presence that woman had. Her entourage was enormous.
‘The Trader’ Jack Cooper is the self-appointed harbour master of Avarua Harbour
“I am downstairs smoking and drinking coffee, and both Myra and Rosa came down and said: ‘now don’t start drinking until they’ve gone.’ I tipped the coffee out of the mug and said ‘give me a Bombay’. I was drinking and smoking and having a good
Bamboo Jacks Restaurant
time when they started to leave. Then, to my surprise, I’m summoned upstairs to meet Hillary Clinton. It’s only a shame we didn’t have a photographer handy.”
went to amuse themselves before the show. The place was chockers with females; the boys were supposed to start at 8pm, but didn’t come out until ten. Apparently that was the
Another pleasant surprise for Jack was when New Zealand singer-songwriters Tim and Neil Finn turned up with Dave Dobbyn (the Slice of Heaven man).
Another regular visitor from New Zealand, and a good friend of Jack, is the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters. “Winston likes it here. I don’t agree with his politics, but he is a good drinking mate.” Yes, Jack is quite the lad! He still manages Trader Jacks and turns up at Trader Jacks most days and some nights.
Cutting a long story short, a soundman that Jack knew asked it he would like the boys to perform at Traders. They agreed as long as the gig was not advertised. “We had a yacht on a cradle beside Trader Jacks with a companionway where the boys
first time the three had ever played together. It was a great night!”
Trader Jacks Island Time Lager
“I feel honoured to have been recognised by the Cook Islands tourism industry at this year’s awards. It has been a wonderful journey; but I would very much like to retire!”
CITC continues its long term investment in Cook Islands tourism ONCE AGAIN GOLD SPONSORS OF THE AIR NEW ZEALAND COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS; CITC IN 2018 CHAMPIONED TWO AWARDS: THE CITC CULTURE AWARD, WON BY HIGHLAND PARADISE CULTURAL CENTRE, AND THE CITC ENVIRONMENT AWARD, WON BY IKURANGI ECO RETREAT.
ounded in 1891, CITC (Cook Islands Trading Corporation), the largest and longest serving business enterprise in the Cook Islands, is this year celebrating twenty years under the majority ownership of the Clarke family. Trevor Clarke is executive chairman; his daughter Dianna Clarke-Bates is executive director. CITC is also the largest employer in the Cook Islands with over 300 staff, 97% of whom are locals. Gaye Whitta, CITC’s General Manager, oversees
Highland Paradise Cultural Centre winners of the CITC Culture Award
CITC general manager Gaye Whitta
the businesses that include CITC Avarua, CITC Building Centre, CITC Food, CITC Liquor, CITC Pharmacy, CITC Duty Free, Kavera
Central, Oasis Energy, KAPS Matavera and CITC's sister company Excil Shipping. Gaye said 20 years ago CITC took a new direction investing in infrastructure, upgrading buildings, and expanding businesses. She emphasised that CITC investment has
Ikurangi Eco Retreat won CITC Environment Award
been in line with the growth of tourism.
materials used in tourism property development.
“Most things involving tourism in Rarotonga somehow have a connection with CITC – from shipping goods, to the purchase of food, clothes, alcohol and pharmacy products. Even building
“We support the Tourism Awards because they are aimed at stimulating business improvement, and they recognise excellence within the Cook Islands tourism industry.
“We too hope to achieve excellence, everyday. Tourism is a huge part of our business. 74% of Cook Islands’ GDP is tourism and 80% or more of our business is related to tourism, so we gratefully support the Cook Islands tourism industry, because they support us!”
CoOK ISLANDS SuN
H E A LT H & B E A U T Y
Aussie couple on a South Seas adventure AUSTRALIANS ANDREW AND BELINDA GRIFFIN HAVE BEEN ON A ‘LIFE ADVENTURE’ FOR 35 YEARS; WHEN YOU MEET THEM YOU GET THE FEELING THAT ADVENTURE WILL CONTINUE FOR YEARS TO COME.
hey have lived and worked all over from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, Vanuatu, Fiji, and now the Cook Islands, travelling, owning, running and managing restaurants, cafés, art galleries, flower farms, boat building, indigenous art centres, and resorts. Originally from Melbourne and country Victoria with qualifications in Marketing, Human Resources, Social Sciences, Accounting, Environmental Sciences and Horticulture, their creativity
is reflected in a diverse range of life experiences from running film festivals and restaurants, Life adventurers, Belinda and Andrew Griffin fashion design Four years ago they acquired to boat building, indigenous the management rights to art centres to, in recent years, Rumours Luxury Villas and resort management in the Spa. Since then Rumours South Pacific. accommodation has been According to the Griffins, they awarded many global accolades, and Rumours are just a couple of Aussies Waterfall Spa has also with a passion for life, love and collected global luxury spa adventure. awards, including Best Spa
Winners at the 2017 Haute Grandeur Awards held in Thailand
If you never did you should, because these things are fun and fun is good
in the Cook Islands for seven consecutive years. “Being semi retired in 2006 we found ourselves running remote five and six star resorts in the South Pacific; in 2014 we flew to Auckland and bought our own business (Rumours) in the Cook Islands sight unseen; six weeks later
we flew to Rarotonga to see what we bought … and have been smiling ever since!” said Andrew. “We have a passion for living, sharing experiences, caring for others, enjoying culture, and the love of country wherever we may be,” added Belinda.
An interior of a Rumours Luxury Villa
The splendor of the Cook Islands mirrored in the Rito skin-care range
ito Cook Islands’ range of beauty and health products are a genuine reminder of a visit to the islands. Set up eight years ago by husband and wife team Robert and Susan Wyllie, the Rito skincare range has developed and expanded, more recently with the expert assistance of their Aucklandbased microbiologist Dr. Olga Garkavenko with specifications for an improved ‘look and feel’ for the new range. “Rito’s desire to use active ingredients derived from tropical plants and oceanic materials ‘with a silky feel’ is reflected in our five facial and two body products,” said Robert. “In 2016 we revisited the formulation of Rito’s revitalising eye cream as research had uncovered a kelp extract to help fight fine lines. Since the relaunch of the new eye cream in 2017, positive feedback from clients has indicated the improvement are a success. During that time we
where nature meets science
also developed our nourishing hand cream”.
ready for sale toward the end of 2018,” said Susan.
Additionally, Susan has been developing a facial oil that has gone through a number of phases, and has now been handed to Dr. Garkavenko to finalise the formulation and carry out testing.
Rito Cook Islands is located on the main road at Tikioki, 150 metres past the Fruits of Rarotonga towards Muri, not far from the Matutu Brewery. Rito also have a showroom at the Punanga Nui Market every Saturday morning.
“We expect the product to be
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H E A LT H & B E A U T Y
Te Tika, made in the Cook Islands for the benefit of your skin FEW SOUTH PACIFIC ISLANDS CAN CLAIM TO BE THE HOME TO AN INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNISED, MEDICALLY PROVEN SKINCARE RANGE SUCH AS TE TIKA.
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esearch and development of skin care products is fiercely competitive with an unrelenting consumer demand for continually improved skin care solutions. Occasionally, there is an advance in the science of skin care; Te Tika Bio Active Cook Islands Oils, a key ingredient in the Te Tika Skincare range, is one of those breakthroughs.
“…generates new skin that is smoother” Te Tika was developed over ten years by Dr. Graham Matheson, founder and director of CIMTECH (Cook Islands Medical Technologies); Dr. Matheson’s sister Jenny Henry runs Te Tika day-today. We asked her what the most popular product was in the Te Tika Skincare range. “Our hero product is the Te Tika BioActive Cook Islands ‘Face and Body Oil’… Sunset Glow. It’s popular with our female and male customers.”
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR Edgewater Resort & Spa
Jenny Henry with Kai from CITC Pharmacy
Described on the bottle as ‘ultra light with BioActive Oils and Zi Cao’, Te Tika’s Face and Body Oil is, coincidently, a product the writer of this article has used for years. I asked Jenny what the secret was of the resulting smooth and healthy looking skin. “With our Face and Body Oil, it’s simply the bioactive combination of the plants we use, that we do know triggers the skin to go into a healing mode, which generates new skin that is smoother. “When the Face and Body Oil is applied, it creates a signal. The same signal as if you cut your face. It goes into healing mode. Because your skin has
regenerated, it feels soft and has no dryness.”
Relax, Refresh, Renew...
Te Tika’s BioActive Face and Body Oil and the range of Te Tika Skincare products is available at the CITC Pharmacy in Avarua, the Te Ara Museum in Muri, and Pacific Resorts in Rarotonga & Aitutaki.
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Inspired by traditional, scientifically-proven, Cook Islands regenerative medicines
A key ingredient in the TeTika® Skincare range, Bioactive Cook Islands Oils are the result of intense research into the traditional Cook Islands medicinal practices. These remarkable oils have a rejuvenating effect on the epidermis of the skin. See the full range of the TeTika® Skincare products at CITC Pharmacy in Avarua.
Inspired by traditional, scientifically-proven, Cook Islands regenerative medicines
A key ingredient in the TeTika® Skincare range, Bioactive Cook Islands Oils are the result of intense research into the traditional Cook Islands medicinal practices. These remarkable oils have a rejuvenating effect on the epidermis of the skin.
See the full range of the TeTika® Skincare products at CITC Pharmacy in Avarua.
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CoOK ISLANDS SuN
D I N I N G A N D E N T E R TA I N M E N T
ISLAND NIGHT SHOWS ON RAROTONGA They are colourful, energetic and entertaining and, combined with a buffet-style feast, they are good value for money. Enquire about the different Island Nights on offer; some are smaller, intimate shows, others larger, spectacular shows with bigger audiences. Always book to avoid disappointment. Note: details are correct at time of publication, but may change seasonally. Always check with venue.
VENUE & SHOW DETAILS * Family & group rates available; enquire with venue
DAY MONDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre TUESDAY Te Vara Nui Village The Islander Hotel The Edgewater Resort & Spa WEDNESDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre Muri Beach Club Hotel THURSDAY Te Vara Nui Village Crown Beach Resort FRIDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre SATURDAY Te Vara Nui Village The Edgewater Resort & Spa
DINNER / SHOW
$110 adult / $65 child (6-11 yrs). Includes transfers.
24 006 21 003
Crown Beach Resort:
$109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $49 adult / $20 child (5-12). Show only $15pp $65 adult / $25 child (7-12). Includes transfers. Show only $15pp.
Akirata Dance Troupe & Fire Dance
The Edgewater Resort & Spa: Ta’akoka Dance Troupe
Highland Paradise Cultural Centre: 7.00pm/8.00pm 7.00pm/8.00pm
21 924 23 000
$110 adult / $65 child (6-11 yrs). Includes transfers. $59 adult/$35 child (5-11)
Home of the Tinomona Tribe; E Matike Dance Troupe
Muri Beach Club Hotel: 7.30pm/8.30pm 6.30pm/8.30pm
24 006 23 953
$109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $55 adult / $30 child (3-12). Show only $15pp
Akirata Dance Troupe
The Islander Hotel: Akirata Dance Troupe
$110 adult / $65 child (6-11 yrs). Includes transfers. $109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $65 adult / $25 child (7-12). Includes transfers. Show only $15pp.
Te Vara Nui Village: Spectacular Overwater Extravaganza. The Legend of Tongaiti.
Matutu – the taste of the Cook Islands. Started in 2006 100% locally owned
Amazing beers Made using sustainable practices
No added preservatives All natural ingredients
Handcrafted by E. Newnham & J. Puati
No sugar added
Tours Daily at 12pm and 1pm. Tours only $15. Pick up/drop off fee is $5 per person. Free beer tasting on tour. Visit us in Tikioki, Titikaveka. Telephone: 26288. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CoOK ISLANDS SuN
D I N I N G & E N T E R TA I N M E N T
The happy chef from Mangaia
orn on one of the world’s most ancient islands, Mangaia, Robbie Brown, who turns 60 in 2019, arrived on Rarotonga when he was four to be brought up by his adoptive mother and father. Coincidentally, as a child he lived close to where he lives and works today at Tamarind House. “My adoptive father was a farmer and fisherman. When the land was wet and he couldn’t plant, he would go fishing in the reefs with a bamboo rod looking for octopus”, said Robbie.
“He taught me how to plant and look after the crops. We went fishing together, and he taught me how to hunt octopus; walking out on a low tide around where the Tamarind is now.”
Robbie continued for years to fish for octopus and would often catch nine or ten in a day, then put them on the menu. “A couple of years ago I went octopus fishing and noticed they were making a funny noise, like they were crying. I felt bad so, that was it! I stopped fishing for octopus. I can’t even buy them nowadays! Robbie recalls a lonely life when he first arrived from Mangaia but that improved when attending Avarua School, then Tereora College. Throughout this time, Robbie fondly remembers competing with his friends in the traditional Polynesian game of Teka, a now defunct game using sticks or dart-like rods.
CoOK ISLANDS SuN GUIDE TO
Eating&Drinking IN RAROTONGA
There is a eclectic variety of dining and drinking experiences on Rarotonga, many on the waterfront, beachfront, and in other picturesque settings. In the following centre-spread you’ll find a wonderful selection of cafés, restaurants and bars to consider, all dotted around the island. Robbie Brown, Co-Owner and Head Chef at Tamarind House Restaurant
a year, and then moved on to other building work”. Around 1984, Robbie started working at Portofino Restaurant as a barman.
“For a while I worked in Wellington as an orderly in a hospital. I was there for a year then came back to Rarotonga, and I returned to Portofino”.
In 1988, Sue Carruthers opened Flame Tree Restaurant in Muri. Sue worked in the kitchen and Robbie front-ofhouse and bar. “We were there for thirteen years. When we sold in 2000, Sue and I went overseas for six weeks where we attended a cooking school in Italy”. Robbie and Sue then set up
“I’ve enjoyed cooking all my life” a café on the bottom floor of their two-story house at Ngatangiia.
“We did this for a while, but there were too many negatives having a café at our own home, so we started looking for somewhere else. We wanted to have a restaurant in an old colonial house on the beachfront if we could find one.”
Robbie. She would do frontof-house, and he would do the kitchen. So Robbie took on the role of full-time chef, though Sue continues to be involved in the designing of the food. “I’ve enjoyed cooking all my life,” said Robbie.
“I am a happy chef, not the swearing type! I don’t panic. I just love it! Robbie’s self-proclaimed cooking style is ‘Pacific Rim’.
When asked what his favourite eating experience was in recent years, his answer was unexpected! “Easy! I loved a simple pizza I had once in Tuscany. Way up in the hills, we went to a small restaurant. The pizza came straight out of a wood fire oven, very thin crust with tomato, bruschetta and mushroom. It was so delicious (and memorable!).”
Robbie and Sue both create the menus at Tamarind House. “We keep the favorite dishes, for example the seafood chowder, the fish curry, and the rib eye steak with mushroom sauce. But monthly we will introduce a new dish, often on our Filipino chef ’s recommendations”.
Robbie has cooked for prime ministers, VIPs and celebrities. “I cooked for Hillary Clinton here a few years ago. She loved our sashimi, and our chicken curry. She came twice. She told us she doesn’t often go to the same restaurant twice!”
So what about the “During college future for Robbie holidays I worked and Sue? in the island juicing Ocean view dining at Tamarind House Restaurant factory, working “We will be with pineapples that came After some disappointments, downsizing soon to make our from Mangaia,” said Robbie, Sue contacted Mike Mitchell, life a bit easier”. the retiring British Consul, “My first real job after college Robbie said by the end of this who occupied the old Union was in a duty-free shop in year, they plan to downsize Steamship Company House in Avarua. I was there for four Tamarind House Restaurant Tupapa, a grand old colonial years, working with Kevin to a space to cater for a residence built in 1909. He was maximum of 40 diners. They Cook. He left the business moving and willing to sell the to build Cook’s Corner, and plan to convert part of the lease. I ended up working for him existing restaurant into four in his café as a waiter and It was transferred in December accommodation apartments. barman”. 2003, and the next big venture “We will also sell two of our for Robbie and Sue began. Robbie said he was beginning other eateries: The Rickshaw to enjoy himself too much and “The building was refurbished Café, and The New Place. wasn’t saving any money, so it and named Tamarind House That will leave us with La was time to change! by Sue, because the name Casita Mexican Café in Muri, “I went into the building meant a lot to her (having and a downsized Tamarind industry with Gordon Murray being born in Kenya)”. House Restaurant in Tupapa. working on Paradise Inn, Sue had spent years in the “This is much more which was being converted kitchen and decided with manageable for Sue and I, and from being a dance hall into Tamarind House that she it will give us more time to accommodation. I did that for wanted a role reversal with enjoy our lives!”
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MATAVERA ARORANGI 29
MARRIED TO RENOWNED COOK ISLANDS ‘FOODIE’ AND COOKBOOK AUTHOR SUE CARRUTHERS BROWN, ROBBIE BROWN IS A HUMBLE AND PROUD MANGAIANBORN MAN; HE IS ALSO HEAD CHEF AT RAROTONGA’S DEFINITIVE FIVESTAR RESTAURANT, TAMARIND HOUSE.
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VENUE DETAILS IN FOLLOWING CENTRE-SPREAD 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32.
Alberto’s Restaurant Lazy Trout Café On the Beach (OTB) Restaurant & Bar The Café Salsa Café Bite Time Café Crusoe’s Restaurant & Wilson’s Beach Bar CocoPutt Bistro & Bar Islander Restaurant & Hula Bar Kikau Hut Restaurant La Casita Mexican Café Body Fuel Café Flambé Restaurant Oceans Restaurant & Bar Rickshaw Café Sails Restaurant & isoBAR Trader Jacks Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill Tamarind House Restaurant Tumunu Restaurant & Bar Vaima on the Beach Beluga Café Jireh Yellow Hibiscus Restaurant & Bar The New Place Café Saltwater Café Progressive Dinner (various locations) Charlie’s Café & Bar Deli-Licious Café Bond Liquor Store
CoOK ISLANDS SuN
D I N I N G & E N T E R TA I N M E N T
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SEE LOCATION MAP ON PAGE 17
ALBERTO’S RESTAURANT BELUGA
Located between the Edgewater and Sunset resorts on the main road in Arorangi. Alberto’s is well known for their steak dishes but also offer seafood, chicken, pork, pasta and a fresh salad bar. Small private functions catered for. Open Monday to Saturday. The bar opens at 5.30pm with dining between 6.00 – 9.00pm.
Located on the main road in Arorangi, Beluga is a collaboration of urban café food, fresh fish, local produce and roasted gourmet coffee; enjoy a wine and beer; browse the gift shop for eclectic items and artworks. Open: 7.30am-3.00pm, Monday-Friday, and 9am-2pm Saturday. Great ambience and relaxing atmosphere!
T: 23 597 or 55 725 E: email@example.com
BITE TIME CAFÉ
BODY FUEL CAFÉ
Fresh. Fish. Café. Our fish come straight from our boat and on to your plate! Ika Mata, sashimi, seafood platters, wraps and sandwiches, and more! Plus, try our ‘all day’ bacon & egg breakfast for only $13. Open Monday to Saturday 8am - 4pm; late night Tuesday & Friday until 9pm. Located next to the playground, Punganui Market, Avarua.
Sushi. Smoothies. Juices. Fresh sushi, tropical & healthy juice & smoothie blends. Plus, homebaked cabinet food. Locally roasted, fair trade espresso coffee and cold pressed turmeric. Lattes. Located next to the playground, Punganui Market, Avarua. Open Mon to Sat from 6am.
T: 27 788 • Fb: Beluga Rarotonga
T: 23 577 Fb: Bitetimecaferarotonga
CRUSOE’S RESTAURANT & BAR
Located beachside at Castaway Resort, Crusoe’s offers a new menu with a different theme each night. Monday – Pasta night, Tuesday – a la carte, Wednesday – Mexican, Thursday – Pizza, Friday – Seafood, Saturday – Curry, Sunday – BBQ. Happy Hour from 3.00pm- 6.00pm, restaurant from 6.00pm.
Located on the main road in Muri, check out our ‘all-day’ breakfast menu and join us for awesome coffee, friendly service and great home-style cooking. Try our custard square and cheesecakelocal favourites. Open Sunday-Friday 7.30am3.00pm. Wi-Fi available.
Flambé offers unique cuisine that combines the legends of the Cook Islands with contemporary style. The exclusive fine dining restaurant lets customers enjoy options of fully air-conditioned or outside tropical courtyard bar and dining areas. Open from 6pm Friday and Saturday; 16 years and older. Live fire show every Friday.
T: 20 858 Check us out on Facebook
T: 21 546 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.castawayvillas.com
ON THE BEACH (OTB) RESTAURANT & BAR Beachfront dining at award-winning OTB Bar & Restaurant, enhanced by the restaurant’s sandy floor, kikau-thatched roof, and contemporary Polynesian-inspired menu. Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner, OTB also features happy hour and live entertainment every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, & a Sunday night BBQ & dessert buffet with Island Strings. FREE pickups for diners who buy the minimum 3-course menu at $ 49.50 T: 22461 • E: email@example.com Fb: OTB www.manuia.co.ck
T: 23 575 Fb: bodyfuelcaferarotonga
ISLANDER RESTAURANT & HULA BAR The Islander Restaurant & Hula Bar overlook the pool and the ocean offering cuisine made from fresh ingredients supplied locally, as well as imports from New Zealand. Open for breakfast from 8.00am, with an all-day lunch, and dinner featuring light meals to hearty options.
T: 23 953 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.crownbeach.com
T: 21 003 E: email@example.com www.islanderhotel.co.ck
SAILS RESTAURANT & iSOBAR
Located on the main road in Muri village, The Rickshaw Café is a casual Asian street-style café that serves Vietnamese, Indonesian, Chinese, Malaysian and Thai cuisine. Bookings recommended. Open from 5.30pm.
Featuring epic beachfront views of Muri Lagoon, Sails offer Pacific cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days - 9am until late. The iSOBAR happy hour is 3pm-6pm with live music on Friday nights. Sails also available as private venue for parties & weddings. Tourism award winner 2016-7.
The Progressive Dinner Tour takes you to the homes of Cook Islands families to share their tasty local food, and their stories. This is a relaxed wine and dine experience visiting three homes for entrée, mains, and dessert. When enjoying your meals at each home, you will be delighted by the sounds of local ukuleles, guitar and voices of the small string band that will accompany you throughout your local dining experience. Monday and Thursday from 5.30pm. T: 20 639 • www.cookislandstours.co.ck E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: 22 232 or 75 449 E: email@example.com
T: 27 349 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.sailsrestaurant.co.ck
SPAGHETTI HOUSE PIZZERIA & GRILL
THE NEW PLACE CAFÉ
The Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill at The Edgewater Resort & Spa is conveniently located at the Resort’s entrance on the main road. Open seven nights from 5.00pm to 9.30pm, the airconditioned Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill offers authentic Italian cuisine with a selection of pizzas, pastas and other signature Italian dishes.
Tamarind House Restaurant is one of Rarotonga’s most recommended. Located at Tupapa, and set on 2.5 acres of lawns adjacent to the beach, Tamarind is just three minutes from Avarua. We offer a stunning location with the finest of cuisine, wine and beverages. Open for lunch Thursday and Friday from 11.30am, and for dinner Monday to Saturday from 5.30pm. T: 26 487 E: email@example.com www.tamarind.co.ck
Located in the courtyard of the historic Beachcomber Pearl Market and Art Gallery in Avarua, The Café is known for its locally-roasted espresso coffee, homemade cakes, and all day menu featuring organic breads, bagels and croissants. Home to the Rarotonga Vinyl Revival Club, relax and choose your own music from the extensive record collection. Open Monday – Friday 9am – 3pm and Saturday 9am – 1pm. T: 21 283 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Situated on the main road in Avarua, next to Goldmine, the New Place is a spacious, under-cover, open-air café/eatery offering the best of fresh tropicsually exciting menu will not disappoint. Relal cuisine with prompt and friendly service. Popular with locals and visitors, the diverse, viaxed atmosphere and lovely surroundings. Open 7.30am –11.30pm. T: 22 279 Fb: theNewPlaceCafeRarotonga
T: 25 441 www.edgewater.co.ck
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D I N I N G & E N T E R TA I N M E N T
Member of Cook Islands Restaurant Association Member of Cook Islands Tourism Industry Accreditation Scheme
BOND LIQUOR STORE
CHARLIE’S CAFÉ AND BAR
COCO PUTT BISTRO & BAR
Bond Liquor Store is the No.1 cellars in Rarotonga; check out our huge range. Over 600 wines and all popular spirits, liqueurs, beers, RTD’s, mixers, ice, etc. Open, Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday-Saturday 9am-7pm. Located on the main road, opposite Punanga Nui Market in Avarua.
Opposite the Airport, we’re world famous for our coffee and custard squares. Everything is freshly prepared including a huge variety of cakes, slices, pies, sausage rolls & sandwiches; plus cooked meals from bacon & eggs and eggs benedict, to island pancakes, ‘Caveman’ and ‘Mega Angus’ burgers (pictured). Open Monday-Friday from 7am-3pm; Saturday from 8.30am - 1.30pm.
Located at Te Akapuao Beach, Titikaveka, Charlie’s offer fresh, value-for-money, light meals, coffee and drinks, from 11am. Also open for dinner (licensed) with relaxing live music nightly Monday to Friday. Charlie’s also hire paddleboards, kayaks, snorkels, masks and fins, so spend the day with Charlie’s at Te Akapuao Beach.
Combines 18-hole mini golf and casual café (licensed) serving hearty food at Aro’a, catering for all ages. Sky Sports, live entertainment, and all-day menu. Open daily: 10am to late. Book for Sunday night’s BBQ Buffet with live music, includes a game of mini golf. Fun, food, family!
T: 24 776 • Fb: CafeJirehRarotonga
T: 28 055 • E: email@example.com
T: 21 007 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org Fb: The Bond Store
T: 27 181 • E: email@example.com Fb: CocoPutt Cook Islands
KIKAU HUT RESTAURANT
LA CASITA MEXICAN CAFÉ
LAZY TROUT CAFÉ
OCEANS RESTAURANT & BAR
A fusion of European and Pacific flavours, the Kikau Hut, located in Arorangi, offers a top-rated friendly and casual dining experience. Open from 6pm seven days a week with live music on Mondays and Saturdays, and a free transfer service available by prior arrangement.
Located on the main road at Muri village, this Mexican-style ‘street café’ serves a variety of dishes featuring fresh, authentic flavours including Mexican burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, pizzas, and a range of vegetarian options. Fully licensed. Bookings advised. Open from 5.30pm.
Relaxed private dining on the waterfront with vistas of the beach, lagoon and sunsets. Oceans Restaurant & Bar offers all-day dining including breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week: Breakfast, 7.30am-10.30am; lunch, 11.30am 2.30pm; and dinner, 6.00pm - 9.00pm. Happy hour is daily from 4.00pm-6.00pm.
T: 26 860 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: 20 693 E: email@example.com
Located in Avarua, The Lazy Trout offers stylish alfresco dining, surrounded by our beautiful tropical garden, clear blue pool, and the stunning views of the mountain. All-day breakfast, lunch, waffles, espresso coffees, loose leaf teas, freshly baked goods, fresh fruits smoothies, dinner, and full beverage list; the perfect place to relax and enjoy outstanding cuisine and excellent hospitality.
Popular bistro & meeting place. All-day breakfast and lunch. Serving a wide range of fresh ‘n’ healthy options as well as homemade breads and wood fired pizzas. Open 7.30am–3.00pm, Mon– Fri, 7.30am -2.00pm on Sat. Downtown Avarua, next to CITC Shopping Centre & Pharmacy. Punanga Nui Market within walking distance.
Enjoy alfresco casual dining while admiring the stunning lagoon view at Titikaveka on Rarotonga’s south coast. Located opposite the beach at the ‘Halfway Mark’, Saltwater Café uses fresh local produce and is open for breakfast and lunch from 8.30am Sunday to Friday. Relax and enjoy a Lavazza espresso coffee, an icy cold beer or cocktail.
T: 22 215 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.salsa.co.ck.
T: 22 025 • E: email@example.com Fb: TheLazyTroutRarotonga
SHIPWRECK HUT BAR AT AROA BEACHSIDE INN The Shipwreck Hut is an authentic beach bar situated right on the sand at Aro’a Beachside Inn. Perfectly positioned to enjoy the sunset sipping a famous ‘jam-jar cocktail’ or cold beer. Open daily from 5.00pm, the Shipwreck Hut offers a range of drinks and bar meals, with live music on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
T: 23 953 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.crownbeachresort.com
SILVER SANDS RESTAURANT & BAR Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings, the Silver Sands Restaurant & Bar offers à la carte, on Wednesday - Island Night, on Friday - Pig & Prawn Night, and on Sunday - Reef & Beef Night. Happy hour is everyday between 4.00pm6.00pm.
T: 20 020 E: email@example.com
T: 22166 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.aroabeach.com
T: 23 000 E: email@example.com www.muribeachclubhotel.com
TUMUNU RESTAURANT & BAR
VAIMA ON THE BEACH
YELLOW HIBISCUS RESTAURANT & BAR
Located in Vaimaanga, Vaima on the Beach offers indoor & outdoor dining options in an island setting, with the cuisine that has a touch of tropical flavours. Open for brunch/lunch 11am2pm, and dinner 5-9pm, seven days a week, Vaima provide transfers to/from accommodation on request.
The Yellow Hibiscus is an open-air restaurant overlooking the garden at Palm Grove. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is served 8.00-10.00am, light lunch 12.00-2.00pm, and a la carte dining from 6.00pm Monday to Saturday, with live music on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Sunday there is a BBQ with live entertainment.
TRADER JACKS BAR & GRILL Located on the waterfront at Avarua Harbour, Trader Jacks Bar & Grill is an ‘institution’ in the Cook Islands. The restaurant overlooks the harbour and ocean, and features fresh seafood and local produce. The bar is a well-known ‘watering hole’ specialising in pizza. Hours: 11.00am until late Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday. T: 26 464 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Fb: traderjacksrarotonga
The oldest restaurant in Rarotonga, Tumunu offers garden surroundings featuring local artifacts and memorabilia. With its tropical garden and unique dining room, the Tumunu menu offers seafood, vegetarian, steaks, chicken and a children’s menu. The seafood platter for two is a specialty. Open seven nights from 6.00pm. T: 20 501 • E: email@example.com www.tumunurarotonga.com
T: 26 123 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.vaimarestaurant.com
T: 20 002 • E: email@example.com www.palmgrove.net
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RELISH RARO Time to try something different in Rarotonga
ocated in a quiet area opposite the Prime Minister’s workplace in Avarua, the fully-licensed Lazy Trout Café & Restaurant is set in a tropical garden, adjacent to the swimming pool at the petite Wellesley Hotel, which has a surprisingly relaxed country club feel about it. The fresh, clean looking eatery offers alfresco dining with
all-day breakfasts, lunch and dinner. Waffles are a speciality – ideal for a brunch! We went for a relaxing lunch on a beautiful sunny day. The menu is unexpectedly noble with just about every food type we enjoy: market fish, lamb rack, pork belly, rib-eye steak, chicken – Japanese style, even a grilled eggplant salad and burgers!
Having said all that, I couldn’t go past the Wellesley Fish and Chips (with light beer batter). My partner went for Cook Islands traditional fish dish, Ika Mata, accompanied by crisp fresh fries; both were well-presented, delicious and good value. Lazy Trout’s dessert menu offers a pleasing range of favourites including fruit
Want to meet the locals then this is a good place to start!
platter, cheesecake, crème brulee, sticky date pudding, and fudge sundae. Comfortable furniture and attentive service add to the positive experience we had at the Lazy Trout Café & Restaurant. Simplicity is well represented in this eatery – simply good service, simply good menu, and a simply relaxing atmosphere. (T: 22 025)
perating on Mondays and Thursdays, the Progressive Dinner takes you on a journey into the homes of three Rarotonga families for entrée, main course, and dessert. You share the table and the conversation with each local family. Run by Cook Islands Tours (Avatiu Harbour), the Progressive Dinner circuit is well established having been in existence now for many years. Its continuing success is due to it being an authentic Cook Islands dining experience,
made all the more enjoyable when the hosts sing and entertain you. And, you won’t finish the night feeling hungry! Whilst this is an escorted mini-bus tour, it is intimate and familiar. The conversation genuinely flows between guests and the host families, so no awkward moments! After all, hospitality for visitors to a family home is allimportant to Cook Islanders; it comes naturally! The food is abundant, and the families are real. (T: 20 639)
Keep it simple, offer variety, and provide consistency ALBERTO’S RESTAURANT IS ONE OF RAROTONGA’S HIGHEST RATING RESTAURANTS ON TRIP ADVISOR. THE POPULARITY OF THE RESTAURANT STEMS FROM ITS CONSISTENCY, ITS SINCERITY, AND ITS MENU.
erry looks after front-of house, whilst Kathy takes care of the kitchen. They have owned and operated Alberto’s for fourteen years. Both Kiwis, Kerry was born and bred in Bluff on the South Island of New Zealand, where he met Kathy – both worked in the oyster industry. They came to Rarotonga for
a holiday in 2002, staying at the Sunset Resort, which is walking distance from Alberto’s. They returned in 2005 and bought the restaurant.
about the place. They even feature a salad bar; something we hadn’t come across for years. There is also a quaint way to book a table at Alberto’s. During the day whilst passing by, you can view the menu at the entrance to the restaurant, and if you like what you see, and want to book, you just write your name on the chalkboard.
The night we dined at Alberto’s the restaurant was almost full, but the service never faltered and the experience was delightful.
The first thing you notice about Alberto’s is how immaculately clean the exterior of the building is; and that carries through to the interior of the restaurant.
There is an old world charm
On arrival you are greeted by
Kerry behind bar; you have the option of having a predinner drink, or being taken directly to your table. Good old fashioned ‘meet and greet’ hospitality. Kerry’s genuine, attentive service is replicated in the service of the table staff. Alberto’s radiates a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for dinner, and the menu has all the favourites, led by their ‘rib eye steak special’ for only $36.00, which includes garlic bread and the dessert of the day. Numbered among the other dishes are: catch of the day, chicken breast, chilli garlic beef, and items from the chargrill. Pasta dishes and
Your hosts, Kerry and Kathy
curries are also on the menu. Tablecloths make a difference for dinner. This essential feature indicated to us that impeccable standards were important to this restaurant. Even the crockery is attractive. But we are here to eat! We found the menu reasonably priced, and the sservings are substantial. For entrée we chose garlic prawns served on a bed of rice, and a serving at the salad bar – perfect! For main course we relished the rib eye steak
discover paradise EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR Edgewater Resort & Spa
and prawns (with char-grilled jacket potato, cooked to perfection), and the charcoal swordfish broadbill (their signature dish). Scrumptious and filling are two words that best describe the experience. Located between the Edgewater and Sunset resorts, Alberto’s Restaurant offer good sized meals at reasonable prices, in a lovely dining setting, served by people who care. (T: 23 597 55 725)
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You can tell a good eating place when you spot locals there!
ew Zealanders Craig and Debra Graham have been enjoying island life for a few years now, since taking over Café Jireh opposite Rarotonga Airport.
The two eateries complement each other perfectly, offering a casual atmosphere, and some tasty eating and beverage options every day for lunch, and they’re open for dinner on Friday nights.
From Bite Time Café we ordered a sashimi, and the catch of the day, which was tuna – offered crumbed, battered or grilled with fresh seafood sauce. A couple of steps away at Body Fuel, we bought our smoothies. Everything is fresh and they use paper straws. We had a Super Skinny and an Energy UP, both good sizes, refreshing & flavorsome; you can taste the natural ingredients, and they actually feel good to drink.
Experience a Mega Angus burger; you’ll never forget it!
wo little gems, side by side, joined together by a sunshade at Punanga Nui Market: Bite Time Café & Body Fuel Café, the one-stop shop for all day eating.
Both eateries are value-formoney with good size portions; for $30 you can enjoy a meal and a smoothie, and finish with a coffee!
Café Jireh’s main ‘claim to fame’ is for making the best custard squares on the island (‘vanilla slices’ to Aussie), made fresh on the premises – few would dispute their assertion. They also make yummy brownies and slices, including the new peppermint slice. attentive service with speedy delivery to your table. In the joint dining area there is a lovely breeze flowing from the nearby ocean. At Bite Time Café the food is simple, but it’s tasty, fresh and good value. At Body Fuel
Café the name says it all – an amazing choice of smoothies and sushi. Located next to the playground, Punganui Market nearby Avarua. (T: 23 577 – Bite Time or 23 575 Body Fuel)
eluga is part of the changing of the café guard in Rarotonga. Opening on the main road at Arorangi not so long ago, the hugely popular Beluga is as different an eatery as its name implies. Vegetarian friendly,
Order at the counter and food and drink is delivered to your table. The staff provided
Craig is the cook; he devotes his workday to making hearty meals ordered off the wideranging blackboard menu. Favourites include bacon and eggs, eggs benedict, fish and chips, a variety of meat pies, and burgers: ‘Caveman’ and ‘Mega Angus’ burgers being the most popular.
Pictured above, Craig delivers a ‘Mega Angus’ burger to a hungry diner. This burger contains double beef patties, cheese, bacon, onion, tomato, lettuce, egg, and, of course, chips.
Friendly service, fresh, affordable food, and all the coffee options, plus a convenient location, are just some of the reasons to pop in and say hello to Debra and Craig at the unpretentious Café Jireh. (T: 24 776)
Beluga has become a favourite with locals, expats and visitors alike simply because it is different, the menu is attractive, and the coffee is as good as it gets in Rarotonga. No visit to the island by a coffee devotee is complete without a breakfast, brunch or lunch at Beluga. (T: 27 788)
Live on Raro
“There is something going on every night. There is so much local talent, so much diversity,” said Ian.
“Anania Brown as a soloist plays at Crown Beach on Thursdays, Castaway Resort on Friday, and Charlie’s Café & Bar on a Monday. The rest of the week he plays with other people, like The Flying Jandals (with me) at Coco Putt Ale House on Sunday night.
“There are string bands – mostly traditional music – ukuleles or/and acoustic guitar; they have a band playing every Friday at the Game Fishing Club, and another at the Anchorage Restaurant on Sunday.” Ian said there were too many solo artists to mention them all by name, so we asked him to name a few. “There are lots of the solo acoustics artists including Kura Happ, Rio Taripo, Lincoln Mail, and Anania Brown. Some
“Rio as a soloist performs at Manuia Beach Resort on Sunday night; he also plays with Anania on Thursdays at the Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar”.
Ian Wheeldon chats about live music on Raro
Pushed to single out a favourite solo artist, Ian said he enjoys listening to Kura Happ. “She has got heaps of talent as well as having this amazing gorgeous voice, and being a very gifted guitarist. I like the way she uses a loop pedal to create songs from just her voice and beats on the guitar. She’ll build it up gradually from nothing into a really full on song. She’ll mix the traditional with crowd pleasers from the 80s and 90s.” We asked Ian about duets.
Kura and Mo
“Kura Happ and Mo on Friday at Sails comes to mind, and there is Rio and Anania, Tani and Rose – they deserve a big mention as they’ve been on the Raro music scene for long time – they perform at the Anchorage, Palm Grove and
Vaiana’s Beach Bar”. When it comes to local bands Ian modestly mentions his own band, The Rockin’ Jandals. “That’s Me, Mo and Anania performing as The Rockin’ Jandals – we don’t go beyond the 80s with our music – on Sundays we’re at Coco Putt Ale House, on Tuesdays at Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar (minus Mo)”. Ian assured me that Trader Jacks on Friday could be very entertaining with Rere and his band, because local musicians often jump in and jam with the band. Finally, we would be amiss if we didn’t ask Ian about his vinyl roadshow. “A few years ago we started collecting vinyl records and bought a record player for background music at The Café. People are invited to put on their own vinyl records to listen to over a coffee or a meal.” Ian, a career DJ from the UK, also hires himself out, with his record collection, for weddings, parties and special events. “And, we regularly put on our ‘vinyl roadshow’ at Trader Jacks and the Fishing Club.”
perform with other artists as well, such as Rere at Trader Jacks on Friday nights. Kura plays with Mo on Fridays at Sails Restaurant, and also on Sundays at Castaway Resort.
ccording to Ian, compared to other islands in the South Pacific, Rarotonga is spoilt for choice of accessible live music.
chclubhot uribea el.c m . w om w Phone 23000 to book w
WE HAD A BRIEF CHAT ABOUT LIVE MUSIC ON RAROTONGA WITH EXPAT BRIT. IAN WHEELDON: LOCAL MUSICIAN; PROPRIETOR OF THE CAFÉ; DJ AND FOUNDER OF THE RAROTONGA VINYL REVIVAL CLUB.
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THE SHOPPING LIST
Fun to look into a treasure chest
o matter where you are on the island your not far from a Treasure Chest shop: Mana Court on the main road in Avarua, the Edgewater Resort in Arorangi, Pacific Village on the main road in Muri, and at the Rarotonga Beach Resort in Aroa. This is a place to find inexpensive souvenir and gift ideas. They also have imported island wear, vacation clothing, footwear, jewellery and novelty items.
Pacific Weave - a unique cultural shopping experience
Pacific Fabric Art for your Home
“A young Cook Islands weaver, Nanave, is making her weaving creations in store. You can join her every day for a lesson in traditional weaving. Learn a new skill and have a unique cultural experience”.
Anne started Tivaevae Collectables in 2005 supplying quality Pacific- influenced ‘machine washable’ bedcovers to the resorts and the range of products grew from there. Now you can buy from the showroom or online!
ussian-born Rarotonga entrepreneur Tatiana Burn opened a new store in 2016 showcasing the art of weaving from around the Pacific, aptly named Pacific Weave.
“We have many special creations from around the Pacific baskets, platters, home decorations, carvings, tapa, mother-ofpearl and woven adornments. All items are hand made by gifted artisans from many island countries including the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Fiji and, of course, our beautiful Cook Islands,” said Tatiana.
Pacific Weave is located next to the Perfumes of Rarotonga factory in Panama - just before Rarotonga Airport. Look for a marae entrance with a large Tangaroa looking down on you. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am-4.30pm, Saturday 9.00am to 1.00pm. Tel. 27535. Tours welcome.
f you love the colours and contours of the Cook Islands and the intricacy of applique embroidery then you will want to see the range of bedding, home décor, pareu and accessories at Tivaevae Collectables. Take home something to remind you of your visit to the Cooks! Located opposite the weather station at Nikao near Rarotonga airport, look for their MUST STOP SHOP sign on the main road. Amicable owner Anne Reid will greet you in the showroom down the driveway.
Wonderful skincare at the market
Id.CK where the classics meets the cool
here is no place quite like Id.CK in Rarotonga. Male or female this is the place to get into your Cook Islands fashion identity (id.CK) – beachwear, casual day wear, evening wear, shorts and tops, shirts, shirts, jandals, shoes and a great range of Cook Islands t-shirts for all ages. Open 9.00am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday, you will find the id.CK store in Banana Court, on the main road in the heart of Avarua.
GETTING TO KNOW ‘ISLAND CRAFT’ A chat with Fletcher Melvin about traditional carvings, crafts and jewellery in Rarotonga
How long has Island Craft been around?
he company was founded in 1943 by my grandparents so I’m 3rd generation. I am the managing director, and my wife and mother are directors. Our main retail outlets are
Is there a problem exporting wooden products?
located on the main road in Avarua, and at Rarotonga International Airport.
As long as they are varnished and free of insect holes then there should be no problem in a visitor’s home country. None of our products are listed on the endangered species list, and we provide visitors with a ‘certificate of origin,’ on request.
Tell us a little about Island Craft Our core business is Cook Islands souvenirs and pearl jewellery, but we also specialise in awards and engraving. We also have the largest floral services on the island. Our new product lines include coconut soap, oil and liquid soaps, which we manufacture ourselves. Why shop at Island Craft? We’re the oldest souvenir shop in the Cook Islands
are harvested. One of our suggestions for visitors is to take home a Tangaroa carving, as it is a unique symbol of the Cook Islands, as is the beautiful black pearl.
What about Island Craft’s online shop?
so we have a vast knowledge of indigenous arts and crafts. We are also the oldest pearl retailer with strong family ties to the northern group islands where the pearls
We offer our most popular items online at islandcraft. com, and we can send them anywhere in the world. We also make custom carvings and jewellery, which can be requested through facebook. com/polynesiandesigns. T: 22 009 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: islandcraft.com
ito Cook Islands is the only business on the island producing cold pressed coconut oil used in a carefully thought out range of naturally skin care products.
Products include Tamanu oil, after sun, body lotion, moisture cream, massage oils, oils for hand and lips, and various coconut oils for cooking. Rito’s tiny factory is on the main road in Tikioki (just past Fruits of Rarotonga), or better still visit the Rito product hut at Punanga Nui Market on Saturday mornings and talk with the owners, Susan and Robert. Ask them about the Rito zero waste policy in production.
Beer t-shirts are great souvenirs
eer from the Matutu Brewing Company is classic, and so is their range of T-shirts and merchandise. Collector’s items for you or your beer loving friends back home! You can buy the Mai Lager and Kiva Pale Ale from many respectable cafes, restaurants, resorts and bars in Rarotonga, but you can only buy the merchandise from the brewery just off the main road at Tikioki. Their mini brewery is usually open for tours at 12pm and 1pm, but you can also buy merchandise at other times – call first to check (T: 262 88)
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SEE & DO
Pa’s final trek was his 5000th
FOR THIRTY-THREE YEARS PA TEURUAA HAS ENCHANTED THOUSANDS OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS, ESCORTING AND GUIDING THEM OVER RAROTONGA’S RUGGED CROSS-ISLAND TRACK.
ow he has closed this chapter in his working life and handed over the cross-island trekking duties to his nephew Bruce Goldsworthy. Pa continues to escort visitors on his Medicinal Nature Walk; a gentler trek through fields and jungle, pointing out plants used in ancient herbal remedies. As a child, his grandmother had sent him to gather medicinal leaves and herbs for traditional healing. Pa grew knowledgeable about natural medicines. Today, his reputation as an herbalist has attracted medically oriented people, and interested visitors, from around the world.
One of the most charming and intriguing characters visitors are likely to meet in the Cook Islands, Pa Teuruaa reflected emotionally on the past 33 years at an official gathering in May, when a commemorative plaque was unveiled at the official start of the cross-island track. Pa thanked well wishers for attending the occasion, uttering sincerely: “My heart is broken today; but it is healing!” The well wishers included the Government’s finance minister Mark Brown, who joined Pa on his final trek; Sam Crocombe a close relative who had been with Pa at the time of his marathon swim from Moorea to Tahiti in the mid
Pa leads his 5000th and last cross-island trek
A true story of Pa, Rarotongan hero and his return journey to Tahiti PA, ONE OF COOK ISLANDS ‘LIVING TREASURES’, IS A SPIRITUAL AND DIGNIFIED MAN, SURROUNDED BY IN A SERENE AURA THAT INSTANTLY CALMS THOSE IN HIS PRESENCE.
Pa’s commemorative plaque at the start of the cross-island track
1980s, as was Don Carlaw; and Gerald McCormack, who had marked out the crossisland track in the early 1980s. Representing the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, who hosted the celebration, were senior management members Karla Eggelton and Metua Vaiimene. When the ceremony concluded Pa enthusiastically led the way one last time across the crossisland track with around thirty trekkers. Gone from the cross-island track, but not forgotten! Pa is a guru of nature, and he will reign forever over the mountains and jungles of Rarotonga in the hearts and minds of all those who trekked the highlands with him. As his successor Bruce Goldsworthy said on the day: “I have got some big shoes to fill” – although in actuality, Pa doesn’t wear shoes!
oday he is well known as the pioneer of eco tourism in Rarotonga, and for his unique ‘medicinal nature walk’, but in his younger years he was a professional lifeguard, ironman competitor, surfer, and accomplished ocean swimmer, who once swam from Moorea to Tahiti in French Polynesia to connect to his ancestors. He was 39 years old when he accomplished the swim in 1985, a distance of 22 km. Pa and the Dolphins: A true story of Pa, Rarotongan hero and his return journey to Tahiti is an illustrated children’s book that tells of his great personal adventure and Polynesian spirituality. The story of Pa’s extraordinary swim and his intimate encounter with a pod of dolphins is beautifully expressed and illustrated by his wife, Jillian Sobieska. An authentic souvenir from the Cook Islands, the book can be purchased from the Bounty Bookshop.
Rarotonga's BIGGEST selection of
• Books • Newspapers • Maps • Postcards • Paperbacks • Stationery
Phone Cards Available
Phone 26 660
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A DV E N T U R E S I N PA R A D I S E
OFF SHORE ADVENTURES
Dive with the Big Fish!
Game fishing with the Queen Enjoy a marine life eco tour
Paddling under starry skies
Kayaking at sunrise
here are few experiences as thrilling as game fishing in the crystal blue waters off Rarotonga. Teaming with a variety of large and small game fish, choose a half-day or full day with Marlin Queen Fishing Charters, and the waters around the island will offer up a sumptuous dinner! Marlin, sailfish, wahoo, mahi-mahi and yellow fin tuna are often among the catch of the day! Rarotonga is one of the less expensive game fishing destinations in the world, so enjoy! Call 55 202.
ffering interesting underwater and island sightseeing, a Raro Reef Sub marine life eco tour is a relaxing and enjoyable excursion for families and couples. The semi-submersible Reef Sub doesn’t go out far, so seasickness is not a problem for most. A visit to the wreck of the Maitai just off Avarua is a highlight, as is the feeding of the giant trevally. Informative commentary from knowledgeable crew is a bonus. Tours leave Avatiu Harbour 9am, 11am, 2pm & 4pm, weather permitting. Call 55 901.
abine and Sasha, operators of The Dive Centre (Big Fish) at Aroa Beach, have lived in Rarotonga since 2006, so they know the diving hot spots very well. If you have always wanted to try scuba, or you are already an experienced diver, The Dive Centre is a good place to start your underwater adventures in the Cook Islands, as they are a full service dive operation catering for all levels. Call for a chat about diving on 20 238 or 55 238.
A fun day out on Muri Lagoon
t sunset Muri Lagoon comes to life on a KiteSUP’s guided tour in one of their LED-equipped vessels of choice, kayak or SUP. This experience is a must for just about anyone visiting Rarotonga! Loads of fun for families: mum and dad in a kayak, and the kids on a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard). Very popular with couples! The 90min tour requires no previous paddling experience. Includes guides and exciting interactive fire show. Tours offered nightly at sunset. Must book (T: 27 877).
ff shore in Muri Lagoon is little island called Motu Koromiri (‘no touching’ island). It is the lunchtime destination for Koka Lagoon Cruises where a BBQ fish feast and entertainment is provided. Before lunch the glass bottomed boat trips through the lagoon to a marine reserve site for some quality snorkeling time amongst the colourful tropical fish and giant clams. The cruise takes about 3.5 hours and also features onboard ukulele playing and an ‘awesome’ demonstration of coconut tree climbing. Book on 55 769.
xplore the beauty of the lagoon through kayaking and snorkeling. Take snorkel gear with you on the kayak. The best time to go for a kayak paddle is around high tide; and a great experience is kayaking at sunrise to welcome the day! When hiring a kayak for multiple days, Adventure Cook Islands in Kavera deliver the kayak to your accommodation, and you can paddle whenever you like. Call 22 212, Adventure CI also do outer reef snorkeling tours, and scooter/bike rentals.
Conrad and Serena in paddling gear
It’s been a good year for Team Koka!
coconut tree climber. “They take pride in providing a great service. We treat them like family. The Koka Lagoon Cruises crew delighted to accept their award
Serena and Conrad return from Hawaii. L-R Tau Tetevano, Serena and daughter Tia Maeva, Conrad and daughter Reva Marie, Ami Miriau
ON FRIDAY 20 APRIL IN RAROTONGA, KOKA LAGOON CRUISES TOOK OUT THE COVETED BANK OF THE COOK ISLANDS VISITOR EXPERIENCE-CUSTOMER CARE AWARD AT THE 2018 AIR NEW ZEALAND COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS.
he next day in the northern hemisphere, Saturday 21 April, Koka Lagoon Cruises owners Conrad and Serena Hunter (Team Koka Hunters) finished first in the Mixed Masters OC1 division of the 63km long Kaiwai ’18 Channel Relay from Kaluakoi in Molokai to Kaimana in Oahu, run by the Paddling Athletes
Association of Hawaii. Whilst Conrad and Serena couldn’t attend both events, the Koka Lagoon Cruise crew demostrated their immense pleasure in receiving the Experience-Customer Care Award at the Tourism Awards Gala Night. “They were absolutely delighted to win the award,”
“I am very happy for our crew. They deserved the award because they do such a wonderful job creating an amazing experience for our guests, every day. They go out of their way to ensure everyone is having a great time”. After eight years in Muri lagoon cruise business, Serena said from the start they had always wanted to provide a quality product. Adding that
some of the Koka Lagoon crew have been with them from the beginning, including Papa Jack, the celebrated
Papa Jack, coconut tree climber
“When we arrived back from Hawaii our whole crew was there at 2am to greet us”. Serena has competed in the epic Molokai-Oahu race before, paddling solo. This year was the first time she has competed with her husband in the mixed relay. “Conrad and I raced together at the 24km Takapuna Beach Cup in February for a warm up. It was our first competitive paddle together. We have been training together since January in single canoes.
In Hawaii, they completed the gruelling 63 km relay in 6hrs 20mins. “One person is paddling and we interchange throughout the race. The other paddler is on our support boat close by. We changed over roughly every twenty minutes. 66 teams competed this year, from mainly Hawaii, but it is an international race”. Whether Team Koka Hunter competes together in the future is to be determined, but in the meantime its business as usual at Koka Lagoon Cruises. “We cruise once a day at 10.00am for around four hours. Guests get to do a bit of snorkeling in the lagoon, have a nice lunch on the motu, and enjoy some of our local culture. It’s a great day out!”
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A DV E N T U R E S I N PA R A D I S E
INLAND ADVENTURES Take a walk with nature
Too much fun!
n May, Cook Islands’ national treasure, Pa Teuruaa, completed his 5000th guided trek over the highlands of Rarotonga. Whilst Pa has now handed over cross-island trekking duties to his nephew Bruce, he continues with his other activity, the Medicinal Herbal Walk. Pa conducts a workshop on local herbal medicines-ageless, ancestral knowledge passed to him by his herbalist grandmother; followed by a peaceful walk into the jungle, fields and pristine inland; if you’re into herbalism this is not to be missed. Call 21 079; ask for Jillian.
here is more to Rarotonga than just beautiful pristine beaches and crystal blue lagoons! For those wanting an ultimate off-road adventure on the island, there is impressive combination for you to try! Led by professional guides, Muri-based Raro Buggy Tours and Raro Quad Tours offer the ‘roads less travelled’. Get off road, get dirty and enjoy the experience of one or both of these fun packed adventures that depart morning and afternoon, starting from the Muri Beach Club Hotel. Must book, call 23 000.
The taste of the Cook Islands The pulse of Rarotonga
Be captivated and charmed by Cook Island’s only Semi-Submersible Avatiu Harbour 5 min walk (west) from Punanga Nui Market
Ph +682 55901 or +682 55903
eer taste that is! Matutu is a ‘real deal’ local brewery that started in 2006. Located not far from the Fruits of Rarotonga, just off the main road at Tikioki, the tiny Matutu Brewery bottle fresh every day because they don’t add preservatives and use only natural ingredients. Most days at 12pm and 1pm your can just lob up and take their official tour, which includes free beer tastings. Call on 26 288 if you require a transfer, or to check the tour is on.
ot to be confused with Muri Night Market (which is essentially fast food vendors), Punanga Nui Cultural Market offers fresh fruit, veggies and fish, island food, recorded island music, clothing, handicrafts, black pearls, jewellery, massage, art works, coffee and pastries, just about everything! Open Monday to Friday from 8am-4pm, Saturday (closing at 2pm) is the main market day, which includes a live cultural show. Next to Avatiu Harbour, near Avarua, the Market is a 'must do' for visitors to the Cook Islands.
E-cycle around the island
A round of mini golf and a hearty meal
t’s easy! With a Tik-ebike you have three cycling options: cycle as you would on a normal bicycle, peddle assist up to 35kph, or go fully electric. The operators of Raro’s everpopular electric tuk tuks, Tik-etours, have introduced this novel environmentally friendly way to see the island, getting some exercise on the way! You can circumnavigate the island twice on a single charge (a charger comes with the rental). E-bikes are suitable for just about all fitness levels and ages. Call 28 687.
he name Coco Putt Ale House in Aroa is a bit confusing, but their motto says it all: Fun/Food/Family. Open daily, 10am until late; Coco Putt combines an 18-hole minigolf course and a ‘country club’ serving the heartiest of food on the island from bangers and mash, fish and chips, to fettuccine and pork ribs. Sunday night’s buffet feast with live music is special. For enquiries, or bookings for Sunday night, call 27 181. And, when televised, they show rugby, NFL, NBA and baseball games.
Tours leave 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm (sea conditions dependent) Bookings essential for 9am and 4pm tours
Please arrive 10 minutes prior to departure time
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SEE & DO Half & Full Day Charters Three boats available Shared or Private charters
Tokerau Jim with one of his drones
We provide refreshments, snacks, all safety equipment, toilet facilities and use the latest Shimano fishing gear!
Drone photography Fishing Every Day! Give us a call now...
Ph: +682 55202 A/H: +682 20683 E: email@example.com
www.marlinqueen.co.ck Avatiu Wharf, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
from the man who made pearl carving an art form
FOR THE PAST TWENTY YEARS TOKERAU JIM HAS WORKED IN THE COOK ISLANDS AS ONE OF FEW SKILLED PEARL CARVERS OPERATIONAL IN THE WORLD. IN RECENT TIMES HE DISCOVERED DRONING: WHAT STARTED OFF BEING A TOY HAS BECOME MORE THAN A PASTIME, IT’S NOW A BUSINESS!
hrough his new venture, Tokerau Jim Images, Tokerau has carried over his artistic ways to still and drone photography; he has the patience, and he has the talent. Take a look at Tokerau Jim Images Facebook page to view samples of his work.
Tik- e tours
“Personally, I love using the drone over the lagoons – especially at sunrise, the harbour is really picturesque, the cruise boats, the amazing ocean, and Rarotonga’s mountains”.
If you are in Rarotonga on holiday or for a special occasion, ask Tokerau about creating lasting memories for you – on land or from the air, or both! T okerau Jim Images T: 70 231 E: firstname.lastname@example.org F b: T okerauJimImages
“I’ve always been interested in
“My biggest challenge is scheduling the time between pearl carving and photography,
Tokerau Jim, the pearl carver
The Cook Islands Christian Church in Avarua
Cocktail happy hour hopping Personalised island tours Wedding limo service Airport transfers The most fun you’ll have on 3 wheels
photography, more recently I’ve been fascinated with drones. Over t wo years, I had fun learning the sk ills required for marketable droning. I spend a lot of time doing that, so I am tr ying to put some value on it.
and continuing to learn the best techniques in droning.
Blackrock from the air
Show your support and be environmentally friendly
Cruising on Muri Lagoon
Sunrise is such a special time
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SEE & DO
Everything you need to know about learning kite boarding in Rarotonga. A Q&A with KiteSUP, a certified kiteboarding school
Tik- e bikes
No Licence Fees How easy is it to learn how to kiteboarding on a holiday?
Electric bike hire
he average time frame from knowing nothing, to confidently flying a kite and getting a board on your feet is six hours. A background in sailing, wakeboarding, surfing, skateboarding, or other water or board sports helps. The prime trade wind months are June to October; these winds predominate out of the southeast making Muri lagoon the best place to learn. If you check in with us at the beginning of your holiday you can be sure to get started on the best windy days. You will certainly be intrigued, challenged and possibly addicted to kiteboarding after a weeklong holiday.
What are your suggestions to those who what to try, and how much is it going to cost them? A great option for those who aren't sure about signing up for an entire course is to try a group lesson of 3 or 4 people. A group lesson can easily be arranged through us if you are the only one in your party who is keen to give kiteboarding a go. This option saves you money (as low as $90 for a 4 person lesson), and it also gives
you the opportunity to learn from watching others. As another money saving bonus, we throw in a complimentary 1-hour kayak or paddleboard rental with each lesson you take.
realistic to be riding short distances both directions after a 6-hour course.
Can someone become 'quite good' at kiteboarding on a short stay holiday?
We are a one stop shop for all your on the water, and off the water needs! 1 or 2 hour paddleboard and kayak rentals are popular. Paddle beneath the stars on our fire on water night tour. Our three distinctly unique guided snorkel tours are a fantastic way to experience some of Rarotonga's marine treasures, or you can blissfully float along in a paddleboard yoga class.
The benefit of our teaching structure is lessons are just 2 hours in length per lesson. This leaves plenty of time to spend with your partner, family and friends, and also maximises your learning. You are able to absorb all the information and build your muscle memory patterns properly. For some it is
What other waterbased activities does Kite SUP Watersports offer from your centre?
We offer a great menu of services: paddle board and kayak rentals, surf ski lessons and tours, fire-on-water night paddle tour, paddle and snorkel tours, sea scooter tours, paddle board yoga, wind surfing, and retail therapy!
What combination of water-based activities do you recommend to visitors who are here for a week? A popular itinerary typically looks like this: Day 1: Paddleboard hire Day 2: Guided snorkel tour (with or with out sea scooters) Day 3: Fire on water night tour Day 4: Paddleboard yoga Day 5: Downwind tandem surf ski tour Visit KiteSUP Watersports Centre, opposite LBV Café, main road, Muri. T: 27 877 E: email@example.com W: kitesup.co
o tourism at it’s best!
PA'S TREKS Ec
Across Island Trek with Bruce
• About 3.5 hours • Reasonable fitness needed (not suited for those with heart, ankle, knee or hip problems)
• Transport & light lunch provided • Monday to Friday - weather permitting
Medicinal Nature Walk with Pa
• A gentle walk through the noni plantation and taro fields to the mountain. Enter pristine rainforest, visit the sacred Marae. • Hear stories of Pa’s ancestors and learn about local herbal remedies. • Tuesday & Thursday
THE TRUE STORY OF PA & THE DOLPHINS Written and illustrated by his wife Jillian Sobieska, this story will delight and inspire children everywhere. Available from Bounty Bookshop or directly from Pa and Jillian
Bookings 21079 or email firstname.lastname@example.org | www.pastreks.com
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Your one stop shop for tours and travel in the Cook Islands JETSAVE TRAVEL IS A WELL-ESTABLISHED TRAVEL AGENCY THAT HAS BEEN SERVING LOCALS AND VISITORS TO RAROTONGA FOR TWENTY YEARS.
rganising everything from flights and accommodation to the outer islands (or internationally), to local tour activities in Rarotonga, Jetsave Travel is a ‘one stop shop’ for tours and travel, located right in the heart of downtown Avarua. You can’t help but spot them on the ground floor of their newly renovated and rebuilt two-storey premises on the main road. The building is Federal Pacific House, named after one of their major financial arms being the Federal Pacific Group, who commissioned the
renovations. Jetsave Cook Islands general manager Julie Bateman said they are very proud tenants of the new building. “The ground floor is occupied by Jetsave Cook Islands, which encompasses both Jetsave Travel and our foreign exchange services Western Union and No.1 Currency; upstairs is the Cook Islands office of Federal Pacific Insurance,” said Julie. “The new premises reflect a wonderfully fresh, comfortable and modern ambience, not only for our
staff but for customers.” Julie said visitors who already have paid up accommodation on Rarotonga, often come in asking to sample an outer island during their stay. “Depending on their budget and available time, we might recommend the Aitutaki Day Tour, a short Aitutaki stay, or an combination of Aitutaki and Atiu. “If they are more adventurous, then we offer the possibility of visiting Mangaia. Mitiaro, or Mauke.” Sharing the ground floor with Jetsave Travel is No. 1 Currency. “They provide foreign money exchange – sell or buy. It is a live system, so we can guarantee that people have the best rates and minimal fees. “Most of the currencies we deal with are US, Australian, XPF, Euro, Samoan, Tongan, and Fijian”. Julie and the Jetsave Travel staff invite you to visit them in their new workplace to discuss any tour and travel opportunity within the Cook Islands (T: 27 707).
Live in There the THE COOK ISLANDS IS NOW ONE OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC’S MOST POPULAR HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS, WITH STEADILY INCREASING NUMBERS OF VISITORS FROM NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, NORTH AMERICA, AND FROM AROUND THE WORLD, HEADING THIS WAY; OVER 150,000 IN 2017.
he locals are friendly and family orientated, the culture is engaging; the beaches and lagoons, mountains and forests are pristine; and the pace is pleasantly 'island time’. It's not hard to love this little paradise! Cook Islands is also an agreeable place to live and work, offering many business and investment opportunities for those seeking out a ‘sea change’. Tourism-orientated businesses are especially attractive to couples and families, including accommodation, cafés, restaurants and bars, visitor and outdoors adventure activities, and, of course, shopping experiences.
individual businesses. It makes communication so much easier once you have returned home!
Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB) There is no doubt, the Cook Islands is a great place to do business, combining the need to earn a living, with a tropical lifestyle outside of the busy modern existence in which most people live. BTIB provide ‘official’ information about what is required to start, buy, or invest, in a business in the Cook Islands. T: (+682) 24296; E: email@example.com; W: btib.gov.ck.
Arcadia Retreat Rarotonga www.arcadiararotonga.com
If you’re interested in the Cook Islands lifestyle, then while you are here consider introducing yourself to those people you may be dealing with to buy a business in the future. For example: the Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB), Cook Islands Real Estate, Jeff Tikitau Real Estate, or
Call 00682 55289
Small resort on the Sunset Coast, Black Pearl at Puaikura (centre)
Ten reasons to invest in the Cook Islands
(Source: BTIB website) 1. A Government that welcomes foreign investment 2. Attractive lifestyle in a relaxed and safe environment 3. Developed infrastructure for business, quality housing for expatriate staff, and good health and education services 4. N o foreign exchange controls 5. Freedom to repatriate capital and profits 6. N o - wealth tax, gift tax, property tax, capital gains tax, death duty tax 7. I ncome Tax (company) 20% for residents, 28% for non residents 8. Value added Tax - 15% 9. W ithholding tax – foreign pay-outs - 15% (on interest, dividend, and royalty) 10. G ood telecommunication links with the world, and regular air services to New Zealand, Australia, USA and French Polynesia.
Drone photography by Tokerau Jim
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Cook Islands: is no place quite like it! A selection of ten businesses FOR SALE in Rarotonga* 1. Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours: Unique, award-winning cycling experience (POA) 2. JJ’s Retreat: Small friendly retreat – home and income ($820,000+VAT)
3. Holiday Homes on Muri: Two well-located luxury homes ($690,000)
4. Black Pearl at Puaikura: 12 guest rooms + residence & pool across on Sunset Coast (POA)
Le Rendez-Vous Café & Bistro, close to Rarotonga Airport
The unique experience of Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours
5. Huge warehouse with accommodation Includes a two-storey home and vacant waterfront land for NZD$1,500,000
6. Le Rendez-Vous Café & Bistro: French style eatery next to Rarotonga Airport ($150,000+VAT) 7. Black Watch Fishing Charter Boat: 30ft sports fishing boat in Avarua ($165,000+VAT)
8. Anchorage Restaurant & Bar: Popular eatery located at Sunset Resort ($335,000) 9. Ikurangi Eco Retreat: Small, multi award-winning lifestyle resort with pool (POA) 10. Iconic gourmet bakery & café : Located in heart of Muri Village (POA)
*The above businesses were for sale at the time printing.
‘Home and income' property. Live in one and rent the other or rent both when not on the island
Tourism Rental accommodation; small complex with absolute beachfront.
Local knowledge goes a long way! COOK ISLANDS REAL ESTATE (CIRE) PARTNERS, PETER HEAYS FROM NEW ZEALAND, AND CAREY WINTERFLOOD FROM AUSTRALIA, HAVE COMBINED LOCAL BUSINESS EXPERIENCE OF OVER 30 YEARS, WITH NZ QUALIFICATION. BOTH ARE PERMANENT RESIDENTS (PR) WHO OVER THE YEARS HAVE HAD PERSONAL OWNERSHIP OF NUMEROUS RAROTONGABASED HOTELS, MOTELS, CAFÉS, AND SELF CONTAINED ACCOMMODATION.
e provide firsthand and realistic expectations to clients exploring business opportunities in the Cook Islands; we know what is involved in the buying, owning and ongoing operation of local businesses,” said Carey
“Being ex-pats, and not having family ties to the land, we are constantly privileged with information from vendors that may, at times, be too sensitive to discuss within those circles. We often hear that this is why clients are happy to deal with us. We complement
this aspect by drawing on our years of association with local law firms, government departments, foreign investment, immigration, banks, loans officers, and valuers”. Carey said CIRE are also familiar with local tradespeople, especially NZ and Australian certified, so they can make recommendations to investors wanting to build on their newly acquired assets. “Outside of email and telephone contact, we prefer to not tie ourselves to an office location. We have learnt that a more relaxed and informal style is the preferred method of introduction, so
we meet our clients at a café, or simply on the verandah of their accommodation”. When asked, Carey ‘rattled off ’ the following businesses CIRE have on their books at the moment: “An ultra-luxury boutique accommodation complex on the white sandy shores of Aitutaki; two beautifully presented holiday homes in Muri – high-end furnishings, and a true turn key operation; a unique luxury ‘glamping’ complex - winner of multiple tourism awards; a home and income, that is a two bedroom home with rental cottage on site, only 200m to the beach; a beautifully renovated warehouse with
Local business agents Peter Heays and Carey Winterflood at the office
1-bedroom accommodation, plus a 2-story residential property (3 bedrooms) with additional development land to the waterfront (total of 2263sqm); a rural retreat set inland and spread over 4000sq m delightful, lifestyle
property, with home and rental cottages. “Or, if the outer islands are your dream – we have many vacant sections on the beautiful island of Aitutaki ready for development!”
With over 30 years experience serving the Cook Islands and investors. Full and complete knowledge of local land laws, rules and Government regulations. We are with you right from the from start and all the way to settlement. Local company, sensitive and discreet —buying and selling—Your No.1 choice.
CAREY WINTERFLOOD +(682) 55678 PETER HEAYS +(682) 55289 www.cookislands-realestate.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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Hokule'a, the Mother Ship: what she meant to me, and my generation. By Jean Tekura Mason, curator, Museum Cook Islands at Taputapuatea IT WAS JUNE 4TH 1976, THE RADIO ANNOUNCER SAID THERE WERE ABOUT 20,000 PEOPLE DOWN AT THE PAPE'ETE HARBOUR TO WELCOME HOKULE'A, ALTHOUGH OTHER ESTIMATES AROUND THE TIME HAVE PUT IT HIGHER. THE MINUTE HOKULE'A WAS SIGHTED ON THE HORIZON, THE MASSES STARTED CHEERING. I STRAINED MY EARS TO HEAR BETTER.
o my child's mind this was truly an amazing feat in more ways than one, for the number of people welcoming this voyaging canoe was greater than the population of the Cook Islands. I imagined people wading from the vaka to the shore being met by chanters, dancers and officials. Flower 'ei garlands were piled to the top of their heads, while the excited masses surged into the water around them. It had taken just over a month to get to Tahiti from Maui in Hawai'i. Another reason the day was so memorable was that it was also my birthday. Something so auspicious occurring on my birthday how could I ever forget that date? Hokule'a, this replica of an ancient Hawaiian voyaging canoe, became the catalyst for other Polynesians to build their own vaka, even if that didn't come to fruition for another 12 years beginning with Sir Tom Davis's vaka based on an ancient Society Islands model. Sir Tom Davis named this double-hulled voyaging canoe, the first built since the 1930s*, Takitumu, after the original one from Samoa, which has featured much in the history of the settlement of both
Hokule'a under sail
Aotearoa-New Zealand and the Cook Islands. Others were to follow: Te Au O Tonga, also built by Sir Tom Davis, Hawai'i Loa (Hawaii), Tahiti Nui (Tahiti) and the flotilla of voyaging canoes that came afterwards from the outer islands and other Pacific Islands during the 1992 Pacific Arts Festival held here. They was Maire Nui (Mauke), Te Rangimatoru (Mangaia), Enua Manu (Atiu), Te Roro Nui (Mitiaro), and Te Aurere (Aotearoa-New Zealand). On 4th June 1976 our whole school came to a standstill everyone had their ears glued to the class radio. This was before TV had arrived in the Cook Islands. A radio was a
On this special day, we were all the same people: people of the Polynesian nation, the largest nation in the world. standard piece of equipment in the classroom in those days. The Curriculum Advisory Unit frequently made live broadcasts, or recorded plays and stories, for schools to listen to. Afterwards, our teacher wanted us to write something about Hokule'a for homework. I remember going home feeling completely enthused and excited by Hokule'a's journey, not just to Tahiti but also the return journey to Hawai'i, for it was an affirmation for us of our ancestors' skill at navigation, using only the stars and other natural signs to guide them over
Zenith Stars and Hokule'a
the vast Pacific Ocean on deliberate voyages of discovery and settlement. There was this remarkable feeling we were sharing with the Tahitians, that we were not celebrating another people's success, but our own. On this special day, we were all the same people: people of the Polynesian nation, the largest nation in the world. I wrote a poem: "Hokule'a, the mother ship, a symbol of our pride, She awakened our sleeping nation of Many Islands; She has reawakened Maoli/ Maohi/Maori pride". The press at the time said the word Hokule'a meant ‘yellow star’, or ‘Arcturus’, the guiding star. This was very meaningful to us as we did not know any of the Maori names of the stars in our southern night sky, save for one, Teakatauira, (which meant 'to be a student', appropriate really, for here we were, having to relearn our culture), yet our pre-Christian ancestors had known up to 300 star names. Over time, Hokule'a has come to mean ‘Star of Gladness’, aptly named because it made so many of us very happy that day. I have now found the Cook Islands Maori
Te Roto Nui
name for Arcturus, Tautoru, which relates to the traditional belief held by our ancestors that Arcturus was one of the ten pillars supporting the world. I have only found 25 other Cook Islands Maori star names so far. It's got to the point where we might now have to recreate most of the star names in our celestial pantheon. I remember feeling like I had just woken up from a deep sleep, yet at the same time I was disappointed to see my elders did not feel it the same way we youngsters did. They were only half-heartedly interested in anything cultural. My grandfather, Kairae Papa, who lived mostly on Mauke and happened to be visiting us in Rarotonga at the time, didn't know what all the fuss was about since he was still fishing using the traditional methods and the Arāpo (moon phase calendar), and voyaging long distances at sea at night in his paiēre (outrigger canoe), with nothing but the stars to guide him. He was still living the culture (and what was history for us was not yet for him!). We also learned the song called Hokulea no Hawaii, sung by Jean Gabilou, a popular Tahitian singer.
Hokule'a provided the 'wake up call' that has kept me attuned to my culture all of my life. I thank my primary school teachers in the 1970s who interested me in Hokule'a and all things Polynesian: Stan Walker, Teina Etches, John Herrmann, Tara Ina Papa and the late Ngere Webb. Most of the youngsters who were as enthused as I was back then are in a similar business as I am today talking or writing about Cook Islands Maori culture, or teaching and choreographing it, Connie Nukupera, Makiuti Tongia, Georgina Williams, Sonny Williams, Minar Henderson and William Framhein, to name but a few. It also showed me the artificiality of some of the things we had been taught about our culture. My first introduction to Cook Islands dance when I was 5 years old: it was parents' day and my class was dancing to a song composed over 70 years earlier. This well-known song, Ngapuariki (the name of Ru's vaka; Ru is a founding father/discoverer of Aitutaki) is usually performed with the dancers kneeling or seated, and all of the dancers use small mock paddles throughout
the dance, making paddling actions to tell the story of the discovery and settlement of Aitutaki. This of course as an absurd rendition of a past event – large ocean-going canoes were sailed not paddled! It is apparent by 1900 that we had lost much cultural and historical knowledge and were substituting history with myth. Even in spite of the news that filtered out later of the tension on board between the European and Hawaiian crew members, which was enough to cause the navigator, Mau Piailug, a Micronesian from the Caroline Islands, to take a plane home to Hawaii instead of returning the same way he came. All of these negatives didn't seem to matter (and they still don't). Hokule'a had done its job. It woke us up to our culture again, like it did the Hawaiians, and the triumph of that first voyage still endures. *Large ocean-going vaka with uneven hulls were still being used in Ngaputoru to journey between the three islands (Mauke, Atiu and Mitiaro) until the 1930s. * I mages courtesy: Museum Cook Islands
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10 tips on taking amazing photos of Rarotonga “TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY IS ABOUT TELLING A STORY AND PAINTING A PICTURE OF A DESTINATION. TO DO THIS EFFECTIVELY, YOU NEED TO EMPLOY A VARIETY OF TECHNIQUES. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU TEN TIPS ON HOW TO TAKE AMAZING PHOTOS OF YOUR HOLIDAY IN THE COOK ISLANDS”.
London-based Matthew Williams-Ellis: Documentary, destination and commercial travel photographer.
4. COLOURS AND PATTERNS Photographing colours and patterns, in part, follows on from the previous point about photographing details. It requires a similar mindset of looking for eye-catching elements within a larger scene. This time however, think ‘abstract’. In the photo above for example, although we can tell it is sand, sea and sky, I took the photo because of the four lines of subtle, complimentary colours.
8. ACCOMMODATION – BRING THE OUTSIDE INSIDE When it comes to a holiday in the Cook Islands, being able to stay in beachfront accommodation is part of what makes the experience so special. Having views of the turquoise Pacific Ocean from your bedroom is something you will never want to forget, and as such, something you will want to photograph. So bring the outside in by including some of the property in the shot.
5. TALK TO PEOPLE It is hard to accurately capture the personality and spirit of a destination without meeting and photographing its people. Cook Islanders are some of the friendliest people I have met. Greet them with ‘Kia Orana’ (‘hello’) and you will invariably be met with a smile. The Punanga Nui Market is a great place to meet friendly locals, find out more about the Rarotongan way of life and capture some great portraits. Have a fun chat first and your subject will always be far more relaxed when it comes to asking to take their photo.
1. SUNRISE WALKS If you want to capture that killer landscape photo, you are going to require an early start! It will (almost!) always be worth it though. I have photographed hundreds of sunrises all over the world and it doesn’t get much better than feeling the sand between your toes at 6am on Rarotonga. Look out for interesting foregrounds, such as pools of water, the shoreline or patterns in the sand at Muri. These objects will pick up the beautiful golden morning sunlight and add depth in the photo.
2. PANORAMIC PHOTOGRAPHY
Successful travel photography paints a photographic portrait of a destination. It tells a story. One key element in the story telling is setting the scene, and panoramic photography is perfect for this. With almost every smartphone having a panoramic function, it is also extremely simple. There is no excuse for not giving it a go. My one piece of advice is not to include too much in the panorama. Keep the composition simple and free of clutter.
The perfectly clear lagoon waters are one of the aspects that make Rarotonga such a perfect beach holiday destination. Underwater photography doesn’t need to be expensive. Waterproof cases for small digital cameras or smartphones can be picked up for around NZD$40 and will be an invaluable and extremely fun addition to your holiday photos.
7. REINVENT THE SELFIE
3. FOCUS ON THE DETAILS In contrast the to previous point, don’t forget about the little things in life too. Isolate the small, unique objects that shed more light on the personality of a destination. Think palm-tree leaves, coconuts, food, signposts, items for sale, and flower necklaces (Ei’s). The Punanga Nui Market on Saturday morning market in Avarua is a great place to enjoy this type of photography.
The world has an obsession with selfies. But, who made the rule that a selfie should always be of your face? Reinvent the selfie. Zoom out to as wide as possible and photograph your own feet, legs, hands or arms. When you return home and share your holiday snaps, your friends and family will feel like they were right there beside you, kayaking in the crystal clear waters of Muri Lagoon at sunrise.
9. EXPERIENTIAL IMAGERY Experiential imagery is great for two reasons. In the ‘reinvent the selfie’ - Tip 7, it makes the viewer feel like they are a part of the scene. It evokes emotion, which is a key aspect of photography. Also, if you have ever wanted to sell your photos, experiential imagery is high in demand. Whether you ask your partner to act as a model, or borrow people walking along the beach in the distance (as with the photo above), it will add life to your photos.
10. FLYING IN OR FLYING HOME On daylight flights, this is a fantastic opportunity to get some beautiful photos, especially if you have a well-positioned seat! The daylight flights in and out of Rarotonga are particularly spectacular, often enabling you to see the whole of the island in one view.
I hope you have a fun time soaking up the Cook Islands vibe and enjoy putting these 10 photography tips into practice. To join me on my photographic adventures around the world, and for news of upcoming exhibitions and travel photography workshops, you can follow along on Facebook or my website (just Google). Matthew Williams-Ellis
A I T U TA K I
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Ph.  31 810 Fax.  31 816 email@example.com A I T U TA K I â€˘ C O O K I S L A N D S www.tamanubeach.com
Kite Surďƒžng Tube Riding Water Skiingg Wake Boarding ing Snorkelling Boat Charters rs Deep Sea Fishing Spear Fishing Water Taxi Whale Watching (seasonal) Beachfront accommodation
E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 31651, 56558 or 75980
Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar +682 31009 email@example.com www.aitutakivillage.com
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A I T U TA K I
Our well-maintained and modern fleet includes • small 4 door hatchback cars • 8 seater MPV's • 15 seater vans • automatic scooters On the beach at One Foot Island
(Image: David Kirkland)
FAMOUS FOR ITS VAST BLUE LAGOON AND PALM-FRINGED BEACHES, AITUTAKI IS MORE PEACEFUL AND LESS CROWDED THAN RAROTONGA. WITH A POPULATION OF AROUND 2000 (AND NO DOGS), AITUTAKI IS AROUND FORTY MINUTES FLYING TIME FROM RAROTONGA. WE ASKED A LOCAL NICK HENRY, WHO IS THE GENERAL MANAGER OF TAMANU BEACH RESORT, FOR SOME INSIDER TIPS ON HAVING AN ENJOYABLE STAY IN AITUTAKI. Best places to watch the sunrise For those who are keen to be up before sunrise the view from Piraki lookout is heavenly. Looking towards motu Angarei and Motu Ee as the sun sneaks through the coconut palms and lights up the lagoon. Otherwise sunrise (May-Sep) when the sun is north of east the view from the Boat Shed verandah looking across the ocean reef break can be spectacular.
new rainforest organic coffee bean that tastes great via our retro Faema E61 espresso machine, but in all honesty
Top three ‘must do’ activities
of the old airstrip is good and anywhere along Amuri Beach from Tamanu Beach to Pacific Resort.
Best long walk on the island Depending on how long you want to walk, but starting in town at the Post Office and walking through the middle of the island past Kuramoo gardens and up to Piraki Lookout is a leisurely walk with gentle slopes. Take some fruit and water. Walking up to Maunga Pu is a little more strenuous, but she rewards you with great views!
Best places to meet the locals Almost every Friday afternoon, the locals compete at the various sports clubs around the island, and then of course there is church on Sunday. If it’s nightlife you are looking for our version of ‘clubbing’ is going to the golf and fishing clubs Wednesday through to Saturday, best time normally after 9pm.
Best places to watch the sunset Every sunset is special. Sunsets are delightful from the beaches of Amuri, right through past town. On Fridays, my wife Diane and I often share a glass of wine at the end of the Arutanga harbour as the reds and purples light up the evening sky.
Phone: (682) 31379 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.popoaraoceanbreeze.com
First ‘must do’ is slow down and start to feel the essence of Aitutaki
you can't go past Koru Café for coffee and my favourite there is the affogato!
Best cultural activity to experience Punarei Cultural Tours; I highly recommend you book this tour as a part of your Aitutaki experience.
Don’t leave Aitutaki without... …your jandals - just kidding - a stamp in your passport - if you haven't made a visit to One Foot Island (tapuae tai) then you haven't been to Aitutaki and experienced possibly the most beautiful tropical beach in the world.
Something interesting First ‘must do’ is - slow about Aitutaki that all down - breathe - now you are visitors should know? starting to feel the Aitutaki essence. Undoubtedly top of People of Aitutaki are proud the list is our that the first lagoon leader of our a lagoon cruise small nation, with any of our grandfather, Aitutaki's cruise Papa Arapati companies is an was born in absolute must! Aitutaki. They No2: Meet the named the locals -say Kia main road to Orana- whether the harbour Sir it's over an ice Albert Henry cream in town, Drive after him, a beer at the and the road fishing club, back inland or in one of from the dock our churches is named Lady - meeting Elizabeth Henry the locals is a Road after must do. No3: Albert's wife. Of Tamanu’s Takurua Island Night & Fire Dance Show Tamanu the nine prime Takurua ministers (since independence Best snorkeling spots Island Night & Fire Dance in the 60s), six have Aitutaki Best snorkelling is in the Show- this sounds a little self heritage. Also, in 1942, USA main lagoon - go with a local promoting, however, based on and NZ armed forces were lagoon cruise and stop off at the number of locals that come stationed in Aitutaki - they various spots - the sandbank for Aunty Marie’s pork its got built an airstrip and they off Honeymoon Island is to be right up there! pretty good, and each operator erected ‘u shaped’ bunkers that would house their aircraft has their own favourites Best coffee on the under camouflaged netting. around the island. If you island Some of the ‘u shaped’ want to snorkel off the main As the GM I have to say that mounds of coral sand are still island, base one near the end at Tamanu Beach we have a visible today.
YES, we do it all. Let my husband
andgreat I take you out on one A day out! of our Personalised Charters.
CK PEARL A L B CHARTERS 1.DEEP SEA FISHING - Fish the FADs and drop offs for Tuna, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi. Other ﬁshing available, jigging, live baiting, bottom ﬁshing and casting for GTs. Experience not required.
All Charters include, transfers, breakfast or lunch, hot and cold drinks, towels, snorkelling equipment, etc. Certificate of Excellence
2. PRIVATE LAGOON / SNORKELLING TOURS - Enjoy a day exploring our lagoon without the crowds. More snorkeling than any other operator, including the outer reef. Visit as many islands as time allows and enjoy a BBQ on One Foot Island. Timings are ﬂexible and families welcome. Half days also available. 3. SPEARFISHING - Spearﬁsh your own lunch or dinner, experience not required. Phone Give us a call for details. 31125 home
52 125 mobile Email: email@example.com
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Manihiki magic defines Cook Islands experience for European family THE BEACH AT TITIKAVEKA IS WORLD CLASS. SITUATED THERE IS A RESORT CALLED ROYALE TAKITUMU, ONE OF THE ‘HIDDEN GEMS’ OF RAROTONGA; IT IS ALSO THE WORKPLACE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE MANAGEMENT TEAM, TIM AND LUCILE MEYER.
im and Lucile, German and French citizens respectively, have had a love affair with the Cook Islands for over ten years, which has produced two children and helped make a lifetime dream come true. Through the recommendation of a travel agent in Germany, Tim discovered Rarotonga in 2007 on his way to Christchurch to study marketing and journalism at the University of Canterbury. Within twelve months Tim was back on a diving trip when he met Steve Lyon of Pacific Divers. Steve encouraged Tim’s South Pacific adventure, which has started with a backpack holiday, and progressed to a career in resort management. “Steve told me about Pacific Divers internship program and said if I was ever interested, to let him know.” Keeping that in mind, Tim returned to Christchurch, and met Lucile. “We moved into the same boarding house on the same day in 2008,” said Tim. Lucile was in Christchurch for three months on a plant and food research project. She had been studying biology and agriculture in France. “I wanted to work in food technology and came to Christchurch as part of that course,” said Lucile. On completion of their courses Lucile and Tim went back to Europe together. It took Tim eighteen months to convince Lucile to return to Rarotonga. “In 2010, we spent time in Australia and New Zealand, but came back to Rarotonga where Tim did an internship
with Pacific Divers for six months,” said Lucile. This was the beginning of a new, shared life for Tim and Lucile. Tim was born in Germany in a small town 70kms from Bremen. He was studying literature, theatre and marketing, and wanted to continue his studies in an English speaking country. Lucile was born in Gabon, Central Africa, to French parents who worked as pharmacists. When she was young they returned home. “I grew up in France in Grasse, considered the world’s capital of perfume. “My mum wanted me to learn English. At 14 I went to Canada for three months to high school staying with a host
“… we feel we have arrived at our destination!” family; that was my first real trip overseas!” When the opportunity arose for Lucile to do research in Christchurch as part of her course, she didn’t hesitate. “Then I met Tim!” Tim’s plan was to be a journalist, and Lucile wanted to be in project management in the food industry. “We got married 2012 in France, that was after two six months stays in the Cook Islands. First time we came as girlfriend/boyfriend, the second time we were engaged. The third time, in 2013, we
Tim and Lucile Meyer at Royale Takitumu
were married, and returned as managers of Etu Moana Resort in Aitutaki,” said Lucile. “Aitutaki is such an incredible place and my pregnancy there was such a great experience; it truly was the best place for us at the time!” After Yann was born Tim and Lucile wanted to introduce him to their families in Europe, so they decided to take a three months sabbatical and went on a 7500km road trip from northern Germany to southern France.
A serious health scare with his mother in Germany triggered Tim to leave the job after a year and a half with a plan to return to her side. “I resigned, but in the meantime our daughter Charlie Moana was born. Then, thankfully, my mother’s health stabilised so her crisis was averted and we remained in the Cook Islands.” Steve Lyon, who is also a wellknown environmentalist in the Cook Islands, offered Tim the
Lucile said: “But, we just wanted the islands! Our hearts were still in the Cook Islands!
With a population of around 230 people, Lucile said her family was immediately accepted as part of the Manihiki community. “Charlie was only nine weeks old when we arrived, and Yann was two and a half,” said Lucile.
“We came back and I worked at Castaway Resort as accounts manager”.
“Two blond kids coming to a remote island, they were ‘adopted’ straight away!”
Tim added: “Most importantly, I had an amazing half year with my son”. Then Tim became operations manager for Nautilus Resort in Muri, and its sister company Muri Beach Resort. In his new role, he enjoyed his experiences in fine dining. Michael Fosbender was the Executive Chef.
The house they were allocated was in Tukao, one of two communities on the island.
Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the Manihiki lagoon from the air
“His cooking was outstanding and very progressive on the island at the time. One of my absolute favorites was his rukau lasagna and yellow fin tuna tartar. I just love those local flavors!” said Tim. “After the limited access to fresh produce in Aitutaki, the job at Nautilus was a culinary extravaganza!”
opportunity to go to the island of Manihiki for four months as part of the Manihiki Lagoon Cleanup Project. Manihiki is in the northern group of Cook Islands, 1300 km from Rarotonga. It is one of the most remote islands in the South Pacific, and the home of the Cook Islands black pearl farming industry. Whilst in Manihiki Tim and
Ten things about Manihiki
“Our bedroom had an amazing view overlooking the lagoon,” said Tim
“The idea of privacy doesn’t happen in Manihiki. Everything is open! People just walk into your house to say hello, to drop off food, or whatever.” Tim and Lucile recall their memories of Manihiki in a colourful and descriptive blog http://azurecoconut.blogspot. com. One vivid memory for Tim was a day out on the Kaōa (coral head) with local friends.
“There was a local fishing competition and I was taken trawling for tuna with Papa Ben, one of the ‘big shots’ on the island. “It felt like we were the only ones on the ocean. All of a sudden he sped up and a school of dolphins were jumping in an out of the water in front of our boat. Papa Ben started screaming with joy at the top of his voice, and I couldn’t help but join in! It was like we were two eight year olds. We were so happy. It only lasted a short time, but it was so beautiful!” After four months the Meyer family returned to Rarotonga. Tim and Lucile soon began managing the deluxe beachfront property Royale Takitumu for its new, New Zealand-based owners John and Rose Dunn. John is a Cook Islander through his great-great-grandmother. “The future looks really exciting for us. With this property, we feel we have arrived at our destination!” said Tim. “Royale Takitumu is the ‘hidden gem’ of the Cook Islands tourism industry. We are on the nicest beach; and we have an amazing local team behind us”. Tim and Lucile are now ‘living the dream’ in the Cook Islands with their young family, working together in an inspirational property that they both appreciate and relate to. Of all their experiences over the past ten years, Tim said they grew and learned a lot about the Cook Islands people from living ‘the local’s life’ on Manihiki.
1. 234 inhabitants in two villages -Tukao and Tauhunu 2. Four drinking water stations 3. Most locals do the dishes and laundry outside with rain water collected in barrels and drums 4. No hot showers; only rain water warmed by the sun. Most people shower outside with a hose or bucket 5. No keys nor locks on the houses 6. One restaurant open twice a week, every fortnight 7. Lagoon is 28°C in winter, 31°C in summer 8. No dogs 9. A box of 24 beers costs NZD79 10. Manihiki grow the best black pearls in the world
Another day in paradise
a team made up of mostly local divers removed 233 tonnes of debris from the lagoon.
We immediately felt part of the community
“I hope the people of the Cook Islands can preserve the core of what the Cook Islands is all about; to maintain the love and the pace, and to retain the environment and village structures, which is what makes up the beautiful Kia Orana spirit of these blessed islands.”
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g the Starry sk y. Seein llution sk y without po kes or cit y lights ma the you appreciate life peacefulness of ck here. You sit ba look at the sk y and realise that are your problems te absolutely minu e compared to th universe and this makes me . appreciate life
MANY GOOD REASONS TO VISIT ATIU Atiu's harbour at high tide
ATIU IS ONE OF THE COOK ISLANDS, ALSO KNOWN AS ENUAMANU (LAND OF THE BIRDS). WHILST IT LIES ONLY 187 KILOMETRES NORTHEAST OF RAROTONGA, SOME SAY IT IS A WORLD APART! YET, ONLY A FORTY-FIVE MINUTE FLIGHT FROM BOTH AITUTAKI AND RAROTONGA.
Taungaroro Beach. Enjoy your own secluded beach. Atiu ’s beaches are so beautiful , pristine and peaceful; it’s a pity not many people get to experience them!
ATIU’S POPULATION OF 421 (2017) LIVE IN FIVE VILLAGES SPREAD OUT FROM THE CENTRE OF THE ISLAND ON A FLAT CENTRAL PLATEAU.
Atiuan-born Jackey Tanga spent many years in New Zealand and Australia before ‘coming home’ in 2011. Since then, Jackey has worked at Atiu Villas. Part of her job includes organising tours and activities for visitors.
ocated at the edge of the plateau are chalet style lodges known as Atiu Villas, made almost entirely of local native timbers and materials, featuring the polished woods of mango, coconut, red peanut, acacia, cedar, Java plum and other tropical trees. Surrounding the plateau is a ring of taro water gardens, and then the jungle-clad makatea (fossil coral reef). Notched into the cliffs of makatea are over two-dozen beaches, pristine and secluded.
We asked Jackey to caption some of her favorite images of Atiu that would interest travellers looking for a distinctive island experience in the Cook Islands.
Land of the birds. When the first Polynesians arrived they named Atiu ‘land of the birds’ because it was covered with birds then. Whilst that is not the case today, the Atiu community conservation program is actively re establishing Atiu as the ‘land of the birds’, resulting in rapid increases in most species.
Tumunu - Atiuans have taken drinking and turned it into an art form. Tumunu is a 200-year old tradition that secretly survived the introduction of Christianity. The tumunu is a place to taste the local brew, meet Atiuans, and learn the local gossip.
Atiu sunsets – warmth and beauty! Relax on the beach waiting for the sun to go down on a day in Atiu.
Our adorable cats Ginger & Frazzle. If Atiu Villas guests are missing their pets, our cats are a great comfor t to them!
Anatakitaki Cave is one of an excursion highlight. The cave inhabited by our ow is n Atiu swiftlet (aka kopeka). You will lea about the cave, the rn Anatakitaki. One of our legends is based here, but you ’ll hav e to come to Atiu to find out about it!
Your hosts Roger and Kura will make your stay an exciting adventure Phone: (682) 33 777 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org On-line bookings at www.atiuvillas.com - Free email & internet For more information on Atiu Island visit www.atiu.info
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Take home an eco-souvenir from the Cook Islands CO-OWNER OF THE DIVE CENTRE – THE BIG FISH, SABINE JANNECK IS FROM GERMANY. SHE’S BEEN IN RAROTONGA SINCE 2006 WITH PARTNER SASCHA, FOLLOWING HER PASSION FOR UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY, AND MARINE CONSERVATION.
ocated next to the shallow and pristine Aroa Marine Reserve, The Dive Centre is a popular starting place for snorkelers, and for visitors wanting to learn scuba diving.
Staff brief guests on how to enjoy the lagoon and how to help look after the reef environment. “We want our guests to have an absolutely awesome day,
Sabine turns candy wrappers into fashion items
but we want our lagoon to have a good day too!” Sabine is a pro-active member of the Te Ipukarea Society, a local organisation dedicated to maintaining a healthy and beautiful environment. “We try to make a difference, especially in reducing rubbish and the landfill,” said Sabine. A few years ago Sabine began picking up plastic candy wrappers, recycling and
A puffer fish spotted on a dive
crafting them into colourful wallets, baskets, handbags and other useful items. Today, friends and school children also collect wrappers for Sabine. These items have become fashionable pieces of art for sale; a souvenir of the Cook Islands that is truly different. Pop into The Dive Centre on the main road at Aroa Beach, seven days a week 8am-5pm, and take a look!
New attraction highlights the nature of Rarotonga live coral and clams, coconut crabs, hermit crabs, and local insects.
COOK ISLANDS’ TROPICAL ISLAND SETTING PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN THE ALLURE OF RAROTONGA AS A PREFERRED HOLIDAY DESTINATION, SO IT IS FITTING THAT THE BIG ISLAND HAS A PLACE THAT CELEBRATES ITS WONDERFUL MARINE AND LAND WILDLIFE.
t the time of print, the new Discover – Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre on the main road at Arorangi was on its way to completion for a September opening. The centre is located between Castaway Resort and Beluga. The innovative centre is the vision of New Zealander Stephanie Jansen, who moved to Rarotonga in 2015
to take over Raro Reef Sub – Marine Life Eco Tours. With a wide range of colourful exhibits - static and live - showcasing Rarotonga’s diverse living environment, the Discover – Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre also incorporates the Coconut Crab Café, and a booking office for the Raro Reef Sub. Many of the fascinating and
The centre also has a connection to Cook Islands Bird Rescue, so there is an aviary for rehabilitating injured birds.
NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR AN A1 MEITAKI AWARD Simply complete an A1 Meitaki Award form at any Cook Islands Tourism Information Centre, or at Rarotonga International Airport, and nominate an individual or a business in the Cook Islands for excellence in service to a visitor. When an A1 Award is given, the recipient receives nothing more than grateful acknowledgement and a certificate.
YOUR CHANCE TO SAY MEITAKI! Reward excellent service in the Cook Islands by nominating an individual or a business for an A1 Meitaki Award.
Since moving to Rarotonga with her young son Michael nearly four years ago, Stephanie has developed a genuine passion for the preservation of the local environment. Stephanie Jansen on board Reef Sub
historic exhibits come from the Cook Islands Whale & Wildlife Centre, which sadly closed late last year. Discover’s live aquarium exhibits will include stone fish and other lagoon fish,
Stephanie said the centre is a great combination of environmental awareness and entertainment. “Discover – Marine and Wildlife Eco Centre has been designed with all ages in mind, so there is something for everyone!”
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Travel magazine for visitors to the Cook Islands, including See & Do, Eat & Drink, News & Reviews, Shopping, and Local Stories.
Published on Jul 1, 2018
Travel magazine for visitors to the Cook Islands, including See & Do, Eat & Drink, News & Reviews, Shopping, and Local Stories.