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best rental experiences.
p +682 29227 e email@example.com / roadside assistance +682 54325
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LIFE 2 Banana Court, Call: 27534, www.facebook.com/thegoodlifestore
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PACIFIC PACIFIC WEAVE WEAVE
11/06/2018 10:37:23 a.m.
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inister Welcome from the Prime M and Minister for Tourism Kia Orana,
There is much for you to explore and discover, whether you are a first time visitor or a returning holidaymaker. 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
AWARDS 11 A1 Meitaki Awards recognising excellence in service
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!
In this issue INTERVIEWS 5 Meet the Queen’s Representative in the Cook Islands 10 Cook Islands biggest private employer CITC supports sustainability 27 Lifestyle sea change is a real possibility in the Cook Islands 28 Cook Islands’ hard working commercial traveller, Robert Skews
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.
ISLAND LIFE 8 Making the most of WiFi hotspots in the Cook Islands 21 Tropical fashion presented by id.CK experience – in our culture and traditions, as well as a wide range of recreational activities. 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 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN & PRINT: Ovato - New Zealand DISTRIBUTION RAROTONGA: 20 222 DISTRIBUTION AITUTAKI: 31 009 POSTAL: PO Box 30 Avarua, The Cook Islands
Every effort has been made to ensure that information and content in this publication is accurate; no responsibility is accepted for inadvertent errors or omissions. Copyright © 2019 Cook Islands Sun Ltd. All rights reserved.
DINING & ENTERTAINMENT 9 A great night out at a spectacular island show 19 Antipodes, fine dining at its best in Rarotonga 22 Charlie’s, a great 'chilled-out' local eatery SEE & DO 6 Learn about the Black Pearl industry of Manihiki 12 Helpful hints for first time visitors to Rarotonga 15 Getting married in Rarotonga? 23 Eco tourism on a bicycle 25 Kura Happ amazing entertainer and reef tour guide AITUTAKI 29 Life experiences for Tamanu Beach’s general manager COMMUNITY 31 Rare investiture of an ariki (chief) on Rarotonga 32 Cook Islands introduces eco certification for the tourism industry
FRONT COVER IMAGE: KURA HAPP (Image by Jaia Arai) See the article on Page 25: "Kura Happ is the real deal! Amazing entertainer and reef tour guide"
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No 1 in the Cook Islands THERE HAS BEEN NO EVENT AS ENGAGING FOR THE NATIONS OF THE PACIFIC IN 2019 THAN THE XVI PACIFIC GAMES, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN SAMOA IN JUNE. THIS YEAR WAS THE SIXTEENTH PACIFIC GAMES TO BE HELD.
Federal Pacific House, Avarua
to be a major sponsor of the 2019 Pacific Games. It was our privilege to collaborate with the organisers and the community to bring forth the best in our athletes in the pursuit of excellence.
wenty-four nations competed. It was literally a mini Olympic Games ‘Celebrating the best in the Pacific’. The Cook Islands came 12th in the medal tally, but who’s counting in such a fun-filled event that united the nations of the Pacific. Fexco Pacific was a silver sponsor of the 2019 Pacific Games where it featured its own brand of currency exchange service No1Currency. The retail network of Jetsave Travel agents Shona and Janice No1Currency across the “We recognise the best in Pacific, including Rarotonga, the Pacific and celebrate enthusiastically promoted everything that is Number1 in awareness and support in the the Pacific!” run up to the Games in all of its locations. Fexco Pacific is a private company owned by Fexco and Steve Peregrino the Group Federal Pacific focussing on Manager for Marketing three core products - money and Business Development transfer, money exchange of Fexco Pacific said: and business payments/TT's. “No1Currency was honoured
Fexco Pacific has operations in 12 Pacific region countries including New Zealand and the Cook Islands. It is also the largest Agent for Western Union in the Pacific. In Rarotonga the company’s operations are based in Federal Pacific House, which is located on the main road in the Cook Islands’ main business centre, Avarua, together with Jetsave Travel – one of the most respected travel companies in the Pacific. General manager of all the businesses in Federal Pacific House is Julie Bateman.
How would you describe Jetsave Travel and the services it provides? Jetsave opened its doors in 1998. It has been operating successfully since then and has grown considerably. New services have been introduced
People just walk in and chat with our agents about what to see and do. This year we launched our new website wwww.jetsave.co.ck. It is modern and very user friendly, and features sections including the ‘Hottest Deals Available’, ‘Flights to Rarotonga’, ‘Things to do in Rarotonga,’ and ‘Events in Rarotonga’. It’s a one stop-travel shop for all things Cook Islands!
What are some of the Cook Islands' trips Jetsave recommend? We offer all international and domestic airfares and accommodation for couples, groups, family reunions, religious journeys, sports trips, and more. Other services we provide include Outer Island packages (airfares and accommodation, transportation, and in some
No 1 Currency team in Rarotonga
cases – meals), Rarotonga activities, tours and shows. Our agents are never too busy to have some one walk in and chat with them regarding the services we offer.
You are part of the FEXCO group, who are they? Under the umbrella of the FEXCO group we are part of Fexco Pacific. This is a money transfer and foreign exchange service provider throughout the Pacific region. Fexco is an Ireland-based financial services and financial technology company focusing on bureau de change and payment card services. Fexco employs more than 2,300 staff spread between offices in 29 countries worldwide. The Currency Exchange Corporation is part of the Fexco group of companies.
No.1 Currency Exchange is an integral part of Jetsave Cook Islands, what services do they provide? Foreign cash exchange, Western Union money transfer services, International Business Payments. These are the main focuses of No1 Currency.
Jetsave Travel is located on the main road in Avarua, what do walkin visitors ask for most often? They want to know about the range of Rarotonga activities, island night shows, and specialty tours that are available, and also outer island packages to places such as Aitutaki, Atiu and Mangaia; but visitors also ask general questions regarding the Cooks.
Your friendly one-stop shop for the Cook Islands
Pay for 3 days get 2 free ! n e
How do you help visitors to the Cook Islands?
Opposite the Airport www.rarotongarentals.co.ck
Specialists for all local tours and activities and inter-island packages. Foreign exchange and money transfers INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC AIRFARES & ACCOMMODATION
“Best deals on the Island”
Located Main Road, Avarua email@example.com www.jetsave.co.ck
CALL 27 707
THE BEST RATES IN TOWN Main Road, Downtown Avarua T: 29 907 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
FEDE RAL P ACIFIC HOUS E
Western Union No.1 Currency
Image by David Kirkland
in the form of Western Union Money Transfers and Foreign Currency. Jetsave is fully accredited and IATA registered. We stand behind all our products, and part of our mission statement is to provide ‘the very best we can’ with all types of travel arrangements, ticketing etc.
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Meet the head Marsters THE COOK ISLANDS’ MONARCHICAL PRESENCE FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS WAS GREATLY ENHANCED WHEN H.E. SIR TOM MARSTERS KBE WAS POPULARLY REAPPOINTED AS THE COUNTRY’S QUEENS REPRESENTATIVE (QR) IN JULY. MARSTERS WAS FIRST APPOINTED IN 2013; THIS WILL BE HIS THIRD TERM AS QR.
I actually kept it on my desk for years until it disappeared. I don't know how I lost it!
Sir Tom recalls just after the Grimsby match that he was in the shower when the ‘great man’ Illingworth tapped him on the shoulder, and asked:
The symbol for the Cook Islands Queens Representative
“But every time the question was asked: what's that cricket ball doing on your desk? I told them the story of the Cook Islander and the top England cricketer!”
he Queen's Representative is the formal title given to the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, as Queen of New Zealand, in the Cook Islands. His Excellency Sir Tom Marsters KBE is a humble man of humble beginnings from the remote outer island of Palmerston. Following years in the Cook Islands public service, he achieved remarkable success in his political career rising to the position of Deputy Leader of the Cook Islands Party and Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. Sir Tom Marsters was knighted a Bachelor Commander of the British Empire (KBE) on 16 November 2018 at Buckingham Palace. The honour was bestowed upon him for his service to the public and to the communities of the Cook Islands. He has been married to Lady Tuaine (nee Wichman) Marsters for over 40 years, and they have three sons, Tom, Clee and Giovanni, a daughter, Eirangi, and a number of grandchildren. 2019 was also a milestone year for Sir Tom for another reason, he opened Marsters House (aka Palmerston House) on 8th July; a project he had been working on for many years on behalf of the tiny population of Palmerston island (est.60).
"Where are you from, young fellow? I hear you come from a long way off.” “I said: ‘Yeah, Cook Islands,’ to which he responded: "Where's that?" Sir Tom knowing Illingworth had visited New Zealand to play test cricket explained that the Cook Islands (then) was part of New Zealand. Sir Tom and Lady Tuaine Marsters at the Marsters House building site
had with him some workers from Tahiti. He had travelled extensively in the Pacific, obviously he was in Tahiti for a while, and also Samoa.” Sir Tom was the chairman of the board of trustees responsible for raising funds and building the project, a dream for the many families of William Marsters that had procreated on the island since 1863. Tom Marsters son Giovanni, a builder, facilitated the construction of Marsters
William Marsters and families in Palmerston in the late19th century
The grand opening date of 8 July 2019 was chosen because that was the date English adventurer and trader William Marsters landed on Palmerston with his families and workers in 1863. Marsters House is the last of the island hostels to be erected around Constitution Avenue in Avarua. “On the eighth of July, 1863, William Marsters landed on Palmerston with his three sets of families, and workers. He
"We're New Zealand citizens, but we're about 1700 miles
House, his older brother Tom, also a builder, was also involved. Much symbolic thinking went into the design of Marsters House, which included taking some of the features of William Marsters iconic tin house in Palmerston that still stands today. Sir Tom said there was also discussion early on to actually build a small castle to reflect William Marsters English background: “not that he lived in a castle
but because he came from a place where there were lots of castles”. The designers eventually settled on adding in a rampart-style feature to dress up three sides of the building. Another feature was the inclusion of five pillars representing William Marsters five original families. “Basically, Marsters House is a stop over place for Palmerston people going to and through Rarotonga. For example they come every other year to the Constitution celebrations in July and August. At other times of the year we will rent it out to visiting sporting groups and cultural groups to generate income to maintain the place. There are en suites, and also dormitory style large rooms; and we have a mezzanine on top.” Sir Tom said he was appreciative of the support of food, labour and funds his committee received from the various Marsters families and from friends towards the construction of the building: “This project brought everybody together. And, we were even getting contributions from the other islands, they’d just ring up and say: "There's a box of whatever coming... “People rallied behind us. I think maybe that's because we are the smallest of the islands, and also because we were the last to build here”. One thing all the Marsters have in common is intense pride in their English ancestor William Marsters, who settled on Palmerston with his wife and mistresses in the 19th century, which began the dynasty that today includes countless descendants living in the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Australia.
Entrance to Government House, Titikaveka
William Marsters was in his twenties when he arrived in the South Pacific in search
of adventure and fortune. According to chronicles he first settled on the islands of Penrhyn, then Manuae, before establishing his family and business on the island of Palmerston where he mainly traded in copra and bêche-de-mer (sea cucumber) with the notable Scottish trader from Tahiti, John Brander.
“So in 1964, I became part of his team; probably the youngest executive on his team. After the 1965 elections, I became the secretary of the party for the next 30-odd years. So I've been with the
“I'm very proud to be a Marsters” political system since the beginning”. On becoming the Queen’s Representative, Marsters presents his typical modesty. “I wasn't expecting it. The prime minister alluded to the point that government was thinking of honouring me, but I told him there were others who in my mind were more deserving of the honor than myself, and I still stand by my words”. Marsters resigned as Deputy Prime Minister to take up the role Queen’s Representative role in 2013. His knighthood came five years later in 2018, which was bestowed upon him for ‘service to the public and the community.’
The most celebrated Marsters today is the Queens Representative for the Cook Islands, Sir Tom Marsters KBE. He is certainly considered the leader of the Marsters clan, or the head Marsters! “I'm very proud to be a Marsters”.
Henry came back from New Zealand in 1964. I was still in my teens then, but my grandmother actually said that I should work with this guy. This person will transform the Cook Islands.
“Well, I suppose I've served the public all my life!” said Sir Tom.
Sir Tom Marsters KBE outside Buckingham
Amongst his achievements, Palace Sir Tom Marsters is also away, north east of New an accomplished sportsman Zealand in the middle of the having represented the Cook South Pacific Ocean." Islands in boxing, rugby and Illingworth was impressed, golf. He has also shone in adding: "You've kept the ball, tennis, lawn bowls, martial and I can guess why." arts, and cricket. Whilst he was in his twenties at the Grimsby Institute in Lincolnshire for two years studying international fisheries, Tom Marsters had the unique experience of playing against two of England cricket greats. “During my time in Grimsby I enjoyed playing second grade cricket as a batsman and a bowler. “The one match that stands out in my mind was a charity match between Yorkshire and Lincolnshire in Grimsby. On the other team we had the likes of Geoff Boycott (then Yorkshire and England batsman) and Ray Illingworth (then Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England batsman spinner and batsman). Illingworth was the Yorkshire captain for the match. “I hit 32 runs off the ‘great’ Ray Illingworth! After the match I took the ball with me!
I replied: "Yeah, because I'm going to tell all my friends and anyone who ask me about the cricket ball that I hit 32 with it off a former MCC captain!" Illingworth laughed and said: "Good on you son!" Tom Marsters was born on Palmerston and brought up by his paternal grandmother in Avatiu and Nikao on Rarotonga from the age of four. Later he attended Avele Agricultural College in Samoa to study general agriculture, before moving on to the Grimsby Institute in England to study the fishing industry. Sir Tom’s background in agriculture and fisheries naturally led him into a long career in the Cook Islands Public Service before he entered politics. “I was involved with the new era of politics when Albert
Today, HE Sir Tom Marsters KBE is the Queen’s Representative: “My role is to protect the constitution of the country, and to protect the interests of the Her Majesty The Queen. “I just have my secretary, who is a senior lawyer, but we have the backing of constitutional lawyers overseas. So any issue that affects the Crown, that affects the Constitution, I am well supported. “I also call upon the GovernorGenerals in the region; we have a good rapport, and a very good relationship with all of Her Majesties representatives in the region”. In conclusion, we asked Sir Tom about how he felt about the rapid growth of tourism in the Cook Islands, and if he had any concerns. “I have no real concern, to be honest. To me, tourism is our lifeline. I believe that provided we keep all the necessary amenities in place, our infrastructure in place, especially with the sewerage and waste management, and water…all of those things; provided we keep all of that in check, then I think there is room for expansion, there is room for growth and prosperity”.
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B L ACK PE AR L S
Pearls direct from the farm started their own separate farms, almost at the same time.
FARM DIRECT PEARLS’ TEMU AND LESLEY OKOTAI HAVE A LONG ESTABLISHED CONNECTION TO THE SOURCE OF COOK ISLANDS BLACK PEARL INDUSTRY, THE ISLAND OF MANIHIKI, WHERE THEY OPERATE THEIR OWN PEARL FARM.
The rest is history: the 1980s and 1990s became a boom period in pearl farming in the Manihiki, Penrhyn, and Rakahanga lagoons. By the mid 1990s there were nearly 300 pearl farms operating in these lagoons, and export value for black pearls was close to $20m.
SITUATED IN HARBOUR HOUSE ON THE MAIN ROAD AT AVATIU HARBOUR, THE FARM DIRECT PEARLS SHOWROOM EXHIBITS AN ATTRACTIVE RANGE OF BLACK PEARLS AND JEWELLERY. WE ASKED TEMU AND LESLEY OKOTAI, A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR LIVES AND THEIR LIVELIHOOD.
emu and Lesley met as students in Christchurch in the 1970s. After graduating they returned to Rarotonga where Temu worked as marketing manager for what is now Cook Islands Tourism, and later he took over the management, and Lesley taught at local primary schools. Temu then sought out jobs in the private sector in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea while Lesley taught at an International school before returning to Rarotonga eleven years later with their two children to ensure they would connect with their Cook Islands’ heritage. Temu was Chief of Staff for former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry for nearly eight years, whilst Lesley continued to teach.
Describe the Farm Direct Pearls business operation We became involved with black pearls through Temu's Manihiki connection with his father and brother
Unfortunately in 1997 Cyclone Martin destroyed much of the Manihiki pearl infrastructure. This was followed by a drastic downturn in world prices for pearls, and combined with a few spells of unfavourable lagoon conditions, saw many leave the industry.
operating a pearl farm, but with no business or marketing experience. Almost twenty years ago we decided to start a retail outlet to sell the pearls, and to sell pearl jewellery in an old colonial house owned by CITC. When CITC built the Building Centre on that site we moved to the shop next door so that our overseas customers could still find us! We have expanded our range of black pearl jewellery considerably since those humble beginnings. Today we cater for all tastes and for all budgets: from inexpensive lower grade pearls with simple settings, to sophisticated, elegant designs with top quality pearls set with 14 and 18 carat yellow and white gold.
How do you differentiate the quality of Cook Islands black pearls? Top quality pearls are high in lustre with clean surfaces; that is no imperfections visible on the surface in contrast to lower grade pearls that may
Farm Direct Pearl’s Temu and Lesley Okotai
have blemishes visible on the surface and may also have a dull surface or matt look which means they lack lustre. We always advise our customers to read the Certificate of Authenticity before making a purchase. The Certificate of Authenticity informs them of the grade of the pear: Perfect, A, B, C, D, quality, size and shape, so they can compare prices and see how each attribute affects the pricing of each jewellery item. Cook Islands black pearls are defined as such because they grow in the black-lipped oyster shell. In a harvest we find a wide range of exquisite colours:
for example peacock green, gold, silver, bronze, green, and aubergine. Some have a beautiful rainbow of colours. Those with good lustre will reflect the colours we are wearing. The name ‘black pearls’ is a misnomer because few are black in colour. Some people have the misconception that the darker they are the better. Colour is very much personal taste relating to such things as colours we like to wear, hair colour and skin tone.
Tell us about the development of the black pearl industry in the Cook Islands? The farming of the blacklipped mother of pearl
oyster started in the Cook Islands in the Manihiki lagoon in the mid 1960s. Peter Cummings, who was involved in the harvesting of the Golden lipped shells in Broome, Australia, observed the Japanese start to seed the golden-lipped oyster for pearls; he came to the Cook Islands and started a farm in Manihiki. Cummings successfully produced beautiful black pearls in the Manihiki lagoon, but because of disagreements with the island Council, he closed the farm and left the island. It was not until the mid 1980s when pearl farming resumed in the Manihiki lagoon, when the late Papa Tekake Williams and Yves Chen Pan from Tahiti
Today only the few with wellmanaged and substantial farms are able to continue farming, and only in the Manihiki lagoon.
What is the process of pearl cultivation on Manihiki? The Manihiki lagoon has always been an ideal environment for the blacklipped mother of pearl oyster. Before pearl farming started in the lagoon the shell has been a lucrative export, which was harvested regularly on a 3 -4 years intervals. Another advantage of pearl farming in the Manihiki lagoon is the ideal growing condition for spat collection for the oyster. Much of what we learnt in pearl farming in the Cook islands we learnt from Tahiti and Japanese technicians who worked in Manihiki. Today we have both foreign and local technicians working in the Manihiki lagoon, and many foreign workers are employed by farmers to work on their farms. What is most often received feedback you get from buyers of Cook Islands black pearls?
Aerial view of the Manihiki lagoon
Lesley & Temu Okotai Harbour House, Avatiu, ph 20 635 email: email@example.com
On display in the Farm Direct showroom
People who have bought Cook Island black pearls from us tell us how much they love them, and that they receive lots of compliments about their Cook Islands black pearl jewellery.
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Cooks’ Delight Engraved Pearls for Pandora Cook Islands Engraved Pearls Carved Shell Jewellery Free Name Engraving OPENING HOURS Monday-Friday, 10am-3pm
Monday-Friday, Tokerau Jim’s shop at9am-2pm Arorangi
a delicacy t) served with local herbs is Korori Ceviche (pearl shell mea are dish the of ons up Island. Variati in Manihiki, in the Northern Gro ld wor the und aro s ant aur in glitzy rest a popular appetiser on menus Pearl shell meat. that have access to Mother of ). (Photographer: David Kirkland
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 Tokerau Jim’s shop at Punanga Nui Market in Avarua, with pearl carving demonstrations and free name engraving.
Tokerau Jim at the Market
surprisingly affordable pieces of artistry, including a wide range of carved pearl necklaces. Tokerau Jim designed and carved pearl jewellery is a perfect special gift for family and friends, especially engraved with the name of the recipient.
n a Saturday morning you might find yourself wandering around Punanga Nui Market in Avarua. Outside his busy market hut you will encounter a modest ‘one of a kind’ pearl carver, who also happens to be one of the world’s best, Tokerau Jim.
Tokerau Jim’s main retail shop is located opposite the Crown Beach Resort in Arorangi, open Monday to Friday.
Tokerau demonstrates his pearl carving on Saturdays, and also offers free name engraving on his
There’s more than gold in Goldmine! G
oldmine is the Cook Islands largest jewellery and gift store, and it’s been located on the main road of Avarua in Rarotonga for more than twenty-five years. Goldmine manager Ngari TutakaGeorge has been there since it opened in 1994, so what Ngari doesn’t know about the jewellery and gift business is hard to imagine. Specialising in black pearl jewellery, Goldmine also stock gold and silver chains and charms; wedding, engagement and dress rings; unique Polynesian style rings in gold and silver; opal, coral, amber and jade; Lladro and carvings. Ngari is pictured left presenting a cherry amber pendant set in sterling silver, the cost: $1400.00. Whilst the amber jewellery might be expensive, Goldmine offers a variety of jewellery and gifts for all budgets and tastes.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Shipwrecked on a tropical island with bluesky all your tours and make reservations using your minutes while on holiday. • Save Data by switching off all auto-updates, restrict background data downloads on your device. • Use Data for live updates or ‘in the moment’ posts via your social media channels. Upload your pics later using WiFi.
What services do Bluesky offer to visitors to the Cook Islands?
luesky keeps our visitors connected while on holiday. We have over 300 Bluezone WiFi hotspots in the Cook Islands, giving you easy Internet access to your family, friends and social media. Visitors can also enable roaming on their devices. We have over 270 roaming partners. Check if your network roams in the Cook Islands on www.bluesky.co.ck. Get talking with international capped calling. Our one-hour capped calling rates are some of the best under the Pacific sun. For up to an hour pay only $5 to call New Zealand and $10 to call Australia, Fiji, UK, USA and Canada. Grab yourself a Visitor SimCard today. For only $49 it is preloaded with 3GB Data, 30min calling time and 300 texts.
such as our airport, restaurants & cafes, resorts, bars, shops, markets and most public meeting areas. A full list is available on www.bluesky.co.ck
What tips do Bluesky offer visitors to maximise their SIM cards/WiFi? Assuming the visitor is purchasing a Bluesky Visitor SIM card: • First tip would be to make good use of the free SMS txts and calling minutes to contact friends and family back home instead of relying on data operated apps (e.g. Messenger/WhatsApp/ Viber). Better yet, book
• Switch off your data if you're not using it - also saves your battery life. • Data add-on bundles are not available on Visitor SIM Card, so if you're needing more data BUY another Visitor SIM card just in case. • Download the MyBluesky app on arrival to monitor your data/mins/txts usage. • Need to upload your photos from your computer? Tether data from your phone to your computer and get those important captures up online in no time! • Avoid using data when visiting sites that may have low data range/signal. Take your photos and upload them later once you're in good range.
Where are the Bluesky retail offices, and what are the opening hours. Bluesky services the whole of the Cook Islands. We have outlets on all islands except Takutea, Manuae, Suwarrow and Nassau. We have three Bluesky outlets on Rarotonga open everyday. Main office in Parekura opens from 8am 6pm; CITC Avarua complex office opens from 8am - 4pm; Muri outlet opens from 10am - 6pm. We also have an outlet located outside international arrivals area, which only opens during international flights.
Where and how can visitors find Bluesky hotspots? Bluezone WiFi Hotspots are located throughout Rarotonga, Aitutaki, the rest of the outer islands at a variety of places
• If you have access to a Bluezone hotspot at your accommodation then save on mobile data and upload your photos/videos using WiFi instead. • Can't find your nearest Bluezone hotspot? Visit www.bluesky.co.ck and find our map with over 100 hotspots located around Rarotonga and Aitutaki. There's sure to be one next
door or around the corner from you. • Make sure to log off your WiFi after each browsing session to conserve MBs • Out of range? Visit any of Rarotonga's cafes/ restaurant with our Bluezone hotspots instead and enjoy the comfort there, along with good food and atmosphere, and a refreshing beverage!
ENGLISH BORN NEW ZEALANDER’S STEVE AND GERALDINE MARSON ARE LIVING A DREAM OF OWNING ‘THE PERFECT BEACH BAR ON A TROPICAL ISLAND’; AND IT’S APTLY NAMED THE SHIPWRECK HUT BEACH BAR.
ocated at the Aro’a Beachside Inn on Rarotonga’s sunset coast, you couldn’t pick a better location with guaranteed mind-blowing sunset views every evening (weather permitting). Meeting and marrying in Cheshire, both Steve and Geraldine are from sales backgrounds: Steve in engineering, electronics, computer and IT, and Geraldine in pharmaceuticals. “We met at night school because we were working for German or Swiss German companies, so we both went to night school to learn German!” said Steve.
Geraldine and Steve Marson in their Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar, with staff Anna, Stephanie and Priest in the background
IT and barcoding with this company. They took me on to introduce barcoding to the whole group. It was really pioneering stuff at the time!
“The business was sold, so then I set up my own business in Kent called Lynk Data Systems. I did that for ten years then I sold it, which made me enough to retire on at the age of 47!
“We just clicked and started going out in January '86. We got engaged about March and got married in July.” They now have two boys Will and Dan, who are in their mid-twenties: Will is completing his Masters; he's a Steve performing with Anania Brown geomorphologist, and Dan is a musician in a band. “He’s a very good “We moved to New Zealand in guitarist and sings well too!” 2008! Geraldine got a teaching job. I was there three months “The boys were born in before I got so bored I joined Cheshire. We moved to Kent a company as general manager when Dan was about six weeks doing very similar things I was old, as I got a job there with doing in the UK. That business a company as European Sales eventually got sold, so I took Manager for FACIT.” time off and then found this Geraldine gave up work to look place.” after the children then later studied to become a science teacher. “She is actually a scientist. Her speciality was biology, microbiology. And she's got a degree in microbiology. So she now got a secondary degree, which is a teaching degree.” The next big thing for Steve was when they made him managing director in the UK for FACIT. “I was now seriously into the
We are lucky to have such a wonderful, fun team!
Steve said he and Geraldine had stayed at Aro’a Beachside Inn in 2012, then came back in 2014 to find out it was for sale and bought it. Stephanie Vaiimene, the general manager, has been
at Aro’a Beachside Inn since Steve and Geraldine bought it. Every Tuesday Stephanie does a popular guest appearance singing with the band at the Bar. “We are lucky to have such a wonderful, fun team!” We asked Steve if the Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar had anything to do with them buying the place. “Every man wants to have his own bar, sure!” said Steve. “I remember, at the age of 17, we were sitting on a beach in Italy next to this beach bar and I thought, that would be cool, to have a little beach bar.” Since arriving on the island Steve has developed his own singing and guitar skills to the point where he performs at the Shipwreck BBQ on Saturdays. He also sings in a guest spot on Tuesday and Thursday nights when live music is featured from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Famously, the popular Rockin’ Jandals play on Tuesdays with Rarotonga guitar great Anania Brown, and local DJ legend Ian Wheeldon. “What got me into singing was when Geraldine and I were on a skiing holiday in France. They had this dressup karaoke night. I went as Batman, Geraldine went as Cat Woman. I thought: I'll give this a go and sang an Elton John song. Then surprisingly I had a request: Can Batman please sing Daydream Believer? Which I did, and I still sing it today at the Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar!”
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in t u o t h g i n t a e r g A
! a g n o t Raro ter Night Show a W r ve O r la cu ta “This Spec is an authentic and Buffet Dinner cultural delight!”
LONG ACKNOWLEDGED AS THE LEADING PROVIDER OF CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT IN THE COOK ISLANDS, TE VARA NUI VILLAGE WON THE ‘PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD’ AT THE MOST RECENT COOK ISLANDS TOURISM AWARDS; THAT WAS NO SURPRISE AS THE IMPRESSIVE OVERWATER CULTURAL SHOW IS WORLD-CLASS.
rom the moment you step into Te Vara Nui Village you will engage with local Maori people who will share their stories and their heritage; and Rarotonga’s finest dancers and musicians will entertain you as they perform by flaming
torchlight on floating and fixed stages within a waterfall garden. And, let’s not forget the delectable island-western fusion buffet dinner, which in itself is spectacular. Located in the heart of the Muri, a night out at Te Vara
Nui’s Spectacular Over Water Night Show and Buffet Dinner is an authentic cultural delight! As they say at Te Vara Nui Village, quite simply: “This special place of tribute to our distinctive culture and its breathtaking setting will remain in your memory long after you return home." The Te Vara Nui Spectacular Overwater Extravaganza happens in Muri every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening from 7.30pm. Call 24 006.
WINNER OF AIR NZ TOURISM AWARDS - SUPREME AWARD, TOURS & ATTRACTION 2017 & PEOPLE'S CHOICE 2018 !
Muri Beach Phone 24006
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The last straw TOURISM IS BOOMING AND FOR THE COOK ISLANDS THAT MEANS ADDITIONAL STRESS ON OUR PRISTINE ENVIRONMENT AND ECOSYSTEMS, SO WE HAD A CHAT WITH COOK ISLANDS’ LARGEST CORPORATION AND THE BIGGEST EMPLOYER OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT, CITC (COOK ISLANDS TRADING CORPORATION), TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO HELP RELIEF THE PRESSURE ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND TO SUSTAIN THE COOK ISLANDS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.
ITC is everywhere in Rarotonga; they import, distribute, wholesale and retail a vast range of products from building materials, food and beverages, to pharmaceuticals, clothing, electrical goods and furniture. Most of CITC’s revenue is derived from tourism, or tourism-related businesses. Gaye Whitta is the energetic chief executive officer of the corporation, which Gaye Whiita, General Manager of CITC includes a department store - CITC Avarua, CITC “There's no law that bans Pharmacy, the CITC Building polystyrene; there's no law that Centre, CITC Liquor, CITC bans phosphate soap powders, Supermarket, Foodland, there is nothing there! As a and three convenience stores company, we had to look at the around Rarotonga: Oasis sustainability of the country Energy, Kavera Central and because that's our income,” KAPS Matavera; in addition said Gaye. to CITC Duty Free at the “When former New Zealand airport. prime minister Helen Clark Notably CITC are proud spoke to business leaders here of their ‘Environment earlier this year, she pointed Sustainability Policy’ and their out that you can't rely on staunch commitment to the government to do everything. future of the Cook Islands. We know that the government is always going to be on the We asked Gaye what the back foot. It always takes too connection was between being long for them to make any the biggest corporation in change, so what little we can Rarotonga and conceiving an do, hopefully will make a big environmental sustainability change to the future”. policy. Gaye explained there were not enough government guidelines or importation legislation at the moment, suggesting CITC could do ‘pretty well want it wanted’ as there’s really nothing to stop them.
CITC are the biggest in just about every business area they operate, but they are not without competition. “In all of our areas we have strong competition, but we
Significantly for CITC the program was funded from the proceeds of the sale of plastic bags in CITC’s retail outlets. are usually leading the way in most of those areas. I think where people see us as being the biggest, and a bit of a monopoly, we're not, we've got lots of competition within all areas of our business”. Certainly, one of the areas of differentiation is CITC’s Environment Sustainability Policy, part of which states: As a business leader, we will take initiatives to guide our community in environmental protection. We will work with Government and NonGovernment organisations and community interests to determine and promote specific initiatives to protect and enhance our environment… Gaye said the key to their Environment Sustainability Policy is training CITC staff and getting them aboard with the company’s programs and initiatives. “Part of the induction for new employees includes environmental training; they learn about recycling and waste management, and all things green. It comes down to education!” “Education about caring for the environment in Rarotonga really starts in the schools. That's why we started a campaign through the primary schools with a bin project, donating a new recycling station. “The schools and the teachers wanted to be involved with it. So whenever we introduced a bin system, George George (CITC’s key brands manager) would go out and talk to the students about sorting, and how it can save on the environment.”
CITC also drive an initiative involving discarded cardboard centred at Foodland in downtown Avarua. “Anybody can drop off their cardboard to Foodland. We compact it and separate it into colored and non-colored. The ones that are colored get bailed and sent overseas at our cost. A New Zealand company reuses the cardboard. Local farmers use the non-coloured cardboard, which contains no chemicals, for composting in taro patches for example”. CITC are a big importer of fruits and vegetables; their preference is to bring in as much of that produce in cardboard. “Where we can, we just buy local; it’s better because it's fresher. We do bring in some produce in polystyrene containers to reduce the damage to the likes of broccoli and cauliflower. But then we re-use all of that. We also encourage people to reuse the polystyrene if they are going back overseas; if they buy their fish they can transport it in polystyrene. That also applies to chestnuts or any local produce”.
Leading the way with environmental products
“People today want less chemicals going into their own bodies. But as far as chemicals going into the lagoon, in particular, the Ministry of Marine Resources approached us to ask if we would consider going Oxybenzone free. “Straight away we advised all our suppliers we would not be importing any products with Oxybenzone, which included
It is clear CITC engage in best environmental practices when they make purchase choices for their retail and wholesale businesses; each year adding more to the list of things they can do to reduce the impact on the environment, predominantly from imported products. “This year we stopped importing plastic straws. So this year was the last straw!” beamed Gaye.
CITC Pharmacy under the leadership CITC recycling bins of manager Shannon Saunders, who has since sunscreens and some facial returned to New Zealand, products as well”. has steered the pharmacy in support of CITC’s Oxybenzone is an endocrine environmental sustainability disruptor that interferes with policy, particularly in the the ecosystems in lagoons, in quest to reduce the amount of particular the growth of coral. chemicals entering lagoons and Shannon said ideally the ban landfill. on Oxybenzone would be Shannon said CITC Pharmacy legislated so visitors would be opt for natural product discouraged from bringing options in every section of the products into the Cook Islands pharmacy. containing the chemical, resulting in confiscation and possibly a fine. “Just like when you come into a country where you're not allowed to bring in fruit and vegetables; there would be a bin offered to drop in the banned items. “And, because we're the biggest importer, what we bring into the country is sold to a lot
Panorama of CITC Avarua
of other stores as well. So whatever changes we make filters down through the small stores. That's one of the big things for us; what we do makes a difference to the whole country,” said Shannon.
“And, in 2020 we will no longer import single use plastic bags. We aim to be plastic bag free! “CITC really is leading the way with this; it is actually our corporate tagline,” said Gaye. “I think for anything to work in the Cook Islands, you need to have good direction. And that's where we come from as CITC, we've got good direction and we can use that direction to help shape the future of the Cook Islands. “We will continue to work with the government (I sit on the Waste Management Committee), the local Te Ipukarea Society, a nongovernment organisation dedicated to the health and well being of the Cook Islands, Rotary, and others who approach us with worthwhile initiatives to help sustain the environment of the Cook Islands into the future”.
Supporting Sustainability in the Cook Islands No single serve polystyrene food containers
No Plastic Straws
Continuing to minimise our impact on the environment
Say NO to Plastic Bags
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A 1 M E I TA K I A W A R D S
Tourism operators recognised with A1 Meitaki Awards customer service to our visitors. The A1 Meitaki Awards is one way that we can give that recognition to those members of the industry who show passion in the way they look after their guests and clients”.
2019 MARKS THE FOURTH YEAR OF A1 MEITAKI AWARD PRESENTATIONS TO WORTHY TOURISM OPERATORS IN RAROTONGA AND AITUTAKI. WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE AWARDS IS THAT THE ONLY REWARD THE INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS RECEIVES IS PUBLIC RECOGNITION AND A CERTIFICATE. RECIPIENTS CAN ONLY BE DESIGNATED BY VISITORS FILLING IN A NOMINATION FORM, EITHER AT A COOK ISLANDS TOURISM INFORMATION OFFICE, OR AT THE AIRPORT DEPARTURE HALL AT RAROTONGA AIRPORT.
he master of ceremonies and driving force behind the A1 Meitaki Awards, Metua Vaiimene, who is Cook Islands Tourism’s Director of Destination Development, said at this year’s Rarotonga presentation ceremony: “We gather to acknowledge the people in the tourism industry and the Rarotonga community who provide authentic customer service to our visitors. Through their friendly and professional engagement with our visitors, members of the community continue to ensure that any of our visitors can access the wonders of our little paradise.
“Cook Islands Tourism encourages Tupuranga Tangata or ‘development of our people’ as one of the principles of our Mana Tiaki values under the Kia Orana Values programme. Kia Orana, Mana Tiaki, and Tupuranga Tangata: These values and principles have been adopted by the tourism industry. This means that we will all celebrate, acknowledge, and reward those members of our industry that work with passion to show our visitors how we love our home – the Cook Islands. Tupuranga Tangata means that we will reward and recognise the skills, knowledge, talent and
The Prime Minister Henry Puna, who is also Minister for Tourism, was unable to make the presentations at this year’s awards so he nominated Kia Orana Ambassador, Aunty Nane Papa to present the certificates on his behalf.
Koka Lagoon Cruises received the highest number of nominations of any business or individual. Pictured with the A1 Meitaki certificate is Serena Hunter
passion in our people in the tourism industry. Today, we recognise and acknowledge particular
members of our tourism industry, some are individuals, and some are businesses that have shown this exceptional
This past year there were over 500 nominations, however only the top 35 individuals or businesses for Rarotonga are presented with an A1 Meitaki Award certificate.
This year A1 Meitaki Award recipients were: Ikurangi Eco Retreat, Cook Islands Library and Museum Society, Tumutoa Tours Ngametua Mamanu, Villis
Burger Joint, Desiree Palomo from Avana Waterfront Apartments, Kura Happ, Muri Beachcomber, Matutu Brewery, Danny Mataroa, Chad Hicks of Destination Cook Islands and formerly of Hawaiki Villas, Louisa Charlie formerly of Club Raro, Paul and Michelle of Castaway Resort, Captain Tamas Lagoon Cruises, Café Jireh, Steph Jansen of Raro Reef Sub, Sunset Palms Rarotonga, Dr. Nick Stephany of the Ministry of Education, Caroline Parel of Pacific Resort, Little Polynesian Resort, Kiikii Motel, Antonia Poa of Captain Tamas Lagoon Cruises, Chantal Napa of Chantal’s Concierge, David Putairi at the Rarotongan Beach Resort Hotel, Alone Aumaro formerly of Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar and Aroa Beachside Inn, Lagoon Breeze Villas, Coral Sands Apartments, Josephine Jessie formerly of Ikurangi Eco Retreat, Charlie’s Café and Beach Hire, Thomas Ngauru and Cook Islands Badminton. The award winner that received the highest number of nominations over the past 18 months was Koka Lagoon Cruises. “I am so proud that five Cook Islands Tourism staff members were placed in the top 35 this year: Marthalina Opuariki, Tony Fe'ao, Ani Katu, Lydia Nga, and Nane Papa,” concluded Metua Vaiimene.
1. Coral Sands Apartments: L-R Vanissa, Brent and Eve Hayden, and Eren 2. Musician Kura Happ with Aunty Nane 3. Matutu Brewery’s Eric Newnham with Aunty Nane 4. Steph Jansen from Reef Sub with Aunty Nane 5. Castaway Resort’s Paul Ash with Aunty Nane 6. Tumutoa Tours’ Ngametua Mamanu 7. Debra Graham from Café Jireh with Aunty Nane
There was also an A1 Meitaki Award presentation in Aitutaki, the 2019 recipients were: Arerua ‘Ali’ Maao-The Vaka Cruise, Vaikoa Units, Aitutaki Village, Etu Moana Resort, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, Bubbles Below, Elaine Savage-Aitutaki Village, Teumere KotekaHeather-Aitutaki Escape, Paul Turepu-The Vaka Cruise, Andrew Rave-The Vaka Cruise, The Vaka Cruise, and Pacific Resort, Aitutaki.
COOK ISLANDS HOLIDAY VILLAS Cook Islands Tourism Awards 2018-2019 “Cook Islands News Business Sustainability Award 2018-2019”
TURANGI LAGOON VILLAS TUORO HOLIDAY VILLAS Our Turangi Lagoon Villa is a 4 bedroom, Our Tuoro Holiday Villa is a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom complex that fits a 2 bathroom complex that can fit a maximum of 8 people. There are four maximum of 8 people. There are two villas situated on one property on the villas situated on one property on the back road in the village of Arorangi. sea side in the village of Turangi.
MURI LAGOON VILLA Our Muri Lagoon Villa is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom complex that can fit a maximum of 4 people. This villa is situated right on the beach in the village of Muri.
BLUE LAGOON VILLA Our Blue Lagoon Villa is a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom complex that can fit a maximum of 3 people. This villa is located 20 metres from beach front
BLUE LAGOON 5 BDRM VILLA Our Blue Lagoon 5 BDRM villa located behind our 1 bedroom villa. Can accommodate 10 people in our fully self-contained villa and is a 40 metre walk from beachfront.
HONEYMOON AND WEDDING PACKAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
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Helpful hints for first time visitors to Rarotonga
THE Multi Award Winning
Belinda and Andrew Griffin, formerly of Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa
Café, or takeaway Sushi and smoothies from Body Fuel in the market area and sit on the rocks overlooking the ocean.
elinda & Andrew Griffin are a couple of joyful Australian adventurers who until recently ran Rumours Luxury Villas and Rumours Waterfall Spa in Muri. Over the past five years they became experienced in offering their guests suggestions on how to make the most of holidaying in Rarotonga. These are some of the helpful hints they offered their guests.
H A L F D AY E S C A P E S FAC I A L S & B O DY S C R U B S PEDICURES & MANICURES F U L LY T R A I N E D T H E R A P I S T S
M A I N R O A D, M U R I B E A C H , R A R O T O N G A + 6 8 2 2 2 5 51 info@r umour s-r arotonga.com w w w. r u m o u r s - r a r o t o n g a .co m tip… search her out as a ‘must see’ act whilst on Rarotonga. Antipodes at Black Rock opens at 5pm on a Sunday head up the hill and enjoy a spectacular sunset drinks, live music, and dinner (booking essential).
Some of the top snorkelling spots on the island
Most of Rarotonga’s lagoon beaches offer ideal snorkeling. Three spots we recommend are: the Fruits of Rarotonga in Tikioki; in front of the Dive
Centre in Aro’a Beach; and at Black Rock in Nikao. They all have wonderful marine reserves. If you love snorkeling be sure to book a sea-scooter tour with Ariki Adventures very James Bond!
Things we love about Rarotonga
Do you mean besides the super stunning environment; palm tree laden landscape, and pristine unpopulated beaches? Buying the business of running Rumours Luxury Villas and Spa nearly five
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.
S B I OAC T
AVA I L A B L E AT
We are so spoilt for choice; with some excellent baristas on the island… some of our favorites: Neil Dearlove at
Nice places to enjoy a coffee and relax
Alternatively, there are fabulous beach bars dotted around the island – some of our favorites: the Sunset Bar at OTB Restaurant…they make a great Coconut Mojito; head up the hill at Black Rock to Antipodes for the best sunset view and their rum punch cocktails; the cocktails at the Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar are served in jam-jars; Wilsons Beach Bar at Castaway Resort is humming at sunset! Need a designated driver? Book a ‘Cocktail Hop’ with Tik-e Tours - lots of fun on their electric tuk tuks!
en Access & B
sip on your very own South C Pharmacy Avarua. Pacificincocktail!
Take a relaxing walk along the waterfront, great views including the SS Maitai shipwreck…clearly visible off-shore; visit Avarua’s white washed CICC (Cook Islands Christian Church), which was built in 1853; across the road from CICC is the Cook Islands Library and Museum Society building, special for local history lovers. Close by is the historic Beachcomber building, a favourite drop in spot: encompasses an art gallery, a lovely retails shop, and The Café for breakfast or lunch. On Saturday mornings wander around the Punanga I OAC Nui Market: be early S Bto TIV ND E grab your freshly L A baked goods, almond croissants and yummy sausage rolls from VMV. Eat out at a couple of our favorites: Trade Jacks - rub shoulders with the locals, D grab a cold beer, and relish S E I K one of the bestI N pizzas T H E on COO the island whilst sitting waterside; then catch a movie at The Empire Theatre across the road. Enjoy a quiet lunch by the pool at The Lazy Trout
VICHY SHOWER C O U P L E S R O M A N C E M A S S A G E S & VA R I O U S O T H E R M A S S A G E S
Islandswith Oils rum & pineapple juice (for a piña colada), walk to the ds medicinal practices. beach, slip your shoes off and mis of the skin.
Order a spectacular Gourmet Picnic Basket, Platter or BBQ pack from Jenny and Grant at Island Platters; given 24 hours notice they will deliver and you can do your own thing! Nice places include Hidden Spirit Café at the Maire Nui Tropical Gardens; Sunday lunches at Tuoro Restaurant at Black Rock (you must book) are always good value accompanied by the sweet turns of Kura Happ - top
I N D O O R WAT E R FA L L S
ally-proven, Buy a fresh coconut off a cines roadside vendor – top it up
Nice place to eat and relax on a Sunday afternoon
Things to do in the township of Avarua
Some places to sip on a cocktail and watch the sunset
Sunsets! Sooo many spots on the west coast: head to almost any beach or beach bar! During the day take a snap at the ‘leaning’ palms beachside at the defunct Sheraton Hotel; the back roads and planted fields of Rarotonga are photogenic; venture into the lagoon and take a shot back towards the island and its ‘gob smacking’ landscapes. There are some beautiful homes and old forgotten houses that dot the island. Many of your best images will be on tour: from lagoon cruises, to inland adventures, and trekking. Sunrise at Muri Lagoon is special for the keen photographer!
his own coffee roasting house in Matavera - located near the KAPS store for that early morning fix (closes at 11am). Muri township has it covered: Ariki Café serves up spectacular cold brew coffee… LBV and Deli-Lious Café serve constantly good coffee. Beluga in Arorangi, where you will find ‘Clarke Kent’ behind the coffee machine serving up a meal in a cup! Beluga also supports local artisans by stocking a range of gifts. The Café located at Beachcomber in town; dependably great coffee served barefoot with a smile - drop in and spin some cool Retro tunes on the turntable while you enjoy your brew. Getting your scooter license? There’s a great tiny coffee outlet called Salt located right next door to the Police Station in town. Or, need a pick me up at the end of the day? Nautilus Restaurant in Muri does a great Espresso Martini.
Interact with the locals wherever you can; they really are friendly. A good introduction we recommend to our guests is to head off to Charlie’s for lunch or dinner (or both), and enjoy their local family hospitality and good vibes. Explore Rarotonga’s coast (and inland) at your own pace; be that on the buses; or rented vehicle; there is so much to see and do! Experience lagoon life in so many ways: snorkeling, kayaking, SUP paddleboards (day & night), kitesurfing, or have fun just cruising to the motu (little islands) in the lagoon at Muri for a swim and a BBQ lunch. Enjoy an island night show,, or try the ‘Progressive Dinner’ for an insight into the lives of the locals. But the BEST way to start your holiday is booking in with the multi-award winning Rumours Waterfall Spa! If you get the opportunity, spend a full day in Aitutaki on an Air Rarotonga package; the lagoon there is considered the worlds best!
WAT E R FA LL SPA
Some recommended top photo spots
PHARMACY AVA I L A B L E AT
www.citc.co.ck • www.tetika.com.au PHARMACY
years ago has given us the opportunity to share our love for this island with the outside world. What do we love most? The people, the people, the people; did we mention... the people? The colours, the culture, the smiles, the laughter, the local community and their passion and vision for their environment and future be prepared to fall in love we did! Belinda & Andrew Griffin
e c n a m o R
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on the Beach
SET AMONGST FIVE ACRES OF TROPICAL BEACHSIDE GARDENS, THE ADULTS-ONLY CROWN BEACH RESORT & SPA IN ARORANGI IS A POPULAR CHOICE FOR TRAVELLERS INTERESTED IN UNDERSTATED LUXURY, A HIGH STANDARD SERVICE, AND SUNSETS!
he resort’s ‘Romantic Dinner on the Beach’ is one of the more exceptional indulgences offered on Rarotonga. A beachfront gazebo is the setting for a perfect dinner in the tropics, never to be forgotten. Set up with white linen, silverware, glassware, flowers, candles, fairy lights and flaming tiki torches, the three-course gourmet dinner is selected
from an exclusive menu designed especially for the occasion. With the magnificent sunset as the backdrop, this distinctive Rarotonga dining experience is extraordinarily memorable for guests and for dining visitors to the Crown Beach Resort. General Manager of the Crown Beach Resort, Sierra Glade, said:
“ It is a beautiful setting that allows for privacy and intimacy to celebrate special occasions, or simply to spoil your loved one. You can even surprise your loved one with a Romantic Dinner on the Beach as our team is fully equipped to help you plan surprise dinners, or even proposals, to make a lasting memory. The package includes a delicious 3-course dinner from a special menu, a bottle of bubbles, special setup with chosen theme colour, and your own personal headwaiter.
“Due to the success of the ‘Romantic Dinner on the Beach’, we now offer a ‘Romantic Breakfast on the Beach’ including a bottle of bubbles, which many honeymoon couples are raving over! Newlyweds are some of those who experience this beautiful and intimate breakfast on their first morning as husband and wife!”
Couples in particular enjoy the lagoon-side location and it’s intimacy at the Crown Beach Resort
Bring home Rito
isitors to the Cook Islands enjoy taking home gifts for friends and relatives, but struggle with what to buy that is authentically Rarotongan. The skincare products made with cold-pressed virgin coconut oils by Rito Cook Islands are ideal. Visit Rito at their workshop in Tikioki near Muri, or pop in to their retail hut at Punanga Nui Market on any Saturday.
Left: Rito Coffee & Sugar Body Scrub, coconut, macadamia oils and scented with vanilla. Right: Rito Tangerine, Coffee, Coconut & Peppermint Soaps with a flower Ei Katu.
‘ROMANCE ON THE BEACH’ For bookings or enquiries
T: +682 23 953 E: email@example.com W: www.crownbeach.com Fb: Crown Beach Resort & Spa
7.30am - 10.00am 5.30pm - 9.00pm
e o n
Relax, Refresh, Renew...
M A S S A G E | FA C I A L | M A N I C U R E | P E D I C U R E E X F O L I AT I O N | W A X I N G | H A I R S T Y L I N G & M O R E O p e n M o n d a y – S a t u r d a y 10 a m - 6 p m Phone 23953 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us 150m on the Muri side of the Fruits of Raro
Phone +682 20 134 or email email@example.com
pampering in paradise ... relaxing massages, therapies & beauty treatments
Cocktail happy hour hopping
Open Mon to Sun 8.30am to 5.30pm Late night Thursday to 9.00pm
Wedding limo service
ph: 25435 ext 7031
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR Edgewater Resort & Spa
Personalised island tours Airport transfers The most fun you’ll have on 3 wheels Show your support and be environmentally friendly
Tik- e tours
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D I N I N G & 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
DINNER / SHOW
MONDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre
$110 adult / $65 child (6-11 yrs). Includes transfers.
TUESDAY Te Vara Nui Village
The Islander Hotel
The Edgewater Resort & Spa
Highland Paradise Cultural Centre
Muri Beach Club Hotel THURSDAY
Te Vara Nui Village
Crown Beach Resort
Te Vara Nui Village
The Edgewater Resort & Spa
The Islander Hotel
$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.
WEDNESDAY $110 adult / $65 child (6-11 yrs). Includes transfers. $59 adult/$35 child (5-11) $109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $55 adult / $30 child (3-12). Show only $15pp
FRIDAY Highland Paradise Cultural Centre
$110 adult / $65 child (6-11 yrs). Includes transfers.
SATURDAY $109 adult ($119 with transfer) / $49 child (6-11) $65 adult / $25 child (7-12). Includes transfers. Show only $15pp. $49 adult / $20 child (5-12). Show only $15pp
Kikau Hut is a charmer THE CIRCULAR SPACE OF KIKAU HUT’S INTERIOR DINING AREA IS COMPLIMENTED BY ALFRESCO OPTIONS IN THIS AUTHENTIC RAROTONGA-STYLE RESTAURANT. ITS CHARM EMANATES FROM ITS RELAXED ATMOSPHERE, GENUINE SERVICE, AND YUMMY FOOD.
usband and wife Gordon Brown and Rebecca Churchill bought the business in 2015. English-born New Zealander Gordon is a civil engineer by profession; Rebecca is a kiwi accountant who owns a consulting and marketing agency in New Zealand. Rebecca said when she first visited Rarotonga in 2001 she fell in love with the place and vowed to live here one day. When she met Gordon, they visited together and soon shared the same vision, returning every year, always keeping a watch out for a business to buy. “Whilst on holiday, my aunty and uncle dined at Kikau Hut. They chatted with the owners who mentioned they
were looking to sell,” said Rebecca. “We knew the restaurant and decided to buy the place, Head chef Mata Marsters with Kikau Hut co-owner even though Rebecca Churchill I had just set like Nina and Lou, others have up my new business. Gordon come in since. We knew how was really passionate about the fantastic Mata Marsters was in business, and it was agreed I charge of the kitchen.” would come up regularly. Mata recently created a new “We were getting close to menu with emphasis on local Raro; we had got married produce, including fresh ocean here. We started to build a real fish daily fulfilling Kikau’s connection and an extended ‘Catch to Plate’ promise. family within Rarotonga, We asked Mata what his so buying Kikau Hut really favorite dish was to cook, changed our lives!” and he gently murmured Rebecca said they also have a ‘Mata’s Scollops’. According to close connection to the Kikau Kikau’s entrée menu the dish Hut staff: “some we inherited is made with ‘scallops, rukau and tomatoes poached in Chef ’s own masala sauce, dusted with parmesan cheese, lightly grilled and served with sliced melba toast.’ Kikau Hut Restaurant features a menu of European food with island flavours, home made desserts, and live music every Monday. T: 26860; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.kikauhut.com.
PERFORMERS Crown Beach Resort: Akirata Dance Troupe & Fire Dance The Edgewater Resort & Spa: Ta’akoka Dance Troupe Highland Paradise Cultural Centre: Home of the Tinomona Tribe; E Matike Dance Troupe
Muri Beach Club Hotel: Akirata Dance Troupe The Islander Hotel: Akirata Dance Troupe Te Vara Nui Village: Spectacular Overwater Extravaganza. The Legend of Tongaiti.
Kikau Hut Restaurant
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: email@example.com
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GETTING MARRIED IN OUR ‘LITTLE PARADISE’ WE ASKED TERINA TEIRI-KARAI THE WEDDING & EVENTS MANAGER FOR MURI BEACH CLUB HOTEL A FEW QUESTIONS ABOUT GETTING MARRIED IN RAROTONGA.
hoosing a ‘Destination Wedding’ means no stress, just having to show up, and enjoy the best moment of your life. Embrace the culture of the Cook Islands, immerse yourself in the beauty of the land and lagoon, engage the hospitality of the people, and let this be the backdrop of your ideal wedding, your dream wedding, here in Rarotonga!” What are the advantages of getting married in Rarotonga? For New Zealanders it’s perfect! We are only a few hours away and we operate in New Zealand Dollars. For others from around the world Raro is still the perfect place for a Destination Wedding: it’s a tropical paradise where you, your family and friends can combine a memorable wedding with either a tranquil holiday, or an action packed one! Also, filing for the paperwork is so much easier as you only need to be on the island at least 3 working days prior to your set date, and you only need a couple of documents; once the ceremony is over you are legally married, which is internationally recognised.
What are the legal formalities for getting married in Rarotonga? As long as we have a copy of your passports, birth certificates (in English), and if necessary divorce papers or death certificates, we can apply for the marriage licence. The Registrar requires at least 3 full working days prior to the date set for the wedding for us to apply for the marriage licence; it can be done within that time but we need to pay a waiver fee, which is an additional $75. The couple also both need to be present, as they are required to sign the paperwork in front of the registry staff. Unfortunately, at the moment, we are legally not allowed to marry same sex couples on the island. Other things that need to be considered are the celebrant and location of the wedding, as these details are vital for the marriage licence. What wedding support services are available? There are so many service providers on the island who offer the most professional of services including florists that have such a beautiful eye for
Teiri-Karai from the Muri Beach Club Hotel
detail with the arrangements of the local flowers that suit the occasion, and the budget. There are excellent photographers to capture the moment; and the hair and makeup artists that find the natural beauty of a person without making you look, or feel overwhelmed. There are an abundance of transport providers if you wanted a scooter for two, a tuk-tuk for six, a van for 12, or a bus for 30. This is the great benefit of such a small island community that they truly care and you feel the warmth and embrace the spirit of everyone trying to make sure your wedding
day it your dream come true. The best thing is that wedding organisers like me are here to support you, help you, and organise everything for you. What factors determine the overall cost of a wedding in Rarotonga? Airfares and accommodation are the main factors, however once you add into the equation the wedding package, any additional services not already provided for such as photography, hair and makeup, a little entertainment, then these add to the cost. For example, Muri Beach Club
Hotel have tried to help make things a little more economical by providing an ‘All Inclusive Package’, which is for 30 friends and family for $6999 (NZD) that includes the ceremony and paperwork taken care of, reception venue, lead in buffet for 30 guests, standard drinks package for 3 hours, single tier cake, and of course for you - a 30 minutes couples massage. As an extra incentive we can top this off with 5 nights in a beachfront room if you have friends and family stay with us for a total of 15 nights. ‘Just Married’ scooter Describe MBCH and its packages offered Married Muri Magic Package’, for weddings groups and whereby if you stay with us honeymoons for 7 nights you can take We are an adults only boutique advantage of this awesome deal which includes, a picnic hotel set on the white sandy lunch day, breakfast in bed beach of the Muri lagoon. On day, and of course a pampering the shoreline of the lagoon, for 30 minutes in our spa with with the ocean and little islet a blissful ‘couples massage’. providing the backdrop for the We have a comprehensive perfect wedding ceremony, wedding booklet that has you can get married with the more information about our sand between your toes. With services that I’m happy to mail a choice of your reception to you. Nothing is too big or venue we set up with your too small, we can control just vision in mind. From two about anything except for the guests to 120 guests we are weather! here to make memories for
your wedding day. The ‘Club Classic Package’, which is your ceremony covered for $1199 you can have this for an intimate ceremony for two or add on to this package additional services for a larger group. If you want a no fuss wedding and have up to 30 friends and family, we offer the ‘All Inclusive Package’, which as the name suggests. If by chance you are already married and have been within six months we offer our ‘Just
ribeachclubhote u m l.c w. om w Phone 23000 to book w
How to contact Terina?
If you would like to know more about getting married in Rarotonga, or especially at Muri Beach Club Hotel, contact Terina either via email on operations@ muribeachclubhotel.com, or call +682 23000 or +682 76293. More information at www.muribeachclubhotel.com or Facebook pages: Weddings at Muri Beach Club Hotel and Muri Beach Club Hotel.
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There is a eclectic variety of dining and drinking experiences on Raroton waterfront, beachfront, and in other picturesque settings. You’ll find a wonderful selection of cafés, restaurants, eateries and bars all around the island.
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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. T: 23 597 or 55 725 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flambé offers unique cuisine combining the legends of the Cook Islands with contemporary style. The exclusive fine dining restaurant offers customers full air-conditioning or outside tropical courtyard bar & dining area. Open 6pm Friday and Saturday. 16+ years. Live Fire Show on Friday. T: 23 953 E: email@example.com www.crownbeach.com
Ocean’s Restaurant & Bar
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 from 8.00am-10.30am, lunch from 11.30am - 2.30pm, and dinner from 6.30pm - 9.00pm. Happy hour is daily from 4.30pm - 6.30pm. T: 23 953 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.crownbeachresort.com
Enjoy breath-taking clifftop panoramic views out over the lagoon and ocean, while sampling Mediterranean Inspired Cuisine. Located in a romantic quintessential Mediterranean Villa - with huge outside dinning terraces. T: 28 873 or 73 900 E: email@example.com www.antipodesrarotonga.com
Kikau Hut Restaurant
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 a free transfer service available by prior arrangement. T: 26 860 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kikauhut.com Fb: Kikau.Hut
OTB Restaurant & Sunset Bar
The Lazy Trout Café
Located in Avarua, The Lazy Trout offers stylish alfresco all-day breakfast and lunch, surrounded by our beautiful tropical garden, clear blue pool, and the stunning views of the mountain. Waffles, espresso coffees, loose leaf teas, freshly baked goods, smoothies, and full beverage list. Open daily from 8 am, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy outstanding cuisine and excellent hospitality. T: 22 025 • E: email@example.com www.facebook.com/TheLazyTroutRarotonga
T: 22 461 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org Fb: OTB • www.manuia.co.ck
The Lucky Rooster Eatery (formerly Café Salsa) is a popular bistro & meeting place serving all day breakfast & lunch. Relaxed atmosphere & family friendly. Freshly cooked food & chilled drinks including barista coffee, smoothies, beers, wines & cocktails. Variety of catering platters available on request. Located downtown Avarua, next to CITC Shopping Centre & Pharmacy. Mon – Fri 7.30am– 3pm, Sat 7.30am–2pm T: 22 215 E: email@example.com Fb & Instagram: theluckyroostereatery Orders & Bookings: theluckyroostereatery.com
Bond Liquor Store
Located at Muri Beach Resort, the Aqua restaurant and cocktail bar is alfresco poolside dining ‘Polynesian style’ bounded by tropical gardens. Daily specials use fresh local ingredients, with fish of the day straight off the boat. Open from 3pm daily for cocktails and dinner.
The No.1 cellars in Rarotonga; check out our huge range. Over 600 wines, all popular spirits, liqueurs, beers, RTD’s, mixers, ice, etc. Open Monday to Thursday 9.00am-5.00pm, Friday and Saturday 9.00am-7.00pm. Located on the main road Avarua, opposite the Punanga Nui Market.
T: 22 779 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.muribeachresort.com
T: 21 007 E: email@example.com Fb: The Bond Store
Laguna Restaurant & Bar
Innovative Pacific Cuisine with vistas of the pool and blue lagoon at Muri. Cocktails. Wine. Cold Beer. Located at the Moana Sands Lagoon Resort. Adults only. Open daily from 8am to close. T: 29 926 www.facebook.com/LagunaRarotonga/
Mal’s Bar at Edgewater Resort
Named after Mal Meninga, legendary rugby league player and old friend of the Resort, Mal’s Bar is open 10am to midnight. A nice place to be any time of day, or just waiting for the sunset. Enjoy the wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including a fine collection of international wines, local and imported beers and spirits, as well as a range of juices and exotic tropical cocktails. T: 25 475 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.edgewater.co.ck
Beachfront dining at award-winning OTB is enhanced by the restaurant’s sandy floor, kikau thatched roof, and contemporary Polynesian inspired menu. Open: breakfast, lunch & dinner, OTB also features Happy Hour from 3-6 pm, and live music from Wed-Sun, and a BBQ & Dessert Buffet with Island Strings on Sun. Free pick ups for guests who choose the min. 3-course table d’hôte menu at $49.50 & BBQ Sunday.
The Lucky Rooster Eatery
Shipwreck Hut Beach Bar
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: email@example.com
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 ‘jamjar 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: 22 166 • E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.aroabeach.com
The Palms Restaurant & Rumba
Located at Club Raro in Tupapa, dine in our popular Palms Restaurant or have lunch or evening nibbles along our waterfront and poolside areas. We offer à la carte menu with a wonderful combination of local and international food. T: 22 415 E: email@example.com www.clubraro.co.ck
The Waterline Restaurant & Beach Bar The ultimate for sunset, romantic beachside, or ocean view dining; offering a fusion of European, Asian & Pacific cuisine. Wide range wines, beers & cocktails. Open: lunch & dinner from Mon-Sat; live entertainment with Garth Young on Tue, and Bryan Rodelas Wed & Fri. Waterline is also a popular ‘onestop’ venue for beach weddings & receptions. T: 22 161/53 167 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.waterline-restaurant.com
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nga, many on the to consider dotted
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. T: 24 776 Fb: CafeJirehRarotonga
Coconut Crab Café
Located on Akapuao Beach, Titikaveka, Charlie’s is open Monday to Friday from 11.00am to 8.30pm, and on Saturdays from 11.00am to 3.30pm. Live music Monday to Friday at 6.30pm, and on Saturdays at 1.30pm. Dinner bookings are essential. Friendly casual eatery with a laidback vibe!
Located at the Discover Marine & Wildlife Eco Centre, Arorangi, the Coconut Crab Café offers tasty food & drinks to eat-in or takeaway including toasted ‘sammies’, Roti, Sliders, Lasagne, cakes, smoothies, teas, & terrific coffee! Open Monday (9.30am) to Saturday (10.30am on Saturday) until 4.00pm.
T: 28 055 E: email@example.com www.charliesraro.com
T: 23 344 www.discoverecocentre.com
Located on the main road in Muri, check out our ‘allday’ breakfast menu and join us for awesome coffee, friendly service and great home-style cooking. Try our custard square and cheesecake- local favourites. Open Sunday-Friday 7.30am-3.00pm. Wi-Fi available. T: 20 858 Check us out on Facebook
Margaritas Bistro & Bar
Pacific Café style, Margaritas is located on the Main Road in Avarua. Espresso, cocktails, cold beer. Open daily (except Saturday). All-day breakfast, sharing platters, tapas and famous cocktails on happy hour. T: 29 924 margaritas-rarotonga.business.site facebook.com/MagaritasRarotonga/
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 4.00pm-6.00pm. T: 23 000 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.muribeachclubhotel.com
‘The Taste the Cook Islands’: Daily tours of this tiny brewery just off the main road at Tikioki, Titikaveka, at 12.00pm & 1.00pm (check roadside board for changes). Cost $15.00 (+ $5.00 transport, if required). Free tastings during the one-hour tour; merchandise for sale onsite.
Located at Nautilus Resort in Muri, Nautilus Restaurant is a stylish Polynesian beachfront restaurant & chic beach bar that can be enjoyed in a fine dining a la carte setting inside, or casually alfresco on the patio overlooking the lagoon & infinity pool.
T: 26 288 E: email@example.com www.matutubeer.com
T: 25 125 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.nautilusresortrarotonga.com
Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill
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 air-conditioned Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill offers authentic Italian cuisine with a selection of pizzas, pastas and other signature Italian dishes. Whether you are out for an intimate dinner for two, a family gathering or hosting a group of 20 to 60, the Spaghetti House can take care of your special requests. T: 25 441 • www.edgewater.co.ck
Nonno Emilio – Ristorante Italiano Just 150m from the Airport, Nonno Emilio Ristorante Italiano (Italian owned & run) offers a variety of authentic Italian specialties, including homemade pastas, Neapolitan pizzas, lasagne and gnocchi. Italian premium wines, Prosecco, ice-cold beers and Lavazza coffee will make you relax in the shade of our Alfresco terrace. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch & dinner. T. 51 262 or 21 121 • www.nonnoemiliorarotonga E: email@example.com
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
The Islander Hotel & 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: 21 003 E: email@example.com www.islanderhotel.co.ck
Vaima on the Beach
The Yellow Hibiscus Restaurant & Bar
Tumunu Restaurant & Bar
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.
The longest established 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.
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 11am-2pm, and dinner 5-9pm, seven days a week, Vaima provide transfers to/from accommodation on request. Live music Mon, Wed, Sat, Sun.
T: 20 002 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.palmgrove.net
T: 20 501 E: email@example.com www.tumunurarotonga.com
T: 26 123 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.vaimarestaurant.com
Wilson’s Restaurant & Beach Bar
Located at Castaway Resort. Breakfast/Lunch 8am2pm. Bar open from 12pm. Happy Hour 3pm - 6pm. Yakitori Skewers, Japanese Menu and Bar Snacks from 12pm. Dinner from 6pm. Mon - Sun. Themed Menus each night include: Pasta-A la carte - Mexican - Pizza/Burgers - Seafood - Curry - BBQ. Live Music: Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun 6pm-8pm. Cuban Cigars sold exclusively at Wilson’s. T: 21 546 • E: email@example.com www.castawayvillas.com
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Edgewater Resort offers delightful dining options for visitors to Rarotonga, seven days a week. LOCATED ON THE SUNSET COAST AT ARORANGI, THE EDGEWATER RESORT & SPA PRIDES ITSELF ON WARM HOSPITALITY AND AFFORDABLE DINING FOR ALL.
Roland develops all aspects of the dining and entertainment to the taste of hotel guests, visitors and locals, including planning and catering for weddings and special events. “Our food and beverage philosophy is simple: a relaxed dining experience for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or for any occasion! “We also have live entertainment seven days a week. I don’t think any other resort has that.” A central point for Edgewater Resort is Mal’s Bar. Overlooking the pool and lagoon the bar is named after Australian rugby league legend Mal Meninga, who opened the eponymous bar at the height of his career. “There are pictures of Mal around the bar, which is open from 10am to midnight. Often visitors come to Mal’s Bar just to watch the brilliant sunsets.” The main restaurant is The Brasserie, which also enjoys epic views of the lagoon and ocean.
SITUATED ON RAROTONGA’S SOUTH COAST, VAIMA ON THE BEACH IS ONE OF RAROTONGA’S ‘MUST TRY’ EATERIES.
he smart interior dining room features local artworks; outside there's a marquee and genuine beachside dining. Pacific cuisine Raro island-style is on the menu seven days for lunch and dinner, and takeaway pizza.
he food and beverage manager Austrian-born Roland Neururer has been with Edgewater Resort for twenty-five years. Starting as head chef, he soon took over the F&B role he loves today.
Meet the folks at Vaima
Food and beverage manager, Roland Neururer
“Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, The Brasserie offers a relaxed dining atmosphere. We are in the middle price range so there's nothing really expensive,” said Roland. “Breakfast is from 7.00am to 10.30am, then from 11.30 onwards we have our all day menu that goes through to 9.30pm. Three nights a week we offer a buffet dinner. We always have lots of fresh fish, which is supplied daily.” Another eatery at Edgewater is the Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill located on the main road at the resort’s entrance. “Edgewater is big so we needed a different outlet with a different style of menu especially for guests staying for many days, so we have the Spaghetti House Pizzeria & Grill open daily from 5.30pm9.00pm. We offer home-style pizzas, pastas and other signature Italian dishes - all in air-conditioned comfort! “Many people like the air conditioning but others prefer to eat outside in the beautiful
garden area. They love to sit and eat in the open-air and watch the world go by! “We do a lot of takeaways too, not just pizzas, but from the whole menu!” Another feature of Edgewater Resort is their island night and buffet feast every Tuesday and Saturday. They are popular so it always best to book! The legendary buffet features iconic Cook Islands cuisine, and an amazing dessert buffet that includes Bomb Alaska ice cream cake: “We are very famous for our Island Night food.” The Islands Night also features one of Rarotonga’s most entertaining cultural shows. “Edgewater Resort is big on food and beverage. One menu we run seven days a week, but then we also have other different menus available every day. “And, our pool is available to visitors who dine in the resort for breakfast, lunch or dinner.” Now that’s that's pretty cool!
Vaima is owned and operated by Cameron and Dorothy Robertson: Cameron is a Scotsman with a Liverpool accent; his father left Arran for England at 15 looking for work, settling in Liverpool when Cameron was two. Dorothy is born and bred in Scotland. Living in Merseyside until 21 Cameron moved to the Highlands to work in the oil yards at Nigg Bay as a weld inspector. There he played semi-pro soccer for Ross County FC for many years.
Under the marquee at Vaima
Aquarius, a property near the airport: “It was a joint venture with the owner, but we eventually pulled out.” In 2010 they bought Vaima Restaurant in Vaimaanga and the Nu Bar near the airport. “Vaima had been around since 1975, but sadly it burned to the ground in 2014. We were devastated!”
Cameron said they were lucky to still have the Nu Bar at this time. “That was a kind of blessing, as we moved our restaurant there virtually the next day”. The landowners rebuilt the Vaima structure, and Dorothy and Cameron furnished the new restaurant’s interior and kitchen: “We’ve continued to grow since re-opening in 2015.” Cameron said his best friend is his wife Dorothy: “We are good sounding boards, we’re good mates, and we like doing things together.”
In the early 90s he worked offshore on the Brent Bravo in the North Sea where he met his wife and business partner, Dorothy, who was working in administration.
In addition to working with menus and other Vaima matters, Dorothy runs an island fashion retail outlet across the road called ‘Inspirations of Rarotonga’.
Life partners: they married in Scotland; they remarried in Las Vegas, and married again in Rarotonga!
Always immaculately Cameron Roberston at Vaima on the Beach, with Dorothy had a house and garbed island-style entertainer Rudy Aquino in the background shop in Ballater, near Dorothy is the Balmoral, from where she embodiment of her retail commuted to the rigs: “That’s fashion shop, which also offers when we got together before custom-made dressmaking. moving to Arran where we ‘Inspirations of Rarotonga’ also ended up having a restaurant has lots of parking, ideal for and a hotel,” said Cameron. Vaima on the Beach diners. “We sold up and came to “Dorothy is the main Rarotonga in 2001. There was inspiration for Vaima’s menu a wedding in New Zealand and what goes on in the and we visited Raro on the way kitchen. She in the restaurant back, deciding over a glass of every morning, then wine at Trader Jacks back again around that this was the place 5pm; tastes all the for us! Six months sauces and generally later we were living checks everything is here. We bought clean and in place.” and developed what is today known as “I’m more the PR Castaway Resort. guy!”
They married in Scotland; they remarried in Las Vegas, and married again in Rarotonga!
“We sold it in 2007 then took a year off renovating our house.”
Sunset dining poolside
In 2008 Dorothy and Cameron became involved with
discover paradise EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR Edgewater Resort & Spa
Dorothy & Cameron Robertson, New Year at Castaways 2001
We asked Cameron about the future: “Well, we are getting close to the end of our working careers and would like to retire, so the Vaima is now up for sale!”
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A stylish town eatery with hangout appeal THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF INTERESTING PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK ON RAROTONGA, BUT THERE IS ONE POPULAR EATERY THAT JUST ABOUT EVERYONE ON THE ISLAND WILL HAPPEN UPON!
ocated next to the CITC Pharmacy in downtown Avarua, The Lucky Rooster Eatery (formerly Café Salsa) has what all food and beverage businesses crave: location, location, location. And it is a great place to hang out! The eatery’s owners Martina Uhlig and Armin Schwander are from Switzerland. Arriving in Rarotonga three years ago the longtime friends and business partners have developed the original café into a stylish eatery and popular meeting place, recently including an outside catering component for events and weddings.
Antipodes, an Epic Name for an Epic Restaurant
hospitality course, similar to the one Martina completed. Once qualified he was headhunted and moved to South Africa ‘to join a circus’ as side-kick to the owner.
Armin described it as an ambitious project similar to Cirque du Soleil. “The world tour started in Montreal, but soon the eccentric owner went bankrupt!” Another skill Martina acquired was the teaching of yoga. “I also registered for a Chinese medicine school, but wanted to travel before committing to the course”. It was at this time Martina planned to meet up with Armin in Fiji. Armin was
On return to Switzerland he worked for a communications and event company managing a converted cinema in Zurich, where he met Martina, who was working for a company that held events in the venue. Armin and Martina have been close friends and fellow travellers since! Both had separate business interests that often kept them apart, until they met up in Rarotonga in February 2016.
According “We had such the Martina a great time and Armin in Raro we The Lucky wondered if Rooster Eatery we could buy a staff have business or work given them here.” an insight into the local A few days culture and before they were communities: Armin and Martina, fun owners of The Lucky Rooster Eatery due to fly out “We have arriving from Mexico, they heard Café Salsa was learned a lot from them, and Martina from Bali. Three for sale, looked it over and they have learned from us. days before the reunion decided to buy. It is a beautiful exchange in Cyclone Winston happened cultural knowledge,” both “Something felt special, around Fiji. Travel plans partners agree. beautiful and magical here quickly changed and they in the Cook Islands!” said met in Rarotonga instead, a Armin and Martina’s Martina. “We were at the place they had never heard professional backgrounds are right time, at the right place, of before, but was to change the similar, but different. making the right decision.” their life plans forever! Martina is from Zurich, “We saw the potential of “When I was doing the big Armin from Lucerne. Both the place and we knew the events, Armin was an event have travelled extensively, lifestyle that comes with it! manager in one of the venues. individually and together, and Being business partners made That's how we met”. both have worked in events it possible for one of us to and hospitality. be here, while the other one travelled!” added Armin. As a teenager at language college Martina recalls “Café Salsa was a strong wanting: “to experience life, brand on the island, but have money, and travel!” She we don’t serve Central or speaks Swiss German, High South American food, so German, English, French, we decided on a new name Italian and Spanish. more connected to the area. One animal that everyone Included in the varied places Fresh and healthy homemade food sees and hears in Rarotonga Martina has worked are are the roosters. They are Cape Verde, the Maldives, Armin is from Lucerne. He everywhere; we have made the Galapagos Islands, and speaks German, French and our peace with ours,” said Thailand. English. When at school he Martina. started a commercial business apprenticeship and became “We made them part of our a textile tradesman for huge new brand name: The Lucky corporate company, but he Rooster Eatery. We changed yearned to see the world so the ‘café’ part of our name he moved to Guernsey to too, because we are not just work in a five star resort as a place for coffee and cake. a bartender, which gained We are an eatery that proudly him valuable expertise from prepares fresh and healthy bartending professionals. homemade foods daily for our Martina completed a After returning to Switzerland customers”. three-year course with the working for a promotion “Rarotonga is the greatest Swiss School of Tourism & company, he got a job bar place on Earth; the vibe and Hospitality, which led her keeping on a German cruise the energy of this place is to be employed by a catering ship, “The German version outstanding. It just makes me and events company that of the Love Boat – they were happy!” beamed Martina. specialised in “super big shooting a TV series”. Armin added: “The beauty events”. “When I came off the ship of the environment, of the I worked for the mother At one time Martina was people, the smell of the company of the same employed by one of the ocean, … and I want to company as Martina worked country’s best-known become a good kite surfer.” in. I was doing ‘bar concepts’, companies that published Fb & Instagram: and ended up assistant cookbooks and consulted theluckyroostereatery general manager”. for supermarket chains. She scouted different countries to Homepage: After more travel Armin check out product trends. theluckyroostereatery.com did a three-year tourism and
Something felt special, beautiful and magical here in the Cook Islands!
Dining views over the South Pacific Ocean
JOCELYN BALLANTYNE IS THE UNPRETENTIOUS CHEF AT ANTIPODES, A CLASSY, ‘IN-DEMAND’ RESTAURANT IN RAROTONGA WELL KNOWN FOR IT’S DELECTABLE MEDITERRANEAN-INSPIRED CUISINE.
ocelyn is one of the most appealing and original voices in recent years to enter the Rarotonga restaurant scene, the kind of chef who can tempt the palate of ordinary people who just like to eat well and enjoy their food. Antipodes is not the cheapest eatery in town, but with Trip Advisor’s number one restaurant rating in Rarotonga for value, service and food, one patron recently described it as a ‘top spot for top-end dining.’ Located within a cliff-top Mediterranean-style villa at Black Rock near Avarua, Antipodes offers matchless views over the sparkling South Pacific Ocean.
was a magnificent private home. At the time, we thought it would be the perfect place to set up a business specialising in weddings, events, with a restaurant and boutique accommodation. In 2017 the property came on the market, we purchased it and over the next seven months, carried out extensive renovations of the building to convert it in such a way that it could accommodate our commercial plans. Everything we imagined we would do with the property, we finally achieved in reality.
Occupying one of the loveliest, airy spaces of any restaurant on the island, Antipodes is open for dinner six nights a week (except Tuesdays), and for lunch on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Twelve years ago whilst on a holiday in Rarotonga, my partner and I came across this Mediterranean style villa at Blackrock, which at the time
Top spot for top-end dining. Antipodes ambience Antipodes has a unique location perched on top of the Blackrock Cliff that affords it commanding views out over the lagoon and the South Pacific Ocean. The ‘romantic’ Mediterranean villa is very photogenic. The position and way Antipodes has been built, provides maximum protection from the elements. And, Antipodes is perfectly situated to take in the magnificent sunsets.
The sign says it all
Antarctica each year to spend time in the tropical paradise of Rarotonga between the months of July through to the end of October. From our three spacious outside dining terraces patrons can observe magnificent whale breaching and tailslapping displays.
Antipodes, the specialty caterer and accommodation provider
Not only is Jocelyn Ballantyne the executive chef, she owns the joint! So, we asked her Superb accommodation at Antipodes to tell us a little about herself and the concept behind The Antipodes menu Antipodes. No other restaurant in Rarotonga specialises in Professional Mediterranean-inspired background cuisine. We provide Trained in New Zealand. patrons with a menu that is Worked on Waiheke Island exceptionally varied, with at a number of well-known dishes from a number of restaurants. Prior to acquiring countries situated in the the Antipodes site, spent last Mediterranean region. around eight years working at the four most exclusive resorts on Rarotonga and, in last two as Executive Chef.
The creation of Antipodes
Jocelyn Ballantyne: executive chef and co-owner of Antipodes
Antipodes is also arguably the best spot on the island to easily view the Humpback Whales that migrate from
The renovations we carried out converted the building and site to accommodate weddings and events. A luxurious 115 sq.metre bridal suite was created on the eastern side of the property, which can accommodate up to four adults in two en-suite bedrooms that lead out to the suites' private 200 sq.metre courtyard - complete with a pool on the cliff edge looking out to the ocean.
Entertainment at Antipodes On Sunday evenings Antipodes has its ' Sunday Sunset Session', which features live local entertainment. Each Sunday of the month has a different entertainer.
Antipodes, the future To continue with our treasured Antipodes team, to each day try our best to provide outstanding dining experiences for our guests. And, to build Antipodes up to be the premier venue to enjoy a romantic meal, celebrate weddings and anniversaries, and other special events. Above all, to remain respectful and hospitable to all our patrons!
Antipodes Restaurant T: 28 873 or 73 900 E: events@ antipodesrarotonga.com www.antipodesrarotonga.com
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D I N I N G & E N T E R TA I N M E N T
Simply The Café
All roads lead to Raro PHILLIP NORDT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY ENTREPRENEUR WHO HAS BEEN MOVING TOWARDS HIS DESTINY IN RAROTONGA SINCE THE 1980S. HE CAN THANK HIS MOTHER FOR HAVING THE VISION TO VISIT NEW ZEALAND WITH HER TWO SONS ON A CAMPERVAN TRIP SEEKING OUT OPPORTUNITIES.
ONE OF THE MOST UNDERSTATED CAFÉS ON RAROTONGA RESIDES WITHIN THE HISTORIC BEACHCOMBER BUILDING JUST OUTSIDE AVARUA, WHICH ALSO HOUSES AN ART GALLERY AND AN UPMARKET GIFT SHOP. IT IS SIMPLY CALLED THE CAFÉ.
he Café is home to the Vinyl Revival Club with its astonishing collection of 60s, 70s, and 80s, and Polynesian, vinyl records ranging from Bobby Darin, The Monkees and Diana Ross, to Elvis Presley, The Troggs, and Aretha Franklin.
About as laid back as it comes on the island. Customers can personally select and play their own music to accompany their coffee, cake, or light meal. Open
Owner Claire shows off the latest addition to the vinyl record collection
for breakfast, brunch and lunch Monday to Saturday, The Café serves up first-rate espresso coffee, homemade cakes and tasty fresh food, including vegetarian and vegan options. Try some of the all time favourites such as smoked marlin salad and feta olive focaccia, or toasted bagel, salmon and cream cheese! Lots of character with a lovely shaded courtyard, this unique little treasure of Rarotonga is about as laid back as it comes on the island. P.S. The Vinyl Revival Club
Coffee and cake at The Café
‘mobile disco’ operated by DJ Wheelie (Ian Wheeldon) also makes regular appearances at clubs and pubs around the island, including Trader Jacks and the Cook Islands Game Fishing Club.
oday Phillip is a Rarotonga resident, master chef , master baker and restaurateur, whose energy is boundless.
Self confessed gourmet
Born in Landau, after two years national service in Germany, Phillip became a management trainee with the Vier Jahreszeiten Munich (hotel), studied hospitality and tourism in Vienna, and was a commercial sales manager with the Grand Metropolitan Hotel Group in Frankfurt.
for Phillip who met the right people to help him build on, and invested in, a range of cafés, restaurants, clubs, and a hotel marketing & an inbound tourism operation. Phillip also became passionately involved with the international gastronomic society,
Years later he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts in Dunedin and became a culinary arts tutor, most recently at the Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute (CITTI) in Rarotonga. New Zealand was a goldmine of opportunities
OTB On the Beach Restaurant & Bar
Culinary entrepreneur, Phillip Nordt
La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’s Christchurch chapter, now he heads up the Cook Islands chapter, which he started. Married to Frances (the Cook Islands connection), they have two children Hanny (21) and Harry (20). Chef Phillip Nordt, selfconfessed gourmet, has worked for Pacific Resorts and CITTI in Rarotonga, but is now the owner of OTB On the Beach Restaurant & Bar at Manuia Beach Resort. At the 2018 Cook Islands Tourism Awards, OTB won the ‘Emerging Tourism Leader Award’. It’s been a long journey from Landau to Rarotonga, but Phillip knows it has been worth it!
Handcrafted ‘Back Yard’ Tours of Rarotonga LOCAL PERSONALITY AND BLOSSOMING ENTREPRENEUR MEREANI TALBOT IS ACTIVE IN MANY SECTORS OF THE RAROTONGA COMMUNITY, BUT THE ENDEAVOR SHE IS MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT IS HER BACK YARD ‘ARTS & CRAFTS’ TOURS.
orn in Manihiki, Ani (as she is best known), spent most of her childhood in Auckland, and most of her working life in New Zealand and Australia in the IT industry, but that’s another story. She returned to the Cook Islands a few years ago with her family, particularly wanting her two boys to connect with their Cook Islands heritage. Ani is now the perfect host and tour guide, personable and knowledgeable about the forgotten and often rarely seen local artists and craftsmen, including wood carvers, weavers, ukulele Ani Talbot of Back Yard Tours makers, shell-carvers and jewellery designers. Back interesting and fun ‘shopping Yard Tours also visit makers of experience’ for both the shopper, coconut oil skin care products, and the non-shopper! pareu (sarongs), and black pearl The tour travels around the island jewellery. The list goes on! Most visiting the skilled artisans in tours will visit eight or nine villages, workshops, and literally places, depending on what people some backyards! are open on the day of the tour. A three-hour+ Rarotonga Back Yard ‘Arts & Crafts’ Tour is an
“This is the only combined cultural and shopping tour
experience in Rarotonga,” said Ani. “Cook Islands arts and crafts are so beautiful and this unique experience gives our guests a sense of appreciation for what these artists and vendors do”. Ani added: “Nearly everyone who visits the Cooks wants to purchase a special gift for others, or a keepsake to remind them of the wonderful time they had in Rarotonga. Many want to buy locally made; Backyard Tours offers overseas visitors
the opportunity to meet our talented locals and see how they make their products right here in Rarotonga. Back Yard Tours travel in an airconditioned van in small groups, with a minimum of two guests, and a maximum of eight. The tour generally takes between 3 and 4 hours, including pick up and drop off. T: 26 457 or 81 899 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Fb: www.facebook.com/ backyardtoursrarotonga/
Treasure Chest 'A SHOPPING TREAT'
Rarotonga's largest selection range of island clothing and footwear, together with an extensive range of souvenirs, craft and gift ideas.
FOUR GREAT SHOPS: Mana Court in Avarua (Tel. 22325) The Edgewater Resort (Tel. 28325) Pacific Village Muri (Tel. 21325) and, The Rarotonga Beach Resort (Tel. 27325) email@example.com
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Cook Islands style
Id.CK (Identity Cook Islands) is a popular fashion store located in Banana Court, Avarua Rarotonga’s main township.
id.CK’s SUNNY GIRL range speaks for itself – tropical prints, great fabrics, stylish and contemporary. Pictured is a SUNNY GIRL dress for $85, accessorised with chandelier earrings and a clutch from ADORNE – Australian accessories fashion house.
he store stocks a broad range of resort wear for men and women from swimsuits and hats, to evening wear and tops, jewellery and accessories, to beach footwear and sunglasses.
AMELIUS brand collection is all about tropical colours and prints; pictured is an off shoulder number – perfect for hot days, priced at $99. The outfit is accessorised from id.CK’s ‘funky’ sunglasses and jewellery range.
White is a great colour to wear on a Cook Islands holiday. The attractive men shirt with palm tree embroidery in fine cotton fabric is only $29.90. The lady is wearing a stylish playsuit from AMELIUS priced at $120.
“If you want to look great and feel comfortable on your tropical getaway - id.CK is the place to shop! We stock a wide variety of brands, including from NZ, Australia and the USA, with a focus on natural fabrics with lots of vibrant colours – just the way we dress here in the Cook Islands,” said shop manager Rachel Harris Best.
Kaftan is the versatile friend for all your vacations. id.CK’s beautiful kaftans are from LULA SOUL, priced from $99.90.
Look great on the beach in this vibrant tropical bikini – priced at $39.90, and a fine cotton pure white maxi skirt priced at $29.90. And, of course, not forgetting a wide brimmed hat from id.CK’s sunhat range.
id.CK’s stylish Men’s Hawaiian shirt collection will make you want to own one. Excellent quality, priced at $59.90. Select from a huge range of colours. Sunglasses from CARVE, an Australian surf brand.
ooking for a unique cultural experience? Then take a look at Pacific Weave in Panama (next to the airport) and learn about the art of weaving. Try your hand weaving, and leave with your own hand-made souvenir. Traditional weaver Nanave Taime will show you how, and share stories about life in the Cook Islands. Pacific Weave is a unique store in Rarotonga with a window to the arts and culture of the South Pacific. Call Nanave on 27 535 to book a weaving class; they are suitable for adults and children.
he Perfumes of Rarotonga factory outlet located next door to Pacific Weave has been making pure virgin coconut oil soaps for years; produced by hand in small batches from traditional recipes, with scents capturing local flowers including gardenia, frangipani, and jasmine. Some of their soaps are unscented and some have healing qualities with the addition of Noni health tonic. The soap is wrapped in the leaf of the pandanus tree, which is a trademark look of the Perfumes of Rarotonga Pure Coconut Oil soap. Perfumes of Rarotonga offer daily factory tours.
Coconut Oil Soaps
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Charlie’s, a great 'chilled-out' local eatery EVER WONDER WHERE TO FIND THE MOST RELAXED, CHILLED OUT PLACE FOR CASUAL EATING AND LIVE MUSIC WHEN YOU ARE ON VACATION? WELL WHEN ON RAROTONGA YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT CHARLIE’S IN TITIKAVEKA.
handful of years ago Charlie’s began modestly in a beachside container with kayaks, paddleboards, snorkels and flippers at Titikaveka. Today, it is one of Rarotonga’s most enjoyed venues for casual all day dining, which also features live evening music from Monday to Friday. The container has been added to but the first thing you’ll notice is the expansive back deck and alfresco dining options with an affordable menu that includes a variety of crowd-pleasing gastronomy from burgers, fish and chips and toasted sandwiches, to sashimi, fresh salads, beer on tap and cocktails. There’s added seating near the bar. The owners, Charlie and Mary Tapurau Hoskings are two of the happiest people on Rarotonga. They love life, they love their family, and they love their businesses, Charlie’s Rarotonga and the new Charlie’s Villas at Matavera.
Charlie’s began modestly in a beachside container. Whilst Charlie and Mary first met at Rarotonga’s Tereora College, they got together later when they both started dancing with the Ta’akoka Dance Troupe: “It’s named after motu Ta’akoka out there in the Muri lagoon,” said Maryy. “We were married in Rarotonga and have six children: Anthony, Vivian, Tamatoa, Charlie Jnr, Christian, and one daughter, Elsie. The oldest is 38 and the youngest 20. Anthony was born in Rarotonga, the others in Australia.” Initially Charlie studied to be a pastor in Melbourne at the Harvest Bible College, which specialised in training for Christian ministry. Graduating with a BA, he and Mary lived in Australia for 21 years. Mary was a homemaker and
Charlie Tapurau Hosking with Charlie’s Rarotonga’s A1 Meitaki Award
mother: “But, I also did odd jobs in supermarkets and in telemarketing,” said Mary. “I came back in 2005 because my dad passed away and my mum was alone, so I came back first. Charlie returned later after he sold our house.” Back in Rarotonga, Charlie worked for four years at Tereora College as a PE teacher before starting the Hosking’s first tourism venture in 2010, which was accommodation on family land, Te Akapuao Studio Villas. Then came beachside Charlie’s Rarotonga, also on family land, where they rented out paddleboards and snorkelling equipment, and started a basic café open during the day. Charlie Jnr, who now manages Charlie’s Rarotonga, said he was just happy to help out when his parents started the business. He began the Charlie’s Facebook page and Instagram account for the café and beach rentals: “That was in 2014.”
Charlie’s offers live music from Monday - Friday from 5pm
Fridays and Dad was playing Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we had Tok Haurua coming in on Wednesdays”. Charlie Jnr played guitar and piano, Charlie Snr guitar and ukulele. “Today, Anania Brown plays on Monday, Tupous Fynest on Tuesday, Tok on Wednesday, Kahiki and Mo on Thursday, and Dad’s band PVC on Friday: Pania, Varani and Charlie Snr. Koti Teina also performs on Friday.” “On Saturday afternoon from 1pm we’ve added Mo, Ronnie, Jimmy and Mii to the line-up of musicians.” The Charlie’s Rarotonga menu is wide-ranging, and includes local fresh fish, chicken and steak.
He and the Hosking family are also avid supporters of the Ngatangiia - Matavera Sea Eagles rugby league club where Charlie Snr played in the B Grade as a teenager. Charlie’s Rarotonga is one of the club’s sponsors. “The Sea Eagles Club won the 2019 competition in June completing the season without any loss!” said Mary. Charlie’s Rarotonga also sponsor the Titikaveka Bulldogs Rugby Club, the Turangi Cricket Club and others groups and events. “We sponsor sports all the time!” said Mary. “But we’re also a sponsor for other things like the Maori Speech Competition, which is for local schools.” “Another event we have been involved with has been the Cook Islands Sevens!”
The Hosking family is sporty, and they are community minded, but they are also one of the top visitor-orientated “I was born and raised businesses in in Clayton south east Rarotonga, having of Melbourne, then been presented in moved to the city 2019 with an A1 later. I came to Raro Meitaki Award in 2005 with mum by the Cook and dad. I lasted a Islands Tourism year then went back Corporation. To working mainly in receive an A1 retail and management Charlie Jnr represented Cook Islands in basketball Meitaki Award where I learned a lot a business, or about advertising and individual, must be nominated marketing, graphic design and “Our sashimi is always fresh multi-times by visitors to the off the boat,” said Charlie web design at that time.” Cook Islands. Nomination Jnr. “We have also started to forms are only available from Charlie Jnr added: “This is incorporate some Indonesian the Cook Islands Tourism a really a family business, cuisine.” Information office in Avarua although we also have a few Charlie Jnr is a basket baller (or Aitutaki), and in the Indonesians working for us!” who has represented Cook Rarotonga International “When we got our bar licence Islands, most recently in the Airport departure lounge. about two years ago, Mum Polynesian Basketball Cup in Businesses are nominated decided we should start Samoa. for ‘excellence in service to serving dinner, so we did that. visitors’. In his leisure time, Charlie “Then we added live music. Snr is the vice president of the On weekdays and Saturday I was playing Mondays and Cook Islands Rugby Union. from 11am Charlie’s serves
Charlie’s Rarotonga logo and lagoon image
up hearty light meals, teas, coffee, smoothies and cold drinks. Licensed, Charlie’s also opens for dinner Monday to Friday until 8pm, each evening accompanied by live music from some of Rarotonga’s finest musicians! Saturdays 11am-3pm, closed Sunday. Charlie’s Rarotonga & Charlie’s Villas W: charliesraro.com; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; T: 28 055
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TEN MUST DO’S WHEN VISITING RAROTONGA
A DV E N T U R E S I N PA R A D I S E
How do you feel about living and working in Rarotonga?
2. Rent an electric bicycle and tour the island. You can peddle normally, or pedal-assisted, or ride fully electric. No vehicle emissions, so it can’t be bad for the Rarotonga environment!
4. Stroll down historic, picturesque Makea Tinirau Rd (opposite Beachcomber), past the Cook Islands Christian Church and some of Rarotonga’s oldest and most interesting buildings (and graves).
5. Enjoy a walk along the waterfront from the Avarua Harbour to Avatiu Harbour or vv, stopping to view the SS Maitai shipwreck (1916) just past the reef, whose engine block is clearly visible.
6. Black Rock is a lovely beach just past the airport opposite the golf club. It’s a good snorkelling and body boarding spot. Be startled occasionally by low flying, wide-bodied aircraft approaching Rarotonga Airport.
7. Muri Beach with its wide lagoon and quaint little islands is a watery wonderland with snorkelling, paddle boarding, kite surfing, and lagoon cruises; and, a lovely village for lunch or coffee. 8. At the entrance to Muri lagoon is Avana Point; nearby is a peaceful park with the circle of seven stones, which commemorates the fleet canoes that left for New Zealand from there seven hundred years ago.
With Corinna Tucker, the new owner of “Storytellers” Eco Cycle Tours guide) and Jimmy wanting to stay on and become more involved, was another great incentive for me as well.
1. Ask for taro with your meal. It is a staple root vegetable used in the Cook Islands as a side to other dishes. Most island night feasts include it, as do many restaurants.
3. Visit the Punanga Nui Market in Avarua on Saturday morning to soak up the cultural atmosphere, buy local fruit, veggies, handicraft, and jewellery. Enjoy a coffee, pastry or smoothie.
Tell us a little about your personal and professional background
am from New Zealand, originally from Hawkes Bay. In 1999 I moved to Palmerston North to complete my tertiary education and ended up staying there for 18 years. I gained my PhD in Sociology in 2011, and from 2010 worked full time at Massey University. I spent the last six years there employed as an Environmental Sociology Lecturer.
What inspired you to buy Storytellers? When I discovered Storytellers was for sale, I knew it was something I should follow up on, as the timing of it coming up for sale was perfect in terms of my own circumstances, and it seemed a good match for my own background, interests and experience. The chance to operate a business that focuses on disseminating a better understanding for visitors about local culture and environment here in Rarotonga is something that I really value, and the Storytellers business was a great way to be able to do that. Having Jimmy (Jim Mare) already involved in the business as a Storyteller (tour
I love living here. I loved the place from the moment I stepped of the plane here for a visit 10 years ago, and I’ve been coming back regularly ever since. In early 2018 whilst I was based in Rarotonga for my research sabbatical, I knew that this was where I wanted to be! I enjoy the work that I do here now at Storytellers.
What is the philosophy behind Storytellers, the business? For me it is really about providing a better understanding of the Cook Islands, and in particular of Rarotonga in relation to history, the people, and the land. If visitors can better appreciate the importance of the relationship between the people and culture, and the land and environment, then this will inspire visitors’ caring and respect for the people and place while holidaying here.
Can anyone join a Storytellers tour, regardless of age and fitness level? Just about anyone can enjoy a Storytellers tour! The youngest participant was a five month old (before my time), and we had an 80-year old lady not long ago. We offer three different length tours so visitors can choose which tour best suits them, whether it is the shorter 3-hour one, or the longest at 5 hours. The important thing to keep in mind is that Storytellers is more about people enjoying and learning about Rarotonga,
9. A visit to Rarotonga is not complete without an evening out at one of the many island night shows that can match almost any budget. The cultural dancing, music, and buffet feasts are not to be missed.
Long-time Storyteller tour guide Jimmy on the job
than it is about the cycling: bicycles are just a great way to explore parts of Rarotonga that visitors otherwise may not encounter, while at the same time learning more about this beautiful place.
Typically, what do your customers experience on a Storyteller Tour? Customers largely dictate what it is that they will see and experience: each person is asked what they are interested in learning about, or seeing, and our Storytellers will do their best to incorporate as much of that into the tour. Common experiences include learning about marae and the Ariki system, local fruits and vegetables, medicinal plants, legends and stories from the past, the impacts of missionaries, fishing, the weather. Sometimes visitors are lucky to encounter some local
artists; on two occasions this year guests have been fortunate to come across investitures in progress.
With your background in environmental sociology, do you intend to use that in Rarotonga? I hope to bring that into the business – it’s a really neat fit having a background in teaching and researching, primarily in the area of environment and people. Overseeing Storytellers provides the opportunity to share my passion directly with people, and through how the business is operated. I hope that opportunities will arise where I can use my skills and experience in a positive way to help with the environmental protection and integrity of the Islands in particular.
Does Storytellers have Mana Tiaki Eco Certification? I am in the process of completing the certification application. For me it is a huge priority to become more environmentally friendly, and to do this to the best of our ability and in every way that we can. We are already limiting fossil fuel use; we no longer sell bottled water, and are switching to biodegradable equipment and cleaners for example.
What is your opinion of the growing emphasis on eco tourism in the Cooks? I think eco tourism should be a priority here. The environment is such a huge draw card for visitors and hence integral to the economy of the Islands. It would be such a huge shame to see the environment compromised for the sake of bringing in more tourism dollars without thinking long term about the environmental, social and cultural impact.
How do you see Storytellers role in the future of tourism in Rarotonga?
10. Rarotonga has mountainous volcanic terrain covered with beautiful dense jungle. There are various poorly marked tracks, but the cross-island trek is the ‘must do’: better with a guide than not!
I would like to see Storytellers stick around for a long time, and only get better over time. It would be great to think that we can become an exemplary model for eco tourism in the coming years.
Tours starting from
all tours include a delicious lunch or sunset cocktail.
of our profit back to the community.
It was such a relaxing ride filled with so many interesting things about the people, land and culture. Explore the ancient back road ‘Ara Metua’ and learn about Rarotonga’s history and culture from a passionate local storyteller. No two tours are the same!
23450 or 53450
Three tours are available, ranging in length from three to five hours. Ride at your pace and to your ability.
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SEE & DO
E-cycle around the island ADVENTURES IN
great way to explore Rarotonga at your own pace is to rent an e-bike, getting some exercise on the way! They are easy to operate, and suitable for all fitness levels.
KOKA LAGOON CRUISES
ant to visit some of Rarotonga’s best diving spots; Adventure Cook Islands is a good place to start. They also rent scooters, kayaks, & bikes, do the Raemaru Mountain trek, and teach Cook Islands dancing and drumming. T: 22 2212
STORYTELLERS ECO CYCLE TOURS
or an amazing excursion on Muri Lagoon filled with laughs, music and snorkeling, experience Koka Lagoon Cruises. Included is a fish BBQ on a small island (motu), a display of coconut tree climbing and coconut husking. T: 27 769
torytellers are the only tour guides on Rarotonga to lead these unique cycling experiences, offering a variety of bike riding to suit all fitness levels. Enjoy learning about the island’s history, f lora and fauna from locals. T: 53 450
DISCOVER MARINE AND WILDLIFE ECO CENTRE
KITESUP WATERSPORTS CENTRE
his is a great place to learn about the creatures that inhabit the Cook Islands, both on land and in the sea. It’s an interactive centre for all ages, with live fish and coconut crabs, birds, a theatrette, café, and marine exhibits. T: 23 344
RARO REEF SUB MARINE LIFE ECO TOURS
ased in Muri, Rarotonga’s original watersports centre offers the lot: kiteboard lessons, stand up paddle boards (SUP) rental, sea scooter snorkel tours, night and day paddling tours, yoga on a paddle board, and a surf shop. T: 27 877
he Cook Islands’ only semi-submersible tour leaves several times daily from Avatiu Wharf, weather permitting. A great photo opportunities for sea life, and for picturesque views of Rarotonga and the SS Maitai shipwreck. T: 55 901
THE BEST ECO WALKS IN RAROTONGA
CAPTAIN TAMA’S LAGOON CRUIZES
a Teuruaa has trekked Rarotonga for three decades, most famous for his cross-island trek. Whilst Pa still leads a Medicinal Herbal Walk twice a week, his nephew Bruce now escorts the crossisland trek three times a week. T: 21 079
stablished in 1992, Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes continue to provide a memorable Muri lagoon glass-bottom boat tour and snorkeling experience, packed with Cook Islands humour, fun and a BBQ on the motu. T: 27 350
THE PERFECT WAY TO SPEND SATURDAY MORNING ext to Avarua, Punanga Nui Market is a lovely glimpse into Cook Islands culture every Saturday morning with locals selling their fruit, veggies, fish, recorded music, handicrafts, pearls, jewellery, coffee and pastries, just about everything!
THE DIVE CENTRE
RARO QUAD TOURS
lso known as the ‘Big Fish’, The Dive Centre opposite the pristine Aro’a Marine Reserve has everything a snorkeler or scuba diver needs, including equipment rental, dive trips, and dive courses for individuals & groups. T: 20 238 or 55 238.
hey’re 100% electric and 100% fun. Experience the open air and the silence of an electric ‘tuk-tuk’ vehicle that allows you to enjoy your personal tour of Rarotonga, and maybe their famous ‘sunset cocktail hop’, or whatever! T: 28 687
rother to the cool Raro Buggy Tour is the Raro Quad Tour. If it’s true adventure you’re after then you won’t be disappointed with the 90% off road Raro Quad Tour through Rarotonga’s rugged inland jungle and hidden valleys. T: 23 000
Tik-e Bikes recommend three cycling options: cycle as you would on a normal bicycle, peddle assist up to 35kph, or go fully electric. You can circumnavigate the island twice on a single charge (a charger comes with a Tik-e Bikes rental). The first to offer this novel environmentally friendly way to enjoy the island, Tik-e Bikes are located opposite the Crown Beach Resort in Arorangi. T: 28 687.
No Licence Fees
ADVENTURE COOK ISLANDS
Tik- e bikes
Electric bike hire
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SEE & DO
Kura Happ is the real deal! Amazing live entertainer and now reef tour guide KURA HAPP IS A GIFTED AND ARTISTIC RAROTONGABORN VOCALIST, GUITARIST AND SONGWRITER WHOSE PERFORMANCES AROUND THE ISLAND’S MUSIC SCENE ARE SOULFULLY ENTERTAINING AND SPIRITED.
he is one of those unique restaurant entertainers who performs in an unpretentious yet eye-catching manner at a sound level where you can both appreciated her sweet music and enjoy your meal. But, Kura wasn’t always this way! Kura Happ has been on a musical journey since she was a young child when her grandparents brought her along to church to sing with the choir. Born in Rarotonga, raised in Sydney, Kura began her musical pathway learning the piano, but she got disinterested with it and didn’t continue. As a teenager still at school Kura and her sister Leilani practiced their musical skills busking during the holidays in Sydney’s busy shopping district around Pitt Street, the Town Hall and Central Station, and also nearer to home at Hurstville and Cronulla. “My best friend is my sister. We’re both singers. I would play guitar and she had the ukulele.” “We’d carry those little fold out stools with our instruments on our backs and a little Djembe drum. We’d walk around and set up at the best place; no sound system just acoustic.” Kura said they played different styles of music from the R&B music of Destiny’s Child and TLC, to Dr. Hook, The Eagles, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan (influenced by their parents taste in music): “I love Dr. Hook!” “My mum was the one that really got us into our music. She can play. And, she took us to musicals like Miss Saigon, The Lion King and Ipi Tombi. There was so many I can’t remember them all!” Kura and Leilani ultimately became a duo R&B group called Brown Sugar for a period with some success around the club circuit. “We did a few big gigs like Waitangi Day.”
Kura Happ, queen of the Rarotonga music scene
(Photographer: Jaiah Arai)
Kura later joined a group called Indigo: “It was a really good band, but I was also in other groups.”
all the good concerts and my favourite musicians I love to listen to, are often on the same nights as me."
When Kura’s mum and dad retired they returned to Rarotonga; Kura moved back and forward until eventually settling back in her homeland when she was 23.
Recently Kura has expanded her horizons starting a unique ‘eco’ venture called Ariimoana (King of the Ocean).
“I learned to play the guitar in Raro by watching and listening to local musicians.”
I Love it! If I could live down there, I’d leave this place and go live in the ocean forever. For the past fifteen years Kura Happ has become well known locally as an individual performer around the music scene presenting her own distinctive style. She has also performed internationally. Kura is also half of one of Rarotonga’s most popular and accomplished acoustic percussion duos known as Trigger Fish, with Maurice Newport (Mo). They perform a mix of soul, reggae and jazz in both small and large venues, including heading off to Tahiti often to play at the Hinano Live concert. “I love Tahiti!”. Kura is on guitar and vocals, and Mo on the Cajón (a box shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru): “It’s really cool!” "I love the music scene in Rarotonga. The only thing is
"I’m an outdoor nature 'waterbaby', big kid at heart! I love being in the ocean: snorkeling, spear fishing, scuba diving, free diving and reef walking. I love to scuba dive but I prefer to free dive with friends." I Love it! If I could live down there, I’d leave this place and go live in the ocean forever. Working for Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruizes at one stage as ‘Captain Happy’ exposed Kura to visitors, contributing to her confidence speaking as a tour guide, and supporting her believe that she could create a business focussing on her love of the ocean. “Also, working with Ariki Adventures, I learnt so much there, which gave me the confidence and courage to start my Ariimoana reef walkabouts.” In 2019, Kura began Ariimoana walkabouts. The Ariimoana reef walks are designed to explore the lagoon’s marine life close up. The walkabouts last around three hours during low tides. “We go on the reef at low tide, which is the best and safest time to go. We find sea life including moray eels, starfish, sea urchins, octopus, reef fish, and sea cucumbers, and talk about their roles in the ocean world. I tell stories about how the locals use to live fishing the reefs. All those stories my grandparents would share with me. I was raised on the beach.” For more information about Ariimoana reef walks call 70 070. Facebook - Ariimoana; Instagram - ariimoana_ walkabouts.
Ariimoana, king of the ocean
(Photographer: Alisha Street)
Kura Happ is the real deal! Amazing entertainer and now ‘eco’ tour guide. It’s going to be difficult not to come across Kura if you love the best things Rarotonga has to offer – local live music and the pristine lagoons!
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 email@example.com | www.pastreks.com
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The custard squares are Deli Licious! MOST CAFÉS IN RAROTONGA HAVE SOME CLAIM TO MAKING THE BEST COFFEE, OTHERS CLAIM TO MAKE THE BEST CUSTARD SQUARES, BUT JUST ONE CAN CLAIM TO BE THE MOST DELI LICIOUS CAFÉ ON THE ISLAND!
uri’s cool looking Deli-Licious Café is located on the village’s main road, conspicuous for it’s shady outdoor seating and umbrellas. Open Sunday to Friday 8am3pm for breakfast, brunch and lunch, owner-manager Kris Higgins said Sunday is their busiest day. As with many expat business owners, Kris and husband Neil came to Rarotonga on holiday and dreamt of making a living on the island one day. “The place reminded me of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula on the outskirts of of Auckland.
Kris and Neil came to Rarotonga on holiday and dreamt of making a living on the island one day
Peter Heays and Carey Winterflood, partners in Cook Islands Real Estate Ltd.
Get advise from the experts! Kris Higgins with a Deli Lious custard square
The hibiscus, the sun, the beaches; just reminded me of that! “In New Zealand I worked in corporate finance: I worked in banking then went into investments, but I just didn’t feel I had any quality of life.” Neil, who worked for the Department of Corrections as a Corrections Officer, felt the same way, so they started looking and soon found DeliLicious Café online, and it was for sale. “We bought Deli Licous as it was; we saw it on Trade Me about four years ago. We are
now in our fifth year,” said Kris. “We revamped the menu a little bit, but didn’t make huge changes as the café was running so well”. Focusing on quality coffee, cakes and light meals, DeliLicious Café is not only vegetarian and vegan friendly; it is also dog friendly! “We have a real love of animals. So visitors to the café must love dogs, because they are always around. They just hang about being friendly. We feed them around the back!” But getting back to custard squares, Kris is very proud of the Deli Licous variety. “We have the best custard square on the island because ours are made with eggs, milk and all things natural!” When asked if their custard squares are fattening, Kris replied lightheartedly: “When you are on holiday, nothing is fattening!”
The Deli-Licious Café at Muri
Kris concluded: “We didn’t come to Rarotonga to make millions, we came here for quality of life. We enjoy what we do. We love working with the girls in the café; they are awesome – and local!”
Polynesian Rentals expand
00% locally owned Polynesian Rental Cars & Bikes is now positioned at seven locations around Rarotonga, plus Rarotonga Airport. In 2019, Polynesian added its seventh location, which is situated on the main road at Titikaveka, next to Royale Takitumu. The others locations include: two in Avarua, Muri Beach, Aroa Beach, Club Raro and Edgewater Resort.
New location at Titikaveka
COOK ISLANDS REAL ESTATE LTD PARTNERS CAREY WINTERFLOOD AND PETER HEAYS HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE SELLING AND LISTING PROPERTIES AND BUSINESSES IN RAROTONGA AND AITUTAKI, PREDOMINANTLY RELATED TO THE COOK ISLANDS TOURISM SECTOR AND TRAVEL INDUSTRY.
e asked them what their advice was for people interested in buying a business in the Cook Islands: Is it easy or difficult? “It's certainly not difficult, but it is a process that has to get approval from the BTIB, the Business Trade Investment Board,” said Carey. “You need to get past the BTIB criteria to buy a business, which includes health checks, police checks from back home, and a small business plan. Providing the criteria is met, you'll find that you're most welcome, and work and residency permits are renewed easily.” So why choose the Cook Islands for a lifestyle change, and not another South Pacific island? “The Cook Islands is actually quite a sophisticated island nation, so we have ‘the niceties’ to conduct business. We also have the ease of travel to and from Australia and New Zealand, where most of our buyers come from. English is widely spoken here, and the laws are similar to Australia and New Zealand, but particularly New Zealand. So it’s fairly easy to do business here,” said Carey. Peter added: “We also have a stable government, we have laws that are recognisable, and policies that are not continually changing. It's consistent, and there is confidence in the future
of the country. That's our biggest advantage over other Pacific island nations.” According to Cook Islands Real Estate, people are primarily looking for lifestyle businesses mostly in tourism: hotels, motels, bed and breakfast type properties, cafés, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
Cook Islands is actually quite a sophisticated island nation, so we have ‘the niceties’ to conduct business. “One of the factors to be taken into consideration when buying a lifestyle property in the Cook Islands is that property cannot be bought freehold, only leased, albeit long term leases lasting decades. And, it certainly makes the unaffordable, more attainable, said Carey. “The entry level for accommodation property is dramatically different in Australia and New Zealand. Here, a million dollars could buy you a small accommodation property close to the water front; back in Australia or New Zealand it would be three, four, maybe five times that amount.”
According to Peter and Carey most of their enquiries for lifestyle businesses come from their website www. cookislands-realestate. com. “Our website has a monumental click-on rate,” said Carey. “But we also get calls from visitors here on holiday. They’ve fallen in love with the place, seen how easy it appears to be to do business here, and that's the clincher! They're about to go back to a 9-5 grind, and think: maybe we could settle here in the Cook Islands. Others get back home, get onto our website and start a conversation by email.” Cook Islands Real Estate handle hundreds of ‘lifestyle’ enquiries each year. Peter said: “We pride ourselves in personally guiding people through the entire process from the inspection, through the BTIB process, immigration, the banks, the loans, right through to the day they take over, and even beyond!” “We both first came here individually years ago as tourists, and we know what it's like to be a purchaser,” said Carey. “Not just that, we’ve brought our children up here, so we know about schooling, sports and recreation and so on. We’ve collectively got years of those sorts of experiences to share”. The Cook Islands Real Estate office is next to Cook Islands News on the main road just out of Avarua, but mostly Peter and Carey are with clients and vendors. “The best way to contact us is by mobile telephone 24/7 or by email,” said Carey. “We’ll come to you, or meet you for a coffee!”
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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Cook Islands, the perfect sea change It’s not a dream. Lifestyle is real!
model, but we rely a lot on the practices within the countries that supply most of our foreign investment funds, primarily Australia and New Zealand. But, the Cook Islands is foreign investment friendly!”
FIFTEEN ISLANDS SPREAD OVER 2 MILLION SQ.KM MAKE UP ONE THE MOST EXCEPTIONAL AND ACCESSIBLE COUNTRIES IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC, THE COOK ISLANDS.
The BTIB office is located on Avarua’s main road, opposite the Punanga Nui Market, in the same building as the Cook Islands Chamber of Commerce.
xceptional because of its engaging Polynesian culture and pristine environment, accessible because there are direct flights from New Zealand, Australia, French Polynesia and the United States, and English is widely spoken. The most visited islands are the main holiday island of Rarotonga and its close by neighbour, Aitutaki, which has what many consider the most beautiful lagoon in the world. And, it is possible to live and work in these islands subject to the approval of the BTIB (Business Trade and Investment Board), who provide information on what is required to start a business, or for those looking to invest in an existing business, in the Cook Islands. They also manage the approval process. The BTIB is a government funded agency that is responsible for the promotion of trade, investment and business in the Cook Islands,
“We are on this stretch of road for a reason. That is to be as accessible as possible to visitors, and to the public. We'd like them to come in to discuss opportunities.
Teariki Vakalalabure BTIB’s chief executive officer
the promotion and monitoring of foreign investments, and to encourage the participation of Cook Islanders in trade investment and business.
seems to take the bulk of our investment. But the need increases for foreign direct investment to be happening in other sectors too,” said Teariki.
Heading up the BTIB is the affable chief executive officer Teariki Vakalalabure.
“But, we do understand our reliance on tourism, and it's importance to the economy.”
According to Teariki there is a clear need for foreign direct investment to continue in specific areas including tourism, agriculture, transport, and marine resources.
Teariki said that BTIB develop its criteria around Cook Islands foreign investment policy constantly aware of what other countries are doing in the region.
“At the moment, tourism
“We don't follow any specific
FOR SALE* A selection of businesses currently for sale in the Cook Islands BUSINESS
Aitutaki Escape Blue Water Tours Commercial building & home Cook Islands Sun Publications Coral Sands Apartments Iconic Gourmet Bakery & Café Jasons Maps & Guidebooks Muri Garden Lodge The Dive Centre (The Big Fish) Vaima on the Beach Restaurant
Aitutaki Rarotonga Atiu Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga Rarotonga
POA $250,000 $260,000 POA $1,385,000 POA $1,850,000 $1,040,000 POA POA
Cook Islands Real Estate Jeff Tikitau Real Estate Cook Islands Real Estate email@example.com Cook Islands Real Estate Jeff Tikitau Real Estate Jeff Tikitau Real Estate Cook Islands Real Estate firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
* The above businesses were for sale at the time of printing. Prices quoted are in NZD+VAT. Details are sourced from real estate websites mentioned, the BTIB website, or the individual business.
“We want visitors to see our sign board or see a business opportunity and think: ‘I could invest here.’ Visitors don't necessarily come to the Cook Islands for investment purposes; they come here for a good time and a holiday, but they may see opportunities, and then come to us for advice and direction on investing in a business. “BTIB answer any sort of question in relation to: Can I invest in the Cook Islands? said Teariki. “We give people time with our officers; we take them through the process. And we provide them them with brochures and literature.” Is it not by coincidence that the Cook Islands Chamber
of Commerce share the same building as BTIB. “The Chamber subleases off us, so we share in resources in that sense. Notably, both organisations serve the business community. They serve their members, and their members are businesses on the Island”. Teariki said BTIB don’t have a big promotional budget but they are represented in some trade shows, particularly in Australia and New Zealand.
You don't just invest to make money in the Cook Islands, you invest in your lifestyle” “We have also attended trade activities in Honolulu. When we attend these events, usually it's a two or three way government agency collaborative effort to promote local, export ready commodities. That way we can compete in a lot of markets. “Last year we went to China taking five or six different products. A lot of it was around crafts, hand-woven hats, jewellery and pearls. We promote niche products overseas”.
But a core part of BTIB’s mission is foreign investment in the Cook Islands, which is articulated on BTIB’s comprehensive website btib. gov.ck. “We also dedicate a part of our website for opportunities to invest in the Cook Islands. That's investment opportunities and businesses for sale”. Teariki emphasised: “The tax system is very simple. Two kinds of tax, either income tax or value added tax. You pay in the Cook Islands. No death benefits tax, capital gains tax, all the other tax regimes that you could experience elsewhere. So it's very simple tax.” Teariki said that BTIB work closely with Immigration for all our investors. “BTIB always try and make sure that our investors get their permits on time and regularly. At the moment it is an annual renewal, we are hoping that can be extended soon to a two or three years renewal cycle. “We believe the Cook Islands allows you a life experience when you invest here that's different from other destinations,” concluded Teariki “You don't just invest to make money in the Cook Islands, you invest in your lifestyle”.
Business Trade Investment Board
INVEST IN THE COOK ISLANDS
Coral Sands Apartments
Business Trade Investment Board, Private Bag, Cook Islands Telephone: (682) 24 296 Facsimile: (682) 24298 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: http://www.btib.gov.ck The Dive Centre
Vaima on the Beach
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Cook Islands’ hard working commercial traveller THE TURAMA PACIFIC TRAVEL GROUP IS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL INBOUND TOURISM OPERATORS IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC. WE’RE CHATTING HERE WITH ROBERT SKEWS, THE COMPANY’S MANAGING DIRECTOR.
urama means ‘light and vision.’ The group consists of DMCK - Destination Management Cook Islands; Island Hopper Vacations; Tipani Tours; Raro Tours; and Weddings Cook Islands.
they became an integral part of the Rarotonga community, especially Robert’s beloved wife ‘Mama Mousie’. Sadly, in May 2018, Mousie died after a battle with cancer: “One of the many enduring things I learned from Mousie was the value of family!" Robert is the front man for the Turama Pacific Travel Group, travelling the world to promote Turama’s services, and the Cook Islands. Robert appeared destined to live in, and work on behalf of, the Cook Islands.
It all started in 1990 through a partnership with Air Rarotonga and some Papa’a (a Maori term for people of European descent), including Robert Skews and Brian Baudinet. Whilst the business developed, management and partnerships came Robert Skews at Turama House and went, including the Airlines in Samoa for two departure of Air Rarotonga and half years as reservations as a shareholder in the early and sales manager. That 2000s. Today Robert Skews secondment had enduring and Brian Baudinet are dual consequences for his personal shareholders. and professional life.
The great thing is we don’t need to manufacture tourism in the Cook Islands! We caught up with Turama’s managing director, Robert Skews, (aka Poppa Hopper, or simply Papa to his staff) who in 2013 was presented with the prestigious Cook Islands ‘Lifetime Achievement in Tourism Award’. Robert’s journey to Turama in Rarotonga really began at Air New Zealand in Auckland as a management cadet. During thirteen years with the airline he once visited Rarotonga on a relieving position, before being seconded to Polynesian
“Air New Zealand provided a general manager, traffic manager and sales manager to support Polynesian Airlines until 1978,” said Robert.
“I was with Air New Zealand until 1982. I went to Papua New Guinea with Air Nuigini from 19821986, ending up as sales and marketing manager. I returned to NZ to work with Ansett 198688 as airport manager in Auckland.” Robert then ran the Hawaiian Airlines operation in NZ: “Air Rarotonga chartered Hawaiian to fly to Rarotonga, so I then set up and managed Air Rarotonga in NZ”.
Four generations of family, 2004
But Robert actually craved to work for himself. “Smithy (Air Rarotonga’s founder, Ewan Smith) needed someone to handle inbound in Rarotonga, so Island Hopper Vacations was formed with me and two staff in Brian Baudinet’s Budget Travel Mana Court office, in May 1990. “We soon moved near the airport as we kept running out of space.” “16 years ago we built Turama House in Nikao.”
Whilst in Samoa, Robert met Polynesian Airlines flight attendant and his future wife Elisapeta, known as affectionately as Mousie. One of her aunties named her Mousie, as she was so small as a baby.
“Chris was an amazing leader. His skill was to get out there and do the marketing! I used to follow ‘Tourism’ around; that is how we grew the business. I have attended ITB Berlin (travel trade show) 25 times." Robert’s strategy has been if Cook Islands Tourism is overseas on a promotion then Turama should be there too: “And, it’s worked!” In Europe and Asia for the past five years Turama, Rosie Holidays, and the South Pacific Tourism Organisation have worked in partnership to run ‘Meet the Pacific’, an event bringing together South Pacific resort partners, tourism boards, and airline partners, with European tour operators.
“We married in Samoa in 1977 and were together over 40 years. We have five children: Mousie had three children, and we added another two in New Zealand, Nathan and Shannon, before coming to Rarotonga. We now have ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.” The Skews made Rarotonga their home in 1990. Soon
Robert Skews is entrepreneurial, and for over twenty years the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation benefited from his inclusion on their board. Robert cites Chris Wong, former CEO of the Corporation, as one of his greatest influencers; he also paid tribute to the influence of the late Dorice Reid, who served as a fellow board member.
One thing that distinguishes Robert Skews from his peers in Rarotonga and overseas is his choice of Samoan lava-lava
On the road again, Copenhagen 2018
(sarong) as his business and leisurewear: “Since living on Rarotonga I’ve worn it; it’s so comfortable”. We asked Robert his thoughts on the future of Cook Islands inbound market. “My concern is that we lose our uniqueness. We are ‘boutique’ - we don’t have the Sheratons and the Hiltons, and we don’t need them. This is our point of difference. But, we really are struggling on Rarotonga with infrastructure and there needs to be brakes put on accommodation development. “Also, we need to find ways to develop the outer islands. The great thing is we don’t need to manufacture tourism in the Cook Islands!” Robert said he would like to see better Los Angeles and Sydney services with at least two flights a week: “Another option is maybe to have Fiji Airways link Australia through Fiji to Rarotonga; I think that could work! “You know, I love this industry and the Cook Islands. We just need to be more careful about the bringing in plastics, noisy bikes and cars, and jet skis in the lagoon! Let’s keep our pristine image; it’s our advantage!”
Yakitori and Cuban cigars in a beach bar eatery named after a volleyball THERE ARE MANY SMALL RESORTS IN THE COOK ISLANDS; NONE QUITE LIKE THE QUIRKY CASTAWAY RESORT ON THE SUNSET COAST OF RAROTONGA.
ought from the bank in 2012, the resort has developed its infrastructure and built its reputation over the past seven years through the determination of its co-owners Paul Ash and Michelle ObergAsh.
Michelle’s sister Frances about twenty years ago. Michelle is a former Miss Cook Islands. Whilst Paul was doing his thing, Michelle was a senior executive for 18 years at the Ministry for the Pacific Islands Affairs in Wellington.
Managing director of Castaway Resort 2012 Ltd is New Zealander Paul Ash who comes from a maverick-style business upbringing. According to Paul his previous vocation was ‘a contract chief executive troubleshooter’ working for various banks, corporations and organisations. Paul met Michelle Oberg in Christchurch during a blind date set up by
“We got married in Rarotonga in October 2011,” said Paul “Then I was still doing work in Christchurch. Michelle had moved to Raro so we made a conscious effort to buy a business and settle here. “We bought Castaway in May 2012. It was completely run down. It came with 12 rooms, one part time cleaner and a guy doing a bit of gardening. The bar and restaurant were closed down”. Michelle took over the accommodation side, and Paul focussed on getting the bar and restaurant going. The old restaurant was called Crusoe’s so it occurred to Paul that a good name for a beach bar and eatery was Wilson’s after Tom Hanks ‘friend’ in the movie Castaway.
Paul Ash, Castaway’s managing director
Cool style, warm service is now the order of the day at Wilson’s, which is
located right on the beach next to the newly renovated restaurant. The open sided, elevated, undercover section of restaurant seats seventy, whilst sixty can be seated in the open on the beach. “We have live music on two or three evenings, Friday being the most popular with Anania Brown.” Wilson’s bar and the restaurant (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Cool style, warm service is now the order of the day. are open seven days a week, except on Sunday when the bar opens at 6 o’clock. The restaurant menu offers a different theme every night including pasta, Mexican, curry, and seafood.
Wilson’s Bar and the new restaurant, beachside on the Sunset Coast at Arorangi
“I enjoy the occasional cigar but when I came here years ago you couldn’t buy a cigar. There’s only one type of cigar to smoke and that’s Cuban! I import them now for sale at Wilson’s”. Another innovation introduced by Paul is Yakitori skewers: “There is a selection of beef, lamb, chicken, tuna, scallops, prawn, vegetarian and cherry tomatoes, all marinated in our secret Yakitori sauce!” With the food and beverage fairly well looking after itself,
it was time to seek out new investors to help renovate and extend the accommodation from twelve units to eighteen. “All existing rooms are now being upgraded and additional units being built. All 18 will be fully self contained and air conditioned.” Today Castaway Resort is a successful local business to be enjoyed by all, with a harmonious and cooperative relationship between its accommodation, food and beverage.
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AT U TA K I
Voyager, sail forth, to seek and find GENERAL MANAGER OF TAMANU BEACH IN AITUTAKI, NICK HENRY, HAS ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING MOST OF US ONLY DREAM ABOUT, AND THAT IS CAPTAINING A POLYNESIAN VAKA FOR TWO YEARS AROUND THE PACIFIC OCEAN ON A MISSION TO SAVE THE OCEANS, AND GETTING PAID FOR IT!
randson of the Cook Islands’ first premier, Albert Royle Henry, Nick could not be more proud of his family and his family’s history.
returning to the Cook Islands in the mid 1960s. “He wanted to help change the way the Cook Islanders were living. As independence was in the air, he got into politics,” said Nick.
Built on family land, Tamanu Beach has been in existence for eighteen years. Nick said the resort was his father Hugh’s vision: “Dad always wanted a beachfront resort. He made a sketch of it years ago, which we still have,” said Nick.
Albert son, and Nick’s father, Hugh was brought up in New Zealand, as was Nick’s mother Helen. Nick said that Albert Henry had told Hugh in the late 1960s: “It's time to come home”.
“This was a voyage to the South Pacific Festival of Arts in American Samoa. There were sixteen crewmembers, and after lots of preparation we sailed off encountering some massive storms, which damaged our sails, so we limped into Pago Pago seven days later. We were the heroes of the South Pacific Festival of Arts - these unshaven warriors, the only Pacific Islanders to come by sea. Everybody had flown in!”
Even though Nick wasn’t supposed to shoot video: “I became a crew with a camera. I made a documentary called ‘Seven Days to Pago Pago,’ which aired on Cook Islands Television, and we showed it at the Festival of Arts. I edited it there on my laptop!”
“As the youngest brother, it’s now my turn to contribute Nick Henry and son Harry at Tamanu’s island night Nick became an active to the operation and member of the Cook development of our family Hugh returned in 1969 with Islands Voyaging Society, resort,” said Nick, who arrived his wife and boys: Michael, ultimately as a captain: “I went at the Aitutaki resort in 2015 Paul, Stuart, and Nick. Sister to New Zealand to get the with wife Diane and newly Katherine was born in 1972: qualifications. So that really born son Harry. “Dad became Secretary of was my next career move - to Public Works working in the “This year we have had move from the media into Government.” another son Arapati, named this ‘cultural revival’. Then I after his great-grandfather just sailed for two years. I got After a stint at uni in Albert Royle Henry.” paid as a captain of one of the Auckland, Nick returned vakas by an organisation called to Rarotonga to work for Nick said the family name Okeanos (Foundation of the the Cook Islands Tourism Henry originated from Sea).” Corporation in sales and Reverend Henry Royle: ‘He marketing. By1996 Nick was was in Aitutaki preaching with Edgewater Resort’s sister the gospel with the London Missionary Society in the mid- property Club Raro as general manager. Soon he left Club 1800s. Our ancestor Tetaura Raro to help set up the Bond Raru sought permission from Liquor Store. the Reverend to "borrow" his name and then placed the After seven years with Bond, name "Henry" on his Son”. Nick left and created a video
“Grandpa died when I was 12 in 1981, so we knew our grandparents well. He insisted on having his children and grandchildren around him every week”. Albert Henry spent many years in New Zealand before
After five years Nick believes in ‘Aitutaki for Aitutaki’, meaning that when Aitutaki people are ready to develop more tourism, then that’s when it should happen. Not before! Tamanu bungalows facing the lagoon
Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti and Cook Islands. The voyage demonstrated the genius of Pacific vaka design and the power of the almost lost culture of celestial navigation. Nick then headed off to Tahiti for a couple of years. On his return, he was asked by the Prime Minister, Henry Puna to chair the 50th Anniversary
of Independence Committee, which took place in July and August 2014. In 2015, Nick headed off to Aitutaki to take over the family business as general manager of Tamanu Beach. Tamanu Beach is a friendly, adults-only (12+), airconditioned, roomy bungalowstyle resort overlooking the beach, lagoon, ocean, or tropical gardens on the
“My sentiment is I want Cook Islanders to own Cook Island tourism. I think that Aitutakians should decide what they want. Right now, there is not enough Aitutakians on this island to grow the industry. So until they come home, or until the Aitutakians here are equipped and ready to take tourism to another level, only then am I happy for us to go to that next level”.
“It was an unforgettable arrival with a big crowd at the harbor, and the Governor there to greet us. I remember hearing the Cook Islands drums; just an incredible feeling!”
Nick’s father sadly died a few years before the definitive Tamanu Beach opened in 2006, but two of Nick’s older brothers Michael (from the original Are Tamanu 2000) and Stuart (who developed the neighbouring Manea Resort 2004) partnered up choosing to name the amalgamated property Tamanu Beach in honour of their father.
The name Henry ended up later in the century being used as a surname: “So by the time my grandfather was born on 1907, he was Christened Albert Royle Henry. My full name is Nicholas Royle Henry!”
sunset side of Aitutaki. With 23 bungalows and all the amenities anyone needs for a tropical holiday, including a spa and massage, a beachfront restaurant and bar, and two fresh water pools, Nick describes the resort as ‘Casual Luxury.’
documentary during their forthcoming trip to American Samoa. “He told me they had no room for a cameraman on the vaka, but had room for a crew!
production company, The Digital Factory, with two partners making commercials, documentaries and videos on sporting and cultural events: “I also helped start 88 FM in Rarotonga around that time”. With his video experience Nick became involved with the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, through its president, Ian Karika.
“In 2008, I was at Trader Jack's having a drink with Ian and I asked him if I could go on the vaka and make a
Island Night dancers performing beachside
…when Aitutaki people are ready to develop more tourism, then that’s when it should happen
In 2010, Okeanos began working with voyaging societies across the Pacific to develop and build a fleet of seven traditionally designed, fossil fuel free double masted Vaka Moanas, representing 26 island nations. Nick was involved in the famous voyage Te Mana O Te Moana (The Spirit of the Ocean), which began in April 2011 and launched a renaissance in traditional vaka culture, ocean stewardship and engagement. Over the course of two years, hundreds of sailors navigated from Aotearoa to Hawai’i to the US with a historic arrival at San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and back, making stops at 15 Pacific nations along the way. After the voyage, Dieter Paulmann of Okeanos gifted four Vaka Moana from the Te Mana O Te Moana fleet to
Ph.  31 810 Fax.  31 816 email@example.com A I T U TA K I • C O O K I S L A N D S www.tamanubeach.com
Our well-maintained and modern fleet includes • small 4 door hatchback cars • 8 seater MPV's • 15 seater vans • automatic scooters Phone: (682) 31379 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.popoaraoceanbreeze.com
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A I T U TA K I
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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
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Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar +682 31 852 email@example.com www.aitutakivillage.com
AT I U
ATIU, A WORLD APART
tiu is only 187 kilometres from Rarotonga, yet it is a world apart! With a population of around 400, this rugged island is one of the eco centres of the Cook Islands attracting bird lovers and the more adventurous traveller. Only a forty-five minute flight from Rarotonga, a two or three-day visit to Atiu opens up a tranquil, charming, an unforgettable no frills Cook Islands’ eco-travel experience. See Jetsave Travel in Avarua or Air Rarotonga at Rarotonga Airport for accommodation and flight options.
Here are just a few of the attractions of Atiu. Photo captions: 1. Taungaroro Beach. Enjoy your own secluded beach. 2. ‘Land of the birds.’ Take a tour with Birdman George. 3. A natakitaki Cave. Inhabited by the Atiu swiftlet (aka kopeka). 4. C ook Islands Christian Church. Visit Atiu’s first church building.
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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Rare investiture of an ariki (chief) on Rarotonga By Jean T. Mason, curator, Museum Cook Islands at Taputapuatea (Library & Museum Society Inc).
There are six ariki (chief) titles on Rarotonga but three of them have a similar source: Makea Nui, Makea Karika and Makea Vakatini. They are said to have all arisen from the chief Karika for it is from this man that the Ngati-Makea (ngati: clan/tribe) are descended.
arika is said to have arrived from Manuka (reputedly in Samoa) and together with another great ancestor figure, Tangiia Nui (from Tahiti), battled the original inhabitants of Rarotonga to gain supremacy. As is the case in many parts of the world the titles obtained by succession have a long history mixed in with a healthy dose of myth and legend.
When the previous holder of the title, Dame Makea Margaret Karika Ariki was invested in 1949 following the death of her father, the WWI hero, Pa George Karika, the investiture was modest, and occurred in a church, possibly reflective of the austerity of the post-war period and the sadness that her father died from wounds inflicted in the Great War. The much admired war hero had only held the title for 7 years. Dame Makea Margaret Karika Ariki died on 12 December, 2017 at the age of 98 having held the title for 68 years. George Taripo, tama ariki, the son of the late titleholder, succeeded his mother in the emotional investiture ceremony, which took place one year to the day following his mother’s death. Preparations for the investiture began almost immediately after the death of Dame Makea Margaret Karika Ariki. At her funeral service the pare (crown) and tokotoko (spear/ staff) were handed to her son George in the church. As was always the custom pigs were raised and root crops planted. In addition much of the food for the feast that followed the investiture was donated by community and family members. The food
The arrival of the tama ariki by sea
Makea George Karika Ariki (right)
was prepared and cooked on site at the paepae, Ngarurutu, (official residence of the ariki) in a giant umu (ground oven). The investiture began with the arrival of the tama ariki by sea on a vaka taurua (double hulled canoe) paddled by a 12 member mixed crew. People filled every vantage point at Avarua wharf, traditionally known as Tuituikamoana. George Taripo was carried ashore and placed on his feet as the main chanter welcomed him with a turou (formal welcome chant). The tama ariki and his crew then passed through the smoke of the two
A spectacle many may not see again was over within a couple hours. large bonfires, in the rarely seen custom of ‘patai’ or ‘kiriti ma’u tai’, an old custom used to ‘cleanse’ voyagers and ‘remove the dampness of the sea’. The smoke is said to wipe away any bad spirits that may have travelled with the voyagers. The crowd of about 700 then followed the soon- to-beariki with his entourage as he walked to his paepae, for the formal part of the ceremony with local cultural expert, Vaitoti Tupa, in the lead, beating a lone pate (log drum) to signify the solemnity of
the occasion. Makea Karika’s va’a tuatua (spokesman) Anautoa Rangatira (Teariki Rauru) welcomed them with a traditional chant at the gate. Immediately the tama ariki was given a nu (green coconut) to drink (in former times it would have been poi – a coconut cream based drink of pounded fruit or cooked root vegetable). The tama ariki and his entourage were resplendent in their traditional ceremonial regalia of red or green rau ti leaves (cordyline), headdresses and tatua (sashes) and tiputa (overshirts) of tapa (barkcloth) and rauara (pandanus leaves) as they sat in front of the paepae. The youthful dancers of Nukutere College entertained in green rauti. The dancing over, one by one rangatira and mataiapo (sub-chiefs) of the Ngati-Karika clan handed to the tama ariki the symbols of his office: first, a white tapa (barkcloth) tiputa (overshirt), was presented, followed by a marokura, the sacred girdle (in past times would have been woven with kura feathers, breast feathers of the Vini kuhlii, now extinct on Rarotonga); then his rei (sacred talisman necklace, signifying his warrior status); a tokotoko (staff/spear) a symbol of his promise to protect his tribe; followed by a large fan, a symbol of the peace by which it is hoped he will rule his subjects. Lastly, a parekura (crown) was placed on his head. Kura feathers in the crown and girdle signify high status, the red colour standing for mana/power and nobility.
Unusually the new Ariki did not follow the custom of being carried aloft on a pa’ata (litter) at the completion of the ceremony as by his own choice he wanted to signify his closeness to his people and his humility by keeping his feet on the ground. The local Cook Islands Christian Church minister offered words of support and blessed the occasion as well as wishing the chief a long and peaceful reign.
As is the custom for this title, the 100 or so invited guests enjoyed a sit down feast inside while the public were given raurau kikau (platters of woven coconut leaf) of food to take home (or eat on site if they so desired). The whole ceremony was conducted expeditiously but respectfully. A spectacle many may not see again was over within a couple hours. But the memories of it for those of us who bore witness to it will endure in our hearts for the rest of our lives. Acknowledgments: Makiuti Tongia and Helen Tatuava.
There’s a whole lot of history going on at Museum Cook Islands (MCI): • a plethora of ancient gods, canoes, stone adzes, wooden spears; • Cook Islands and Pacific art; • textile crafts; • a multitude of pictures and photographs; • 40,000 books.
Check us out at http://cook-islands-library-museum.org Communicate with us at phone: 26468 email: email@example.com Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-1pm; Tues, 4pm-7pm Located on Makea Tinirau Rd, opposite University of the South Pacific, Avarua Postal: PO Box 71, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Makea CICC Church
MCI preserving our nation’s heritage since 1964.
Trader Jacks Bar & Grill
A tusked boar was set before the new chief
A large partially roasted tusked boar (puaka tuika’a; nio piki) was set before the new chief – from which he was to take
When all ceremonial rites were over, the new Karika Ariki George Taripo spoke. He promised to always listen and support his tribespeople as well as to try to rule with peace and understanding.
Paniania Taunga (George Paniani) chanted more than 10 different karakia (traditional special chants) some of which comprised a warning to the new chief on how he should conduct himself; to care for his people, that he should conduct himself always with honour and wisdom; then his genealogy and the history of the Karika title were also recited.
a bite from its ear, a ritual vital for the completion of the investiture. The men who held the carcass aloft had to make sure no one would try to get in between them and try to bite the ear for custom says an usurper could become chief by biting the ear before the intended candidate gets to bite it. The women folk surrounded the men to further offer protection of the puaka tuika’a. Biting, chewing and swallowing the pig’s ear symbolises the completion of the investiture ceremony and the promise the chief will listen to the pleas of his people; that thereafter he will rule them fairly, justly and peacefully.
Although ariki power has declined significantly over the past century the investiture of the new ariki entails special traditional ceremonies and the investiture of the Makea Karika Ariki title carried out on 12 December 2018, called akauruuruanga, was completed with suitable aplomb fitting for the position. For whatever power may have been lost, much respect and pride remains.
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USP Cook Islands Centre
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What Mana Tiaki means to the Cook Islands and to you! “TIAKI MEANS KEEPER OR GUARDIAN AND MANA TRANSLATES AS INFLUENCE OR POWER. IT MEANS GUARDIANSHIP WITH SACRED PURPOSE, TO PRESERVE IT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. THE KEEPER HAS THE POWER OR ABILITY TO KEEP OUR CULTURE AND HERITAGE ALIVE. MANA TIAKI ALSO REFERS TO OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS GUARDIANS OF THESE ISLANDS AND ENVIRONMENT”. (Source: www.kiaorana.cookislands.travel)
uring 2019 the Cook Islands, as a nation, moved further towards protecting its ‘Little Paradise’ with the launch and introduction of Mana Tiaki Eco Certification designed for businesses, particularly tourism-related, to contribute to a sustainable future for the Cook Islands. Attending the official launch of Mana Tiaki Eco Certification (MTEC) at the Discover Marine & Wildlife Eco Centre in Arorangi was Prof. Simon Milne of Auckland University of Technology, whose highly regarded ongoing Cook Islands Visitor Survey provided background on why this certification scheme is important to the sustainability of the islands. “The Cook Islands International Visitor Survey highlights the number one reason for visitor interest in the Cook Islands as our pristine natural environment. With increased numbers of visitors, comes a strain on our biodiversity, infrastructure and local communities. It
is vital that these issues are carefully managed and that responsibility lies within our communities, government, and our private sector,” said Prof. Milne. Also in attendance was Kelvin Passfield, the technical director of the eco-active NGO environmental organisation, Te Ipukarea Society, who run the certification program: “Mana Tiaki Eco Certification comes as the country notches up record numbers of visitors, but there is a genuine desire to curb the impact visitors have on the natural environment”. For some time now, the original Mana Tiaki program has enabled visitors to engage with local conservation efforts by supporting the work of Te Ipukarea Society financially. Donations to the Mana Tiaki program are primarily made through Mana Tiaki collection boxes at various tourism outlets, including accommodation, attractions, and food and beverage outlets. Monies collected go to various Te Ipukarea Society projects.
However, the MTEC moves an important step closer to supporting the Te Ipukarea Society mission to “Protect a Little Paradise”. The steady growth of tourism in the Cook Islands has made the protection of the country’s natural environment more critical to the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry. And, the tourism industry is aware of the contribution they can make through MTEC, whereby an eco accredited business follows a set of standards established to embedbiodiversityconsiderations and basic conservation efforts into its day-to-day operations. Business operations that achieve Mana Tiaki EcoCertification are rewarded with the recognition that this type of ‘green accreditation’ can bring, particularly the long-term sustainability of the tourism industry. Mana Tiaki Eco-Certification (aka ‘eco accreditation’ or ‘green accreditation’) is jointly undertaken between the National Environment Service through the ‘Ridge to Reef ’ project, the Te Ipukarea Society, the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, and the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council. Sue Fletcher-Vea, president of the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council, said at the launch: “I would like to encourage everyone in tourism to step up and become certified. I can't emphasis enough how important it is that we in the private sector protect the very reason our
Nature guru Pa Teuruaa is spiritually connected to the ecosystems of Rarotonga.
international visitors come to the island. “It is absolutely our responsibility to ensure that whilst enjoying the financial benefits of tourism that we do it in such a way that we are protecting our beautiful ‘little paradise’ for future generations.” The CEO of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, Halatoa Fua, said at the launch: “We are here today to mark a great milestone in our tourism industry, which is the introduction of Mana Tiaki Eco-Certification. “Our natural environment, together with culture and traditions, are the most important assets of any tourism industry. This certification is a ‘step up’ strategy to protect the essence of our growing tourism industry.” Since the launch dozens of tourism operators have already earned their MTEC. Look for the MTEC logo around the Cook Islands, and support and recognise its membership.
Mana Tiaki Week T
he Mana Tiaki Eco-Certification launch and Green Expo at the Discover Marine & Wildlife Eco Centre in Arorangi, coincided with the annual Mana Tiaki Week in Maire Nui Park in Avarua, where Cook Islands Tourism ‘Kia Orana Ambassador’ legends Aunty Nane Papa and Aunty Lydia Nga presided. Nane and Lydia are great friends who have known each other from school days at Titikaveka College; one year apart in age, Lydia admits to being the eldest. They have worked together for over ten years at Cook Islands Tourism; now both are the most recognised public faces
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.
of Tourism, not only as Kia Orana Ambassadors, but also featuring together in Cook Islands Tourism promotional videos, print ads, posters, and TV commercials. Nane said: “As Kia Orana Ambassadors, we are pretty much the ears and eyes of Aunty Lydia and Aunty Nane are not just great friends, they are the Tourism out in the embodiment of Kia Orana Values community. We visit schools, businesses to how we are feeling if we are feeling and community groups making good. And, Mana Tiaki that refers to presentations about the Kia Orana our responsibility as guardians of these Values. There is three core values islands and the environment”. of Kia Orana: Kia Orana, Meitaki Lydia added: “We both love what we do! and Mana Tiaki. We don’t count the minutes, and that “Kia Orana is both a blessing and includes the ‘meet & greet’ at the airport a wish for good fortune, and Kia all hours of the day and night; and we Orana communicates the essence happily attend openings of businesses, of our people and islands. Meitaki, buildings and events representing Cook which means thank you, also refers Islands Tourism.
lana Smith shows off one of Te Ipukarea Society’s more recent initiatives: 800ml insulated thermo-flask bottles, which keep their contents hot or cold for up to 24 hours. There are five colours to choose from: red, silver, black, blue and gold. A great souvenir from Rarotonga too!
NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR AN A1 MEITAKI AWARD
Help reduce the amount of plastic bottles entering the waste stream; say ‘no’ to single use plastic bottles, and refill a reusable bottles instead! They cost around $30.00 and can be purchased from the Te Ipukarea Society’s office, next door to Bamboo Jacks, on the main road at Tupapa, near Avarua. All profits go into Te Ipukarea Society projects.
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.