- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit The Cook Islands
Fifteen droplets of land cast across 2 million sq km of wild Pacific blue, the Cook Islands are simultaneously remote and accessible, modern and traditional. With a strong cafe culture, a burgeoning organic and artisan food scene, and a handful of bar and clubs, Rarotonga lives confidently in the 21st century. But beyond the island’s tourist buzz and contemporary appearance is a robust culture, firmly anchored by traditional Polynesian values and steeped in oral history.
North of ‘Raro’, the sublime lagoon of Aitutaki is ringed with tiny deserted islands and is one of the Pacific’s most improbably scenic jewels. Venture further and robust Polynesian traditions emerge nearer the surface. Drink home brew at a traditional ‘Atiuan tumunu (bush-beer drinking club), explore the ancient makatea (raised coral cliffs) and taro fields of Mangaia, or swim in the underground cave pools of Mitiaro and Ma’uke. The remote Northern Group is a South Seas idyll experienced by a lucky few.