Scattered over an incredible two million square kilometres of ocean and largely unspoiled by tourism – no traffic lights and no high-rise buildings – the romantic Cook Islands are a holiday paradise for couples looking to drop out, kick back and just relax into 'island time' – that mysterious Pacific timezone when nothing is important and nothing is rushed. So take off your watch, turn off your phone, take a deep breath and feel the tension leave your body... perfection!
Situated roughly halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand with a six hour direct flight (at certain times of the year) from Sydney, the Cook Islands are stunningly beautiful with gorgeous sugar-white beaches and gem-blue waters so dazzling and so clear, watching the colourful tropical fish dart by is like looking through a magnifying glass.
Couples arrive into the main island of Rarotonga, a volcanic, jungle-clad island whose high, craggy mountains plunge straight down into shimmering blue lagoons. There's only one road circling the island so hire a scooter or jeep and take a drive to discover the small villages and beaches or you can catch the local bus or hitch a ride with a friendly local to really immerse into the culture. Oh, and don't miss the wonderful opportunity to join the locals at a church service where you will be mesmerised and enchanted by the uplifting voices of the worshipping choirs. Every moment of a Cook Islands honeymoon or holiday for two will be relaxing and invigorating – the perfect getaway from your busy life!
There's a small main town named Avarua to explore, some bars and some pretty good restaurants for food and drink. Local musicians and dancers appear at various resorts or hotels for entertainment, but that's it for the nightlife – remember, you come here to kick back, not kick up your heels! Don't worry, though – in the arms of the one you love, you won't even notice. After all, couples are here for romance and rejuvenation.
The perfect Cook Islands romantic holiday should include a few days on the island of Aitutaki, a place known as honeymoon island because of its awe-inspiring, spectacular scenery of white sand, turquoise water and dazzling rainbow-coloured sunsets – named in so many travel books as one of the places you must see before you die! And what better way to see it than with your loved one? Take a dip in the picturesque waters, let the sun warm your skin as you stretch out on the sand, and indulge in a kiss or two as the sky slowly turns to night. To us, that's the perfect way to spend a day (or two!) of your honeymoon or romantic holiday!
Stay in one of the award-winning, luxury boutique resorts; swim in the liquid bounty of the shimmering lagoon; take a boat to One Foot Island, twice voted the best beach in the Pacific region at the World Travel Awards and fall in love all over again as you dine on the beach under a canopy of twinkling stars... it all awaits you in the beautiful Cook Islands.
PERFECT FOR COUPLES WHO:
Are wanting a real, laid-back island holiday, just overflowing with romance. No 'commerical' island holidays here!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT:
You won't be able to resist the warmth and friendliness of the locals. Immerse in 'island time', slow down, relax and rediscover each other in a place where there's no distractions. It's perfect for a honeymoon or romantic getaway for two.
MOST ROMANTIC THING TO DO:
Picnics are always romantic so find a deserted beach, pack the picnic basket and enjoy – or simply enjoy being with each other uninterrupted by life's usual busy demands. Definitely have a romantic toes-in-the-sand dinner followed by a starlight swim. Heavenly!
Sunshine can be enjoyed year-round in the Cook Islands. Severe weather is rare and infrequent, so lightweight clothing is the norm. A lightweight raincoat is a good idea as there are occasional showers. Average day time temperature from 22° to 29°C.