Cook Islands: These Exotic Islands Are Calling Your Name.

Cook Islands: These Exotic Islands Are Calling Your Name.

We just returned home from the Cook Islands and let me say, these islands far surpassed our expectations. I felt like real life Moana and I am here for that.

We flew on the direct flight from LAX to Rarotonga, the plane landed an hour early so YAY! When we arrived at the airport they had a musician playing, immediately I was in love.

Views flying into The Cook Islands

Transportation: On Rarotonga, our plan was to just use the public bus and for the first two days we stuck to that plan but on day three I convinced my husband that we needed a scooter and our lives were changed. Apparently, Lizzie McGuire was right, Scooters are the best!

Who doesn’t love a scooter on an island?

Tourists: about 80% of the tourist on the islands this time of year are from New Zealand, its winter for them so it makes so much sense to escape

Cuisine: We ate very well while visiting the island. We ate freshly caught fish at least once a day and delicious exotic fruits multiple times a day.

Sunsets that will take your breath away.


While staying on the island of Rarotonga we stayed at the Castaway Resort. This small hotel was exactly what we wanted, about 15 rooms and a beach bar with the most beautiful sunset views. Our hotel room had a back porch that the roosters, hens, and chicks loved to visit.

Castaway Resort on Rarotonga

One day while feeding the baby chicks at the hotel I met a little girl from the island, she immediately asked me why I was feeding the chicks because she has never seen anyone do that before. I felt like such a basic American girl at that point, but I couldn’t help it they were the cutest!

We attended the Highland Paradise Island Night and absolutely enjoyed every second of it. It’s a great opportunity to learn so much about Cook Island Maoris.

Island night at Highland Paradise was a success.

We visited the Matutu Brewery, while I absolutely recommend paying it a visit it is only open to the public during the tour hours, so if you plan on showing up at any time you will just be greeted by an empty building. During our brewery tour, the entire group was American and all booked their flights during the Air New Zealand Cyber Monday sale, so if you are listening Air New Zealand that sale REALLY worked.

Must Visit Restaurant: The Mooring; we had our very first meal there but I probably could have eaten all of my meals there. It was the place I was first introduced to Ika Mata, and really I don’t know how I lived my life without Ika Mata EVERY DAY.




Air New Zealand has one American flight in and out a week, I really appreciate this direct flight but gosh I wish I had a Saturday on Roratonga to experience the Pananga Nui Cultural Market.

Before we left back to America we went to the Hula Bar on Roratonga, this cheap bar was crawling with local residents and so much fun!!


WOOOOWWWEEEE! The most magical island I could ever have imagined. If we were to do it over again, we would spend two days on Roratonga and 5 days on Aitutaki. I really really really loved my experience there. It felt like a truly exotic island, beautiful scenery, sparsely populated and little connection to the outside world. We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and were back off the island by Friday morning, just not enough time. There were so many more beaches to explore and cats to meet.

Aitutaki Cats; my favorite subject matter

A major difference that I noticed right away was the absence of dogs, Roratonga is crawling with very friendly dogs everywhere and I didn’t see one dog on the island of Aitutaki.

I mean, this beautiful beach looks fake, right?

It’s a small island so if you are looking for a vacation with tons of restaurant and bar options, probably not the best location but if you are looking to disconnect from the world and connect with the most perfect turquoise lagoon, then look no further.

The Aitutaki airport looks like its straight off a movie screen.

During our visit to Aitutaki, we stayed at the Kuru Club, an off the grid hotel on the lagoon near the airport. The host was so great and really made sure we were enjoying our experience.

Our favorite thing we did while on vacation was The Vaka Cruise on Aitutaki. A MUST DO. This 6-hour cruise was absolute perfection. Lunch included freshly caught fish, local fruits and vegetables and other island favorites. The boat took you to multiple islands including an extended stay at one-foot island. My favorite stop was a few hours of snorkeling in the middle of the lagoon; beautiful clear waters crawling with schools of fish.

Dreamy One Foot Island.

The people of Aitutaki were just amazing, friendly and gracious and so inclusive. We would be riding our scooters down dirt roads and everyone would wave at us with a big smile on their face.

Aitutaki has many over the water bungalows, that are calling my name. I really want to plan someone’s honeymoon to The Cook Islands, specifically Aitutaki so if anyone is reading this that is planning a wedding, lets chat!

Book your ticket from LA to Rarotonga now, you wont regret it.

Overall: I give my experience a 10/10 absolutely would recommend. I really don’t understand how these perfect islands have stayed off my radar for all these years.


I’m going to The Cook Islands!

I’m going to The Cook Islands!

I’m going to The Cook Islands, it really is an island. Okay, I know I’m not the only one who thinks Jersey Shore quotes are hilarious.

In a few days, we are heading off to the Cook Islands to celebrate my husbands 30th birthday! I’m obsessed with the Maori culture, food, and music so this trip really is a dream come true.

Let’s rewind to how we decided on the Cook Islands. Last fall, we were on a boat tour throughout the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand and the 9 other women also on the boat all worked for Air New Zealand. These nine Australian women talked nonstop about the airline and it was that afternoon that I became obsessed with booking a long haul Air New Zealand flight. The rest of the trip I couldn’t stop talking about our future trip on Air New Zealand to Tahiti, well turns out Tahiti is EXPENSIVE! So that dream was crushed.

We returned home from New Zealand on Black Friday and on Cyber Monday Air New Zealand was having a great sale on flights to the Cook Islands, our flights to The Cook Islands were booked that evening.

There is one flight a week from the United States to the Cook Islands, so the island already feels pretty dang exotic. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will want to pack my cat up and call this island home, but we shall see.

Do I plan on spending the whole time at the beach resort like this? duh.

We will be splitting our time on the islands between Rarotonga and Aitutaki. I can’t wait to swim in the ocean all day and enjoy an Island Night in the evening. I am excited to eat exotic fruits and a seafood and pork, is there any other south pacific delicacy that we must try while visiting?

Am I going to be singing the entire Moana soundtrack on the plane over? Sure. Have I ever been this excited for a vacation? Unsure.

My Cook Island recap will be posted soon and I know it will surpass all of my expectations, I just can’t wait!