The thought of travelling for two days to visit family in New Zealand without adding on a South Pacific island trip was now only a thought! After spending a little over a week in Niue on our previous trip where would we go this time? Whilst my mum had already been to the Cook Islands this was still an option, the other being Samoa. Samoa was huge in comparison to the Cooks main island of Rarotonga whereas Raro was quite a bit smaller than Nuie – maybe we’d get bored after ten days on a tiny island!

Both were around 4 hours flight time from Auckland. Whilst the Cook Islands are tied closer to New Zealand; same currency, etc.. Samoa was its own country and looking far less commercialised. After a lot of research, jumping back and forth, in the end the Cooks won out. As well as the main island of Rarotonga we’d head to Aitutaki too.

Rarotonga seemed to pack a big punch; snorkelling, diving, beaches, whale watching (in season), markets, and a highpoint soaring 652m above sea level, pretty impressive on an island that is only 32km around! Aitutaki on the other hand was around a quarter of the size with everything being about its famous lagoon.

Muri Lagoon is the perfect place to begin our Cook Island adventures

Muri Lagoon is the perfect place to begin our Cook Island adventures


All set for a morning on the water

All set for a morning on the water

The village of Ferragudo

The village of Ferragudo

The Palatine Gate, one of the best preserved 1st-century BC Roman gateways in the world

The Palatine Gate

Royal Palace of Turin, including the Palazzo Chiablese and the Chapel of the Holy Shroud

Royal Palace of Turin

Caffé Torino, established in 1903

Caffé Torino

View from our accommodation on a stormy late afternoon

Accommodation view

Porta Palazzo, home to one of the largest and oldest farmers markets in Italy

Turin’s main market

Po River, the longest in Italy, and the Piazza Vittorio Veneto

Po River

Piazza Mario Motta in the quaint lakeside town of Orta San Giulio

Piazza Mario Motta

San Giulio Island and the Basilica di San Giulio

San Giulio Island

The beautiful lakeside town of Isola San Giulio

Orta San Giulio

April 28th – May 8th 2023

Muri Shores, Rarotonga – 177 USD/ night on
Paradise Cove Lodge, Aitutaki – 175 NZD/ night on

Cafes & Dining Out
Trader Jacks, Avarua
Kai & Co., Avarua
Te Vara Nui Village, Muri Beach

Things To Do
On Rarotonga…
Te Manga highpoint hike
North to South (the Needle) hike
Punanga Nui Market
Muri night market
Cultural night

On Aitutaki…
Maunga Pu highpoint hike
Lagoon cruise


I think that with trial and error both my photography and website design are getting progressively better so hopefully these newer, better quality images will inspire you to get out there and travel. Click HERE to see more and if you like the content then feel free to comment.

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