28 November - 6 December 2017
From $3299 Per Person Twin Share, $599 Single Supplement
In Conjunction with Uplift Tours and Travel
Day 1 – Tuesday 28 November 2017 (B, D) Brisbane – Rarotonga
Today we meet at the Brisbane International Airport at 8.30am ready to depart on our Air New Zealand Flight at 11.20am to Rarotonga via Auckland. After arriving at the Rarotonga Airport at 12.40am, we will be transferred to Edgewater Resort and Spa, our home for the week. (Please note: as our flight crosses the International Date Line, we will technically be arriving at our destination before leaving Australia!).
Time for a sleep, then breakfast is available between 7 and 10.30am. We will have a brief resort orientation at 11am before you enjoy your day of leisure. Perhaps take the opportunity to take the local bus into town, (own expense) approximately NZ$8 if you wish to go right around the island! The “town bus” pulls into the reception at our resort so it’s very easy. Or you may just wish to relax around the pool and enjoy the resort facilities. After finishing a relaxing day, we will be dining in-house with a delicious Island Night Dinner and show.
Accommodation: Edgewater Resort & Spa Phone: 0011 682 254 35
Day 2 – Wednesday 29 November 2017 (B, D) Local Primary School/Schools Decorated Properties Competition
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before we transfer to the Local Primary School where we have the opportunity to mingle with the school children who are known for their friendly smiling faces and wonderful curiosity of meeting people from other countries. If you wish, feel free to bring educational material for the children, such as pens, pencils, erasers, colouring in books etc. We will also be taking the opportunity to view the local schools showcasing their interpretation of the Tiare Flower Festival. Tonight, we will get to enjoy a special Plantation Homestead dinner with the opportunity to interact with a local ‘Cooks’ family (BYO alcohol). Our tour begins with a walk through their plantation garden with our host explaining the local flora and its many uses for the local people. Enjoy a delicious dinner made of the finest local organic ingredients with a touch of Asian flavour and Polynesian flare. This is truly a unique experience and if you are a ‘foodie’ …. it is a must!
Day 3 – Thursday 30 November 2017 (B, D) Island Discovery Tour/Maire Nui Gardents
After Breakfast we will meet our driver for our very own Circle Island Discovery Tour. This tour is an excellent introduction to the Cook Islands, and provides information on the country’s history and culture, stopping along the way at fascinating historical and ceremonial sites. Our tour will also include visits to local Rarotonga Businesses showcasing the Tiare Festival at its best. Light refreshments are included on tour. Afterwards we visit the Maire Nui Gardens for a guided tour. Whether your garden style demands straight lines or curves, water features, organic or structured, you will find something to inspire you at Maire Nui Botanical Gardens. We return to our resort for an afternoon of leisure. We return to our hotel with time to relax before enjoying dinner at our resort.
Day 4 – Friday 1 December 2017 (B, L, D) Highland Paradise
After breakfast, this morning we visit Highland Paradise, situated high up in the rugged mountains of Rarotonga. This fascinating “open air museum” boasts spectacular views, and showcases evidence of a historical lost village and the survival of the Polynesian people. Learn about the intellectual know-how of the early signs of astrology to the barbaric rocks of sacrifice, which include the navigational stones used to guide the ‘vakas’ to Aotearoa - New Zealand. Meander through the gardens which contain medicinal and ritual plants. Light refreshments are provided for lunch before returning to our resort. This afternoon is at leisure before we return to Highland Paradise where we will enjoy an evening of unique and truly authentic cultural entertainment and feasting ... prepare yourself for an evening of true Cook Islands fun!
Day 5 – Saturday 2 December 2017 (B, L, D) Pununga Nui Markets/Progressive Dinner
After breakfast, we leave our resort for the colourful local Punanga Nui Markets! This is the ‘place to be’ on a Saturday morning where we will have a chance to mingle with the locals, look at local island crafts and take in the atmosphere of a typical Saturday morning in Rarotonga. We’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at Café Salsa, with the afternoon at leisure. This evening we depart for our Progressive Dinner and venture out to the villages to experience true Cook Islands cuisine, hospitality and the real spirit of culture and lifestyle when you visit the locals in their homes! This 5 hour wine and dining experience takes visitors through three island style homes where you feel the magic of meeting 3-4 generations under one roof. Revel in the stories of old, and the dreams and aspirations of Cook Islanders as they map out their young lives.
Day 6 – Sunday 3 December 2017 (B, D) Cook Islands Christian Church
This morning after breakfast, we travel to Titikaveka Cook Islands Christian Church to join a wonderful experience in the Cook Islands. Hear the locals raise the roof with their renowned beautiful singing! After the service, we join church members for light refreshments. We return to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure before joining our fellow travellers for a BBQ buffet dinner at our resort.
Day 7 – Monday 4 December 2017 (B, L, D) Koka Lagoon Cruise
After breakfast we have a very special treat for you! We join “Koka Lagoon Cruise” on the world famous Muri Lagoon. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to discover the protected lagoon of Rarotonga. Join the fun, professional crew of Koka Lagoon Cruise on board a glass bottom boat and cruise around the world-renown Muri Lagoon to the inner reef area to view the varieties of tropical marine life. Ensure you pack your bathers, hat, sunscreen and towel! A sumptuous BBQ lunch is provided. Lots of fun guaranteed today! Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant, Kikau Hut.
Day 8 – Tuesday 5 December 2017 (in flight) Depart Rarotonga
We will transfer to the airport. Our Air New Zealand flight departs early hours of this morning to begin our journey home, after our wonderful Cook Islands Pacific Paradise experience.
Day 9 – Wednesday 6 December 2017 (in flight) Arrive Brisbane
We will spend a few hours relaxing in the Emperor Lounge in Auckland Airport between flights. We will arrive back into Brisbane mid morning. (Please note: your flight crosses back over the International Date Line to return to Australia). We say “Aere Ra e Kia Manuia” until you grace the shores of the beautiful Cook Islands again!!!