Many people think of the Cook Islands as a flop and drop destination, but on my recent trip I discovered it can be as action packed as you please.
As well as showing off the islands’ gorgeous scenery, these Cook Islands activities showed me a side of this tropical paradise that I wouldn’t have seen from my sun lounger by the water.
Whether it was delving into the jungle on a mountain bike or zipping across the ocean bed on a sea scooter, these tours helped me appreciate the Cook Islands from a whole new perspective.
Raro Buggy Tour
What a great way to get off the beaten path in Rarotonga!
Our afternoon tour started with a briefing on all the rules and regulations, because you actually get to drive the buggies yourself. Instead of being boring it got me very excited to get on the road, and once I was behind the wheel of my little yellow number it was all systems go.
Driving through the bush, seeing and feeling the absolute expanse of the nature around us was a wonderful feeling, and a great way to explore beyond the beach in Rarotonga.
We stopped for a dip in an ice cold water hole; a refreshing break that gave us a chance to clean some of the mud pack off our faces. Prepare to get dirty - this is an awesome, hands-on experience.
Ariki Sea Scooter Safari
I’ve never tried a sea scooter before and it was an exceptional experience - I felt like I owned the ocean.
Unlike the usual feeling of struggling through the water, being propelled along by something that resembles the front end of a motor bike allows you to zigzag on top and deep below the water.
The coral was beautiful of course; watching giant clams open and close was something most of us will never see, and coasting past a 100-year-old shipwreck was a special moment indeed. The multitude of coloured fish that encircled us added to the unique experience, it made you feel free and alive and so at home in the underwater environment.
Storytellers Eco Cycle Tour
A mixed party of about 15 of us set off on these great mountain bikes. Our ages ranged from 20 to 70, but everyone was made to feel safe and comfortable.
We saw so much of the island that you’d never see from the main road. We got right into the veggie plantation and learnt what fruits are okay to eat and which ones are best to avoid by identifying them in the wild. The guide was passionate about the history and culture of the island and how important it is that we all do our bit to protect and conserve the nature around us.
The ride wasn't just a ride; we stopped nearly every 10 or 15 minutes for a water break and a nature talk, so it was a nice mix of physical and cultural activities.
Another side of the islands: How To Find Local Culture on your Cook Islands Holiday
Looking for a place to stay?: Rarotongan Beach Resorts: A Firsthand Guide
Wet & Wild private charter
Out on the Aitutaki Lagoon under the magnificent sun, wind blowing through your hair, sliding through beautiful blue, unbelievably clear water… the charter was an incredible experience packed with laughs and good times.
Before we got stuck into the 'wild ‘activities, we had a good 45 minutes snorkelling , a wonderful way to relax and truly appreciate the ocean where so many of us only ever are on landside.
We all had a turn at tubing, and zoomed through the water, bumping into each other at 40 or 50 kilometres an hour. If you didn't hold on to the side handles you would have been flying over the ocean like Superman!
Most of us had a chance to jump on try a wakeboard, which was harder than it looked! Only one of us managed to ride the wake, and the rest of us had a very enjoyable dunking.
Hi, I'm Wayne from Ackerfeld & Goldberg Travel Associates and I'd love to help you plan your escape to the Cook Islands. I've got plenty of first hand tips from my recent adventure, so give me a call on 1800 625 888 or stop by the store - we've got some fantastic Cook Islands packages available right now!