What was in God’s mind when He created “all things bright and beautiful?” Rarotonga perhaps? If you were staying in some boutique resort, water’s edge, quiet, palms overhead and warm water beckoning . . let’s say the Little Polynesian for instance, then you would know He must have been there. Surely.
Because luxuriating in a place like the Little Polynesian is one of the experiences that only few of us can ever equal without have the riches of a Branson or Gates. This is luxury, but at a price for Everyman’s savings.
Rarotonga is a Garden of Eden island with lush vegetation, technicolored flowers of hibiscus, pandanus and the scents of heaven.
The Little Polynesian resort, being a personal favourite, is located at the eastern edge of Rarotonga’s Muri Lagoon, has ten of those over-the-water bungalows (Ares) and four exquisitely located garden units (Pia Tiare). There is, of course, the infinity pool, turquoise lagoon and a no-child policy that keeps squawking to the parrots and macaws.
Why Rarotonga, you might ask.
And I’ll answer. If you’re from a neighbouring country like New Zealand, where its cold, or Australia, where it’s dry, its a relative no-brainer because Rarotonga is close and “easy” in the sense of having the amenities we all expect in our daily lives.
But it remains exotic, tropical and safe.
And its free of the high-rise chains you find on the Gold Coast, together with the uncharming shopping and razzmatazz of downtown Honolulu or Broadbeach. This is a quiet and almost quaint round island where the buses run every twenty minutes this way . . and that way.
You can, of course, circumnavitate by bike, electric- or leg-powered, by motor scooter or vehicle. You can even run it. The sunset-side to the west has spectacular displays most evenings, which are designed for the magnificent cocktails pool- or beachside. There is also whale watching and some very fine dining at a number of restaurants, including the Little Polynesian’s own Action-seekers in Raro are well catered for with the ability to explore the undeveloped and rugged interior, or take safari tours or mountain bike adventures.
There is of course wildlife and bird tours and some beautiful diving opportunities. The Cooks and the exquisite Aitutaki provide picture perfect silicon sand beaches and perfect tropical waters for exploring, or deep water and trophy fishing opportunities. Coral formations are superb and there are easy option lagoon cruises for the less adventurous.
For the more mundane matters like money, the Cooks’ currency is the kiwi dollar, which creates great value at current exchange rate figures. Locally sourced food is inexpensive, more so than imported items which carry higher duties. Indeed, shopping at the Punanga Nui market is a highlight, open every day except Sunday with fresh produce across the food spectrum, including all the wonderful rainbow fruits.
There are non-stop flights from Sydney to Rarotonga and from Auckland to Rarotonga year round on Air New Zelaand. The Sydney flight is six hours and three-plus from Auckland.
Accomodation options are boundless ranging from cabin and house hire to high-end resorts (I recommend the Pacific Resort in particular) and boutique resorts like my favourite Little Polynesian, if you’re seeking peace, beauty, good food, exquisite service . . I’m ready to re-book. By John Bowie, LawFuel publisher.