The Cook Islands are making waves this year already as one of the world’s hot spots to visit in 2015.

Made up of 15 islands, including the main island of Rarotonga, measuring only 32km in circumference, the Cook Islands are being ranked by travel critics around the world.

So where to stay in the Cook Islands and what to do? Here are some new resorts, activities, special deals and updates on the oldies.

Nautilus Resort now open

The first new upscale property in Rarotonga in years opened its doors in October 2014. Nautilus Resort features 18 premium villas, a massive infinity pool, Polynesian spa and beachfront restaurant in a prime location on beautiful Muri Lagoon.  Each luxuriously appointed Are (villa) has its own saltwater plunge pool, outdoor shower and private patio, and lavish bathrooms with freestanding stone baths. Single, two and three bedroom Ares are available from NZ$650 a night.

Nautilus is offering 30-40% opening specials until 31 March 2015

Nautilus Resort

Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas

The final touches on these premium luxury villas are being made in readiness for 15 January 2015 opening.  With sweeping lagoon and ocean views, this gated duplex sanctuary consists of four spacious two-storey, two-bedroom apartments built around an impressively large infinity pool that flows endlessly towards the tranquil clear waters of Muri Lagoon.   The villas are enviably located right on Muri Beach, next door to Koka Lagoon Cruises, where Vara’s Backpackers used to be. Represented by Vibe Pacific, Managing Director Sandi Reily comments: “We are excited to work alongside the passionate owners of this stunning new property which has been built to a wonderfully high spec, with beautifully fitted interiors that exude the essence of a relaxed tropical escape.” From NZ$850, children over 12 only. 

Crystal Blue Lagoon Villas

Ocean Spray Villas

Two recently built three bedroom holiday homes located absolute oceanfront on the outskirts of Avarua town. Elevated to offer exceptional ocean views, these stylishly designed villas have all the trimmings, from heated towel rails to day beds and outdoor showers, plus 50 inch TV, Media Player, BBQ and sunloungers. Open plan, they are the perfect for family or friends and excellent value for money, from $295 per night for 1-2 persons, $345 for 3-4 persons, $395 for 5-6 persons.  Owned by the same couple who own Muri Beach Club Hotel.

Ocean Spray Villas

Rongohiva Watersports

New operator Rongohiva Watersports is Rarotonga’s adventure watersports provider where you can enjoy the island’s beauty on an exhilarating speed boat ride, experience wild action on a banana boat, snorkel in dazzling blue ocean waters over the reef, and whale watch during whale season from July to October!  Prices range from $75 – $175 for the different activities.  Private charters and group bookings are also available.

Rongohiva Jet Boat_SB4

Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours

The Storytellers experience offers a variety of mountain bike riding tours to suit most levels of riding fitness and experience. Local Cook Island staff are passionate and knowledgeable about the local culture, history and environment and enjoy sharing a love of their heritage with visitors.  Explore pathways running between the coast, the Ancient Coral Road and hidden valleys over a half day, including lunch and a swim.  The pace is leisurely on the Discover and Explore options, more technical on the Excite tour for fit and experienced bike riders. Tours are priced from NZ$69-109. 

Storytellers Eco Cycle Tours_Group_3 (Copy)

Koteka’s Winery

Joining an expanding list of boutique producers of beer and coffee on Rarotonga, is Koteka’s Winery.  You’ll find Koteka and his rustic tasting room inland from Muri Beach – look for the blackboard sign advertising banana wine on the main road. He makes banana and coconut vodkas too!  No website but check out the glowing reviews on TripAdvisor. 

Wodventures CrossFit Retreat

Take your workout to paradise with Wodventures CrossFit Retreat. Spend 6-nights at the Pacific Resort Rarotonga where you will have daily workouts at Tumuora CrossFit and access to kayaks, snorkelling gear, SUP, SUP yoga, beach yoga and more.

It won’t be all work and no play – the retreat also includes Captain Tama’s famous glass bottom boat cruise, a traditional drum & dance show and a sunset cruise around the island. You can celebrate all your efforts with the tour of the best Cook Islands bars on the nightlife bus tour.

Book your Cook Islands adventure by contacting us at Global Surf Sounds.

CI_197_DK Join the locals on a scooter

Kate Webster is a travel journalist - travel writer and photographer who travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the places she visits. Born out of a life-long love of travel and fascination with the world around her, is Kate's inspiration behind her writing and photography. A passion of the ocean has lead Kate to be a part of Global Surf Sounds, as she continues to mix her love of travel and writing to now include surfing. When she’s not bouncing around the world on ramshackle buses, overcrowded trains, or on the back of a rickshaw, you can find her based in Sydney or the Gold Coast, Australia eagerly planning her next adventure.

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