Emerging Destinations: The Cook Islands
Given our natural curiosity, our ease with different cultures, and a willingness to trust, Canadians have been known to venture off-the-beaten-track in search of the most authentic travel experiences.
Such adventures, say vacation pundits, are readily found in “emerging destinations”, a reference to the undiscovered up-and-coming places now emerging into the global spotlight. It is, in places like these, where authenticity is found in simple happenstance:
The 15 islands of the Cooks lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, scattered like fragrant frangipani petals floating across 2.2 million square kilometres of a seductive, sensual ocean. The islands can boast of rare beauty, an idyllic climate, warm welcoming people and a pace of life unsurpassed.
The main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga, where there is an international airport.
Tourism is the country’s main industry; however the islands are largely unspoiled. They offer a rare opportunity for people from the cities of the world to experience a different type of vacation. Ideal for visitors seeking more than the usual associated with the South Seas, each island has its unique qualities and offer a special experience.
Cook Islanders are born of the sea. True Polynesians are known as the finest seafarers of the Pacific, voyaging across its huge waters searching for new lands and beginnings.
The navigational proficiency of the first Polynesians is an intrinsic part of the islands’ heritage. Not surprising considering their natural playground of the Pacific. The popularity of canoeing and paddling today reflect the times of the great vakas (canoes) landing on the islands’ shores.
Closely linked in culture and language to the Maori in New Zealand, the Maohi of French Polynesia, the Rapuni of Easter Island and the Kanaka Maoli of Hawaii, the islanders speak three main languages: Maori, English, and Pukapukan.
The Islands culture is moulded by its Polynesian heritage. The Islands are a melange of magical mysteries and of legends of romance and piracy, escapades and hidden treasures. But what defines the Cook Islanders is the call of the drum. Considered some of the best and finest entertainers in the Pacific, the art, skill and grace of the dancing and drumming take you on a spiritual journey.
The Cook Islands also offers visitors exceptional opportunities for deep sea game fishing as well scuba diving.
Did you know …
- The Cook Islands are about 3,010 kilometres northeast of Auckland, New Zealand, 1,140 kilometres southwest of Tahiti, 2,300 kilometres east of Fiji and 4,730 kilometres south of Hawaii.
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