Kiwis are ready to dust off their passports and head to the Cook Islands, according to search data from accommodation website, Booking.com.
Rarotonga shot up 15 places in the list of most searched destinations year-on-year, following the recent announcement of a travel bubble between Aotearoa and the Cook Islands.
The Cook Islands have always had a wide appeal, popular with all age groups and types of traveller.
Here are some options:
Family Trip: Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa, Muri, Rarotonga
For those with kids in tow, escaping the New Zealand winter for an island getaway has become something of a July school holiday ritual. A week-long stay at a Rarotonga beachfront villa offers a relaxed yet fun-filled environment, with the added benefit of self catering making mealtimes just that much cheaper. Overlooking the beautiful Muri Lagoon, Te Manava Luxury Villas and Spa offers 5-star accommodation with a private pool and patio – and a completely self contained space means you have all the luxuries of home at your fingertips.
A romantic holiday: Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort, Aitutaki
If it’s a romantic trip for two you’re after, then consider the popular destination of Aitutaki.
Just a short plane ride away from the Rarotonga Airport you’ll find the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort, situated on its own private island. A luxury, adults only resort which offers beach front and over-water bungalows with panoramic views of Aitutaki Lagoon, you can enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, snorkeling and cultural activities – or if you’re after some pampering, head to the spa that offers massages, a sauna and a hot tub.
Something simple: Ikurangi Eco Retreat, Matavera, Rarotonga
For a true island experience a stay at the Ikurangi Eco Retreat in Matavera Rarotonga will leave you feeling rested and at one with nature. You can choose from snorkeling at the nearby beach or hiking and cycling – the property offers free bicycles onsite. Just five minutes drive from shopping and dining options, this eco-retreat offers an onsite swimming pool and if a day outdoors has worn you out, enjoy a private meal cooked by a private chef served on your balcony. You can also unwind with an in-room massage.
On a budget: Matriki Beach Huts, Arutanga
If you’re keen on an island getaway but the luxury resort life just isn’t for you, then a self-catering beach hut could be just the ticket to relaxation. The Matriki Beach Huts provide absolute beachfront accommodation on the sunset side of the island. You can enjoy snorkelling from the beautiful white sand beach right at the front of the property, or make the most of the outdoors and go on a hike or head out for a fishing trip. Each of the unique, rustic, self-contained beach huts, has its own terrace, simple cooking facilities and an open air shower.
Group fun: Te Etu Villa, Rarotonga
If you think it’s time to reinstate the annual island getaway with the gang, then check out some of the private villas in sunny Raro. The Te Etu Villas are in close proximity to one another and offer all the amenities you could need for group travel, from a private pool to a poolside bar and barbeque. These self-contained villas also boast a sun terrace and both snorkelling and cycling can be enjoyed nearby this holiday home.