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Exploring paradise: The Cook Islands

Friday 26 June 2015
By Danielle Hennessy |

Written by our Traveller Danielle:

 

My first visit to Rarotonga was 8 years ago and I fell in love with the place instantly, this has been the result of 4 more visits since and I hope for many more in the years to come.

The Cook Islands is located is the South Pacific between Tahiti in the East and Fiji and Tonga in the west. Daily flights service the island from Auckland, New Zealand and then weekly flights from Sydney also make it a great island getaway for Australians too with a 4 hour flight on average.

Unlike its neighbour Fiji, Rarotonga has avoided large hotel chains starting up on the island which means no high rise hotel blocks or too much western Influence on the culture. There is something for everyone on the island, with a diverse selection of accommodation however you like to holiday.

 

cook islands accomodation

 

Cook Island Accommodation:

Beach Front Bungalows:
These are really popular with honeymooners and couples with the ocean right there to wake up in the morning to the sound of the waves crashing against the reef. Beach Bungalows have the added privacy of being stand alone and separate from the busier resorts.

Holiday Homes:
These are great for groups travelling together or large families. They offer the space needed and independence a lot of people want when travelling as a group such as self catering in their own accommodation.

Family Resorts:
Rarotonga has a couple of family orientated resorts on the island which offer all the facilities a family would want. Kids Clubs, Daily activities programs and beach front locations for superb water activities.

Couples Only Resorts:
These are always very popular with the honeymoon groups of travellers or groups of friends travelling wanting a quieter environment with personalised service.

 

cook islands beach

 

Island Access and getting around is really easy. There is a great bus service operating around the island going clock wise and anti clock wise servicing all the main accommodation and is a fun way to get around with its open air sides .

You will see loads of scooters on the island, the locals transport of choice and very popular with tourists who want an easy way to get around at their own leisure. For those not confident with a scooter there is a number of hire car companies too with everything from people mover vans for groups to convertibles!

 

 

What to see and do:

You will never get bored on this incredible island. The back road around the island is where many of the locals live and it’s a great place to see how daily life takes place and check out the planation’s where much of the island produce is grown.

 

Some of my favourite things to do are:

Koka Lagoon Cruises:
This is a great half day tour out to the reef on a glass bottom boat. The day is fun filled with some entertaining locals as your hosts for the day showing you everything from coconut tree climbing, coconut husking, snorkelling to see the giant clams and huge trevally followed by a delicious BBQ lunch with fresh fish and other island treats.

Pua Nui Saturday Market:
One of the best markets I’ve been to and is very popular with tourists and locals a like. Lots of the islands fresh product is sold here from fish to fruit and veges and many home made treats too like mango and pineapple pudding! There is always cultural performances with dancing, drums and music to entertain not to mention some great souvenirs to choose.

4WD Island Safari:
This is adventurous and a great way to see the island from an areal view, you are taken by 4wd to the top of the island where you have wonderful 360 degree views for miles!

Kayaking and snorkelling:
Most resorts will offer complementary snorkelling gear for you to use , and kayak hire for those that want to explore a bit further. Look out for the whales in season just past the reef from July – October time.

Beach Walks:
Sunrise and sunset are both spectacular sites on the island and great to watch with an morning or evening walk along the beach

Eating out:
There are so many choices on the island for every taste and budget! You don’t have to be staying in a resort to go their restaurants and there is some great options around the island on offer !
 

This is just a little taste of what Rarotonga and the Cook Islands has to offer - try it out for yourself!
 

Contact us and let us tailor you a perfect Cook Island experience!

Cover image credit: Flickr
 

10 reasons to book with an ATAS accredited travel agent

Friday 12 June 2015
By Industry News |

Did you know World Travel Professionals is ATAS accredited?

ATAS or the AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme is a national scheme which certifies Australian travel agents. It is administered by the industry association, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).

Here are 10 reasons why booking with an accredited travel agent is the most competitive, safest and comfiest way to travel:

 

1. Peace of mind

ATAS travel agents have met strict standards and criteria in order to become nationally accredited. Their accreditation means they are the best in the industry, credible, well trained and professional businesses. This means you can book your travel knowing you’re in the safe hands of a trusted and reputable travel agent.

 

2. Trained experts

Agents are trained destination and product experts and know how to sort through the myriad of travel information available. Their industry knowledge and network means they have access to the best product suppliers and first-to-market offers to ensure you get access to the best quality travel experiences.

 

3. Time saving

An agent has a world of travel information at their fingertips, saving you countless hours of online searching and frustration.

 

4. Convenience

Travel agents are a ‘one-stop shop’ who can handle every aspect of your travel – from booking airline tickets, ground transfers, accommodation tours and activities to travel insurance

 

atas travel


5. Product that suits

Agents have access to great deals and will find the best products for your unique travel needs. They have access to technology and systems that consumers simply don’t have access to by going direct to suppliers.

 

6. Professional advice

Your agent ensures you get where you want to go, when you want, and is there to provide timely, insightful, professional guidance along the way. Their experience counts!

 

7. A personal touch

Travel agents offer a personal touch that is invaluable. From an extra pair of eyes to ensure the accuracy of your booking details, to advice with a visa application, assistance with travel documentation and valuable travel tips.

 

8. Unbiased communications

Travel agents work for their clients, not for a travel supplier. Let your agent do the work for you – they’ll filter your options and provide only the recommendations that make the most sense for you.

 

9. Tailor-made travel

A perfectly planned trip made just for you is priceless! A professional travel agent is trained to make your entire experience – from start to end – hassle-free. As your trusted adviser, not only do they tailor the itinerary to suit your needs they can guide you to the right restaurant, museum, or off-thebeaten-track excursion – that’s perfect for you.

 

10. Customer advocacy

If you experience a problem while travelling, your agent acts on your behalf as your personal travel advocate and is there to rectify any travel related issues you may encounter.

 

Travel with peace of mind & always book travel through an industry qualified ATAS accredited travel agent (like us!)…

For more info about ATAS travel accredited visit www.atas.com.au or call 1300 00 TRAVEL

Qantas relaunches Sydney to San Francisco

Wednesday 10 June 2015
By Lachlan Nicolson |

Oneworld fliers who enjoy US travel will rejoice today over news that Qantas is expanding its American Airlines relationship with a revived route between Sydney and San Francisco.

The four year old Qantas and American Airlines joint venture will shift to a route revenue share agreement.

Qantas’ flights to San Francisco are made possible by American Airlines starting a direct daily Sydney to Los Angeles service from 19 December 2015. This will replace four Qantas’ B747 Sydney to Los Angeles services per week and one Qantas B747 Melbourne to Los Angeles service per week.

 

 

Qantas will return to the Sydney-San Francisco route, currently the most popular onward destination for corporate customers that it doesn’t already serve directly on its network. This serivce will begin from 20th December 2015. Services will initially operate on peak days and ramp up to six per week in January 2016 using its newer Boeing 747-400 aircraft with the same style interiors found on the airline’s A380s.

The enhanced relationship also provides opportunities for future growth into trans-Pacific markets not currently served by either airline, such as New Zealand.

 

 

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said the expanded relationship was good news for travelers, the local tourism industry and the corporate market.

“Our customers have asked us to expand to important business markets across the Pacific, and flying our flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER, to Sydney will provide another world-class travel experience from our key gateway at LAX.” - Mr Joyce said.

 


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