June 1 @ 8:30 am - June 8 @ 5:00 pm$4695.00
(1st – 8th June 2019)
Join us on this amazing winter retreat to the jewel of the Cook Islands. Mangoes grow wild, there are coral-filled lagoons, white sand beaches and mountainous jungle to explore. While enjoying the crystal blue waters & warm weather we will discover the true beauty of this island paradise.
Day 1. Sat. June 1st (NZT) Home – Rarotonga
We depart Wanganui Racecourse at 8.30am and drive to Palmerston North airport to catch our 11.15am flight to Auckland. We then transfer over to the international terminal with plenty of time to get some lunch before checking in for our 4.25pm flight to Rarotonga.
*if you are flying into Auckland from another destination or joining the tour here, you will meet the tour leader and group at the International Terminal at a designated time.
The flight time is just under 4 hours and your flight ticket includes meals and movies. We are scheduled to land just after 10pm local time (May 31st) where we are greeted with fresh flowers ie. (garland) and bottled water and transferred to our accommodation, the Edgewater Resort & Spa. The Edgewater’s prime location puts Rarotonga’s natural splendor front and center; the magnificent sunsets, the surrounding lush green mountains, the view over the white sandy beach and deep blue lagoons.
Day 2. Sat. June 1st (Local time) Rarotonga
A relaxed start to the day as you wake up in Paradise. This is your first chance to enjoy the daily scrumptious tropical breakfast at your own leisure. We are collected after breakfast to embark on a fantastic Island Discovery Tour.
We explore Rarotonga from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach as our experienced, local guide takes us on a fascinating sightseeing tour, the perfect introduction to the island’s rich culture, legends and history.
We visit many points of interest as we travel along the ancient Ara Metua or “Road of Toi” built in 1050 AD as an all-weather paved road and visit ancient maraes (ceremonial sites).
Enjoy a light refreshment and convenience stop where your guide will demonstrate and explain the Cook Islands Tree of Life, the coconut. The tour continues on to a number of historical sites including one of the first limestone churches built on the island, the Garden of the Seven Canoes at Avana Passage and Black Rock, a volcanic boulder on the edge of the lagoon, traditionally believed to be the departure point of spirits to Avaiki (the afterlife). Part of the tour today we will stop at the famous markets where you will have some free time to wander at your own leisure.
A lovely seaside lunch stop is included before we continue past old church buildings and plantations of citrus, bananas, tapioca, papaya and taro and other crops line the route on this informative scenic drive.
Once returned to our accommodation the afternoon is yours to relax and enjoy the resorts facilities such as snorkeling, pool, table tennis, darts or use the international-size tennis courts. Of course, you may just want to enjoy the best of both worlds with a dip in the swimming pool, gazing out to the lagoon and the Pacific Ocean.
Late afternoon we are collected from the resort and transferred to the Islander Hotel for the 10th annual BCI Opera on the beach. We will be greeted with a welcome drink and canapes and later served an amazing dining experience. This event feature’s great entertainment with world class opera singers and excellent cuisine and will be a night to remember! After we are transferred back to our resort to rest our heads.
Day 3. Sun. June 2nd Rarotonga
Another morning of waking up in paradise and enjoying a tropical breakfast. We are then collected in time to attend a Church Service at the Titikaveka Cook Islands Christian Church. This promises to be a truly unique experience and is followed by morning tea.
We are then off to the famous Maire Nui Botanical Gardens which highlights the region’s tropical flowers and fruits in an elegant setting. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds before stopping off at the on-site café, where we enjoy a lovely group lunch. You have some more time to take in the beauty of the gardens before we are dropped of back at our resort.
This afternoon is yours to choose to do what you like. There are so many wonderful attractions and things to do on the island. The following is a list of possible options you may want to participate in or just simply kick back and relax:
Mountain Safari Tour
Electric Tuk Tuk
Private Arts & Crafts tour
Private Ocean & Earth tour
Private Myths & Legends tour
Please note: these optional activities are additional expenses and can be booked once we arrive in Rarotonga by yourself at the resort or by the tour leader. You are more than welcome to pre-book yourself an activity during the free time on the island. Your tour guide will be on hand to help and ensure all transport requirements etc are meet. We ask you to be back at the resort in time group dinner which is the famous BBQ buffet island style.
Day 4. Mon. June 3rd Rarotonga
Wake up at your own leisure and as today is a public holiday we can join in with the rest of the island and simply ‘Take It Easy’ 😊.
The day is yours, but we ask you to be back at the resort and ready to depart at 5pm as we are collected for a very special night. We leave behind the familiar surroundings of the resort and venture out to local villages for a Progressive Dinner to experience true Cook Islands cuisine, hospitality and the real spirit of culture & lifestyle, when you visit with locals in their homes.
Walkthrough the tropical garden at the home of your first host, who serves your ‘first course’ for the night. Then it is off to enjoy your ‘main course’, where you will be treated to a buffet feast, similar to what you would expect at a large Cook Islands family gathering. Then, your ‘dessert’ host will delight you with local sweets, fruit as well as tea and Atiu Island brewed coffee. When enjoying your meals at each home, you will be delighted by the sounds of local ukuleles, guitar and voices of the small string band that will accompany you throughout your local dining experience. We are then transferred back to the resort reflect on a wonderful night out.
Day 5. Tues. June 4th Rarotonga
First thing this morning we have managed to organize a school visit which surely will be a touching and memorable experience. (if you wish to donate some gifts to the school please let your tour leader know). We head to Avarua School where we will be treated to performances by the students and get to see how schooling is done in the Cooks Islands.
We are then taken to the Cook Islands Museum of Cultural Enterprise -TE ARA where you are given time to browse and learn firsthand the history of this paradise. A must see when visiting the island. Around lunch time we will return to the resort with the afternoon free to enjoy more of the attractions on offer.
Tonight, we are collected just before dinner time and transported to the famous Muri night markets. This will be a truly Rarotongan food experience. You have the chance to try out local foods from many family run stalls. The locals pride themselves on providing a fun and friendly environment for everyone with free entertainment. With bellies full we are then taken back to the resort to rest our heads.
Day 6. Wed. June 5th Rarotonga
An earlier start to the day but well worth it as we are transported to the airport to catch our flight to the amazing Aitutaki Island. It’s a 40-minute flight to this paradise island where on arrival you will be taken on a one-hour island tour of the main island by ‘le truck’. Then it’s on to the highlight of the day – The Vaka Cruise aboard the 21 metre vaka (catamaran) Titi-ai-Tonga. The vaka has comfortable covered seating as well as deck sun loungers. Access is easily negotiated for people with physical challenges.
There is time for snorkelling and swimming before stopping for a tasty barbecue lunch, cooked right on board. Anyone who has not snorkelled before will find the tour guides happy to help you to experience the wonder of the lagoon’s underwater world. Or you may simply want to relax on-board.
The cruise stops at several motu (small islets) including One Foot Island, before passing by Akaiami. After this relaxing day out, we are returned to the airport to catch our flight back to Rarotonga.
We will be back at the resort with time to freshen up before meeting for a lovely seafood night group dinner.
Day 7. Thur. June 6th Rarotonga
As today is the last full day on the island the bulk of the day is yours to do as you please. This will be the last chance to experience the great attractions of Rarotonga, but we ask you to be back and ready for a 4pm transfer for our special last night out!
We head to Te Vara Nui Village and experience the spectacular Village Tour and Over-Water Night Show & Dinner.
Firstly, we enjoy the Cultural Village Tour, which is an Interactive and educational experience where you can immerse yourself in the powerful story of our Cook Islands Maori culture. Learn about Cook Islands history, traditional medicines, ancestral navigational techniques, legends and more while local artisans and craftspeople demonstrate how they weave, carve and prepare their dance costumes past and present.
Then we are invited to the biggest Over-Water Island Night Show on Rarotonga delivering an electric authentic cultural performance like no other. Be blown away by the amazing Over Water Show while Rarotonga’s finest dancers and musicians perform by flaming torchlight on floating and fixed stages of a waterfall garden.
Enjoy the delicious Island/Western Fusion Buffet prepared by local and International Chefs. Immerse yourself in the local culture and embrace the Cook Islands Maori people through the “Legend of Tongaiti”. After this fantastic experience, we are transported back to the resort to rest our heads for the night.
Day 8. Fri. June 7th Rarotonga
An early breakfast today as we need to get out to the airport to catch our 9am flight home. We land around 11.30am on the 8th June (NZT) and transfer over to the domestic terminal to catch the 2.20pm flight to Palmerston North.
* If you are Auckland based or from another region a shuttle will transport you home or your next flight will be arranged for you.
Our coach will be waiting to make the last transfer back to Wanganui which should have you home in time for dinner.
Total cost: $4,695.00 ex Wanganui
$4,595.00 ex Auckland
Please note – a customized price can be arranged for travellers from other regions.
Deposit of $1000.00 due 28th March
Final Balance due 23rd April
• All coach & shuttle travel to stated destinations.
• Return Air NZ flights (movies & meals incl.)
• Return Aitutaki Island flights.
• All activities stated in bold.
• 4-star accommodation (twin share) *single supplement available.
• Breakfast: day 2,3,4,5,6,7 & 8.
• Lunch: day 2,3 & 6.
• Dinner: night 1,2,3,4,6, & 7.
• All morning or afternoon teas stated in itinerary.
• Experienced tour escorts.
Be in quick to secure your seats!
The Take It Easy Team
Take It Easy Tours cancellation policy
If after your booking has been confirmed and you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
• For cancellations up to 30 days prior to travel – loss of deposit.
• For cancellations 30 days – 1 week prior to travel – 75% of total fare will apply.
• For cancellations within 1 week prior to travel – 100% of total fare will apply.
Take it easy tours will make every effort to provide on time service. It does not guarantee its departure and arrival times, which may be delayed by various factors including weather, traffic, road conditions, mechanical problems and any other conditions Take it easy tours can’t control. Take it easy tours are not liable for any inconvenience or expense caused as a result of such delay. Take it easy tours assumes no liability or responsibility for property, delay or expense arising from or caused by weather conditions, acts of God, accident, government restrictions or regulations, from an act or omission of any individual, traffic, road conditions, mechanical problems, or any other cause or condition beyond its control. Take it easy tours reserves it’s right to cancel or change any tour, advertised schedule, or route without notice and assumes no liability or responsibility for any conditions beyond its control that may interrupt or cancel any tour.