Aitutaki’s good luck is be home to one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons.
It’s a 45 minute flight in a tiny plane from Rarotonga (see my last post), the gateway to the Cook Islands. Alice & Co calls into these specks of paradise while en route to New Zealand, flying from Los Angeles with Air New Zealand.
Life’s all about the water here – be it on it, under it, or lounging beside it. A splendid way to do all three is to spend a day on a lagoon cruise with a friendly islander called Teking. You will snorkel in the natural tropical fish tank of the lagoon and see gorgeous parrot fish, brightly coloured corals, giant clams and if you’re lucky turtles. Alice & Co finds the colours of the South Pacific are very inspiring and we can all learn from the flamboyance and brilliant dress sense of tropical fish. Warning: your next frock will probably come with fins…
Stop at tiny One Foot Island where legend has it a Maori warrior hid his son from an invading tribe by cleverly making him tread in his footprints to make it appear as if his father was alone. The island has its own post office and passport stamp but no inhabitants.
The fish are enthralling to look at – sadly I didn’t have an underwater camera but I won’t forget their striking designs in a hurry. My favourites are the dashing black and yellow striped ones and the lilac corals that look like brains. Some of them are also very tasty to eat. A close encounter with a Giant Trevally is a bit worrying as I’ve just eaten his cousin for lunch!
When you’re not busy eating, fishing or snorkeling it’s all about relaxing in an outsized armchair like these funky ones in the shade of the lobby of the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort where there is a lovely example of tivaevae work in funky orange (see my Rarotonga post).
After looking down into the water all day, for evening entertainment cast your gaze upwards for a dazzling show of stars. These are best seen from the beach of the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort where they will serve you a delicious and romantic dinner in the privacy your own rattan cabana.
This company produces wonderful designs inspired by agates found in South Ayrshire. They are dug up from under the ground and started life 380 million years ago, although this one has a moonscape look about it – just right for star gazing in the South Seas.
Coming soon: Auckland and a tour of New Zealand’s North Island. To find out more about the Cook Islands see cookislands.travel.
All images © 2014 imagepalace.co.uk
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