This 3rd Annual Cook Islands tour is especially designed for fun-loving ukulele players and friends to enjoy jamming with fellow travelers and the locals! It is an incredible experience, and the locals cant wait to welcome our 3rd group of Australian uke players in September!
Today we depart on our Air New Zealand Flight to Rarotonga via Auckland. After arriving at the Rarotonga Airport, we will be transferred to Edgewater Resort and Spa, our home for the week. (Please note: as our flight crosses the International Date Line, we will technically be arriving at our destination before leaving Australia!). Time for a sleep, then breakfast is available between 7 and 10.30am. We will have a brief resort orientation before you enjoy your day of leisure. Perhaps take the opportunity to take the local bus into town, (own expense) approximately NZ$8 if you wish to go right around the island! The “town bus” pulls into the reception at our resort so it’s very easy. Or you may just wish to relax around the pool and enjoy the resort facilities. This afternoon we will have a Jam Session at The Edgewater Resort with some locals. Meet at Mal’s Bar at 5.00pm for happy hour drinks, followed by dinner. (Drinks is at own expense).
Hotel: Edgewater Resort & Spa
Meals Inflight meals,B,D
After breakfast, we will meet our driver for our very own Circle Island Discovery Tour. This tour is an excellent introduction to the Cook Islands, and provides information on the country’s history and culture, stopping along the way at fascinating historical and ceremonial sites. Light refreshments are included on tour. We return to our resort for an afternoon of leisure. This afternoon we depart for a very chilled & relaxed dinner at the Waterline Restaurant & Beach bar, bring along your Uke for a Jam Session on the beach with the locals.
After breakfast, this morning we visit Highland Paradise, situated high up in the rugged mountains of Rarotonga. This fascinating “open air museum” boasts spectacular views and showcases evidence of a historical lost village and the survival of the Polynesian people. Learn about the intellectual know-how of the early signs of astrology to the barbaric rocks of sacrifice, which include the navigational stones used to guide the ‘vakas’ to Aotearoa – New Zealand. Meander through the gardens which contain medicinal and ritual plants. Light refreshments are provided for lunch before returning to our resort. This afternoon is at leisure before we return to Highland Paradise where we will enjoy an evening of unique and truly authentic cultural entertainment and feasting … prepare yourself for an evening of true Cook Islands fun!
After breakfast, we leave our resort to arrive at the colourful local Punanga Nui Markets! This is the ‘place to be’ on a Saturday morning where we will have a chance to mingle with the locals, look at local island crafts and take in the atmosphere of a typical Saturday morning in Rarotonga. (Lunch is at own expense) An Uplift Lunch favourite is Café Salsa, located in town, close to the Markets. Dinner this evening will be enjoyed at our resort.
This morning after breakfast, we depart to travel to Titikaveka Cook Islands Christian Church to join a wonderful experience in the Cook Islands. Hear the locals raise the roof with their renowned beautiful singing! After the service, we join church members for morning tea. From here, we will visit the Te Ara Museum, where you will see the world-class exhibition of the history of the Cook Islands with an environmental focus on ocean conservation. After lunch, we will return to our resort for an afternoon of leisure. This afternoon we depart for dinner at a local restaurant, with a sunset Uke Jam session with some locals.
After breakfast we have a very special treat for you! We join “Koka Lagoon Cruise” on the world-famous Muri Lagoon. This is undoubtedly one of the best ways to discover the protected lagoon of Rarotonga. Bring your Uke along and join the fun, professional crew of Koka Lagoon Cruise on board a glass bottom boat and cruise around the world-renown Muri Lagoon to the inner reef area to view the varieties of tropical marine life. Ensure you pack your bathers, hat, sunscreen and towel! A sumptuous BBQ lunch is provided. Lots of fun guaranteed today! Tonight we enjoy a special Progressive Dinner, where we will visit some local homes and enjoy playing our ukes on the bus and at various homes! We leave the familiar surrounds of our resort and venture out to the villages to experience true Cook Islands cuisine, hospitality and the real spirit of culture and lifestyle when you visit the locals in their homes! This 5-hour wine and dining experience takes visitors through three island style homes where you feel the magic of meeting 3-4 generations under one roof. Revel in the stories of old, and the dreams and aspirations of Cook Islanders as they map out their young lives.
This morning after breakfast, we visit a Local Primary School where we have the opportunity to mingle with the school children who are known for their friendly smiling faces and wonderful curiosity of meeting people from other countries! If you wish, feel free to bring educational material for the children, such as pens, pencils, erasers, colouring in books etc. We will also bring our Uke’s along so that we can play the Uke with the local children. This afternoon we will be transferred to the prison for our Ukulele workshop. We will see both the Ukulele & the Coconut Ukulele’s being made. You will also have an option to purchase these after the workshop. This evening we will be dining in-house with a delicious Island Night Dinner.
Enjoy a morning of leisure or head into town for some last-minute shopping, before we transfer to the airport. Our Air New Zealand flight departs this afternoon to begin our journey home, after our wonderful Cook Islands Pacific Paradise experience.
Meals B,L,Inflight meals
With a brief transit in Auckland, you will arrive back into your home port. (Please note: your flight crosses back over the International Date Line to return to Australia). We say “Aere Ra e Kia Manuia” until you grace the shores of the beautiful Cook Islands again!!!
Meals Inflight meals
Return flights from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne
All touring in private aircon coach
Island discovery tour
How to make a ‘Cook Islands uke’ workshop
Primary school visit – play your Ukes!
Highland Paradise cultural village
Polynesian Island Night
Ukulele tour and concerts
Jam sessions with the locals
Muri Lagoon Cruise (BYO uke!)
Accommodation at Edgewater Resort & Spa (Garden rooms) upgrades available
Courtesy bottle water daily
Most meals included (as per itinerary)
NZ$50 Food & Beverage credit
Twin/Double Single Sup $755