Find pure bliss in the Cook Islands

Stephen Rice
Photography By
Stephen Rice
Leave behind crowded resorts and overrated beaches for the simple, serene beauty of this underrated destination.

If you’re after a healthy dose of the simple life, it doesn’t get any healthier or simpler than this. There’s no rubbish on the streets, no graffiti on the walls, no plastic bottles on the beach. People take obvious pride in their houses and gardens. There are lots of dogs roaming around but they’re not strays; they’re well fed and friendly. Locals call out a welcome when we stroll past, “Kia Orana!”, but no one tries to sell us anything.

During the pandemic a vast number of Cook Islanders lost their only source of income when tourists stopped coming. But when we ask people how they managed, they shrug and laugh. “We cleaned the island. We painted, we fixed things, ready for the guests to come back.” It’s a spirit of resilience and adaptability we meet time and again during our week-long stay. READ MORE...