Rarotonga, Cook Islands — Taking in the Sights

Panorama from our beach cottage

Ursula and I absolutely love the island of Rarotonga, the most populated of the Cook Islands. We fell in love during our first visit in the mid-1990s, and this was our first trip back since then. Also a fun place in the Cooks is the island of Aitutaki, but, alas, we did not make the trek out there on this trip.

Beach outside our cottage

As you can see from these first several photographs, we had quite the beach just outside our oceanfront cottage. Here’s another view of the beach:

Beach outside our cottage

Even from the back porch the views were lovely:

View from our back porch

But the Muri District of Rarotonga is not the only area sporting magnificent views and stunning photographic opportunities. For the rest of today’s article I’m going to concentrate on the sights in and near Avarua on the north side of Rarotonga.

View from Avarua shoreline

Many of today’s images were taken at or near Trader Jacks, one of two restaurants I’ll review on this Wednesday’s article.

Breakers seen from Trader Jacks

One such view from Trader Jacks is the wreck of the S.S. Matai, a steam ship that ran aground and sank on Christmas day in 1916. The main boiler still protrudes today above the surf:

Wreck of the S.S. Matai (1916)

That wreck is farther out that it appears above from Trader Jacks. Here it is again from the Avarua shoreline west of where the photo above was taken”

Avarua, with SS Matia near the horizon

Looking for some really colorful flora to photograph? On of the most stunning on Rarotonga is the flamboyant tree, or flame free (Delonix regia), and there were in bloom everywhere:

Flame tree in bloom

One of my favorite ways to add depth and interest to beach shots is to frame them with vegetation. There are several examples of that above, but here’s another taken from Avarua:

Avarua, Rarotonga

Now let’s head back toward Trader Jacks and enjoy a few more views:

Looking out from Trader Jacks, Avarua

Fishin’ & Bikin’ outside Trader Jacks

Fishing boat near Avarua


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