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New Zealand + Cook/Fiji early January ?

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Could anyone please help us? We are planning a three week trip end of December, early January and would like to do a 2-week tour of New Zealand and then one week relaxing on a nice beach.
We were thinking of the Cook Islands, but our travel agent says it is not the right season to go. Now I know it is the rainy season, but what does that really mean ? Would it rain every day ? Would it be raining all day or just a once-a-day shower ?
If you agree with the travel agent and advise against opting for the Pacific Islands, where would you go ? Any suggestions ? We are flying into New Zealand from Europe.
Thanks very much for your help !

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    Scheldekaai:

    No doubt your travel agent's opinion is based on industry facts. However, my wife and I have visited New Zealand 4 times and the Cooks twice.

    We prefer to get away from Canada in our winter so our travel has been in January to March.

    We had not experienced bad weather on any of our trips.

    Our winter is hurricane season in the South Pacific and I just read that Vanuatu had an earthquake but no Tsunami. So there is always a chance of weather problems. Likely your agent is not willing to take any chances. But, no pain, no gain. I am not afraid to take a chance.

    We are presently schedule to go to the Cooks from mid January to mid February 2012.

    Our first time there was one week. It was too little. Our second time was for 2 weeks and it was too much. This time we are going for a month! My wife is on pins and needles if she has no chores to do. In the Cooks, we will have a cottage so she will have normal home care but also lots of time where she can only relax, sleep, snorkel and rest. Something she does very little at home.

    We have stopped at the islands of Western Samoa twice, Fiji once and Tonga once. Only Fiji was a disappointment and we will not consider going back there.

    Our reason for not going to Fiji may not be a problem for you. I found them to be less than clean, pestering when we stopped to glance at a booth, undependable on our booking and minor chiseling and theft.

    All our other South Pacific experience has been very good. In Tonga, Western Samoa and the Cooks we found the people were respectful and polite. We felt welcome, safe and very comfortable.

    I liked New Zealand having visited both islands the first time, the far north the second and third time and the south island the fourth time. I would love to go back once again.

    Try reading some travel books and take a look at the tripadvisor forum. Lots there on the south pacific. You might also find interesting clips on YouTube.

    Good luck,

    Woodie

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