Which Fiji or Cook Island ?

Old Oct 25th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Which Fiji or Cook Island ?

I'm spending a month visiting and travelling with my daughter in Australia and then meeting a friend and traveling to NZ.
On our way home, we want to spend 4 to 5 days on a Fiji island. We had planned Cook Island but was advised not to go there. This will be the end of my 2 month Aust, NZ travelling so want to see something Wow!
It has been suggested to fly from Auckland to Fiji stay over night then take the ferry to Barefoot Island and stay 3 days. I've also read about an Island hopping pass?
We will be doing this part of the trip the last week of Feb or early March.
What will the weather be like?
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Old Oct 25th, 2014, 11:33 AM
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Hi, Rimnyak,

How great you are having so much time to travel in this area of the world. It will be summer here at that time, and the school holidays will be finished so there will be no competing with families travelling around.

Having not been too Fiji I can't advise on that destination, but am intrigued as to why you were advised not to go to the Cook Islands. Five years ago we visited the Cook Islands in March for 2 weeks, and can't wait to return. We relaxed, drove around the island many times discovering something new every time, walked some interesting tracks, and I snorkelled in beautiful clear and warm waters. Our son and his girlfriend did some diving there, too. We also visited Atiu Island, a 40 minute flight from Rarotonga, for 2 days partly to see some protected birds and partly because it sounded interesting. And it was. Daughter and son-in-law stayed on Aitutaki Island, and loved that. So, there is plenty of Wow! in The Cook Islands, and the people are lovely. I guess it is down to what you are interested in doing for those last few days. For me, after two months' travelling, some gentle exploring and relaxing would be the order of the day.
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Old Oct 25th, 2014, 08:56 PM
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Depends on what you want to see.
Fiji is a country of stark contrasts. The resorts are very much "First World" but the rest of the island is pretty much "Third World". Think of India in the Pacific and you will get the idea. The Indians are the ones in business and are fairly self centred. There does not seem to be much community spirit. The Fijians are employed because by law they have to be, but are generally not the movers and shakers The streets are shabby and uncared for. The scenery, the inland and beaches are lovely.

The Cook Islands on the other hand do not have that racial divide and associated problems. The Maoris do have a certain amount of get up and go. The life style is more "Second World".

Given the choice I would go back to the Cook Islands in the blink of an eye but you would need to pay me or give me an extremely good deal to go back to Fiji.

So in essence, if you just want to sit on a beach in a resort and maybe go snorkelling or to a night club - Fiji will be fine and you will probably get a good deal - and have a great holiday. Fiji is much larger and much harder to get around. It is almost a full day trip to get from one side to the other with fairly poor roads. (this was about 8 years ago)

The Cook Islands being smaller take less than an hour get around on good public transport. A bus going every half an hour (one clockwise and one anticlockwise) - mind you this was 20 years ago. You can also hire a motor scooter. The test was drive it around the block. If you came back in one piece you got your permit.

The scenery in both is much the same, being volcanic tropical islands. Atutaki is lovely for a day trip in the Cook Islands. Snorkelling and boat trips were better on the Cook Islands as was the cultural village.


If you want to explore, the Cook Islands are much easier and you will get a much more Polynesian experience. If you want to see what India is like before or instead of actually going to India. Fiji.
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Old Oct 25th, 2014, 09:27 PM
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Peter, the buses were still doing their interesting timetable and direction (quite logical once you understood it!) when we were there in 2009. And like you, I'd be back there in a heartbeat if I could do so.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2014, 07:01 PM
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Thanks for your info - very good information! I will continue to investigate both islands
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Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 02:28 AM
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I haven't been to Cook islands but we visited Fiji and stayed at Naisoso Island Resorts.
http://www.naisosoislandresortvillas.com/

I would agree that Fiji is pretty much like India but I found the people quite friendly and hospitable. Plus, the island has so much to do - hiking mountains, snorkelling and diving, cruises. We absolutely enjoyed it!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2014, 02:28 AM
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I haven't been to Cook islands but we visited Fiji and stayed at Naisoso Island Resorts.
http://www.naisosoislandresortvillas.com/

I would agree that Fiji is pretty much like India but I found the people quite friendly and hospitable. Plus, the island has so much to do - hiking mountains, snorkelling and diving, cruises. We absolutely enjoyed it!
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