Cook Islands Off The Beaten Path Tips by worldkiwi Top 5 Page for this destination
Cook Islands Off The Beaten Path: 18 reviews and 18 photos
The unfinished Sheraton on Rarotonga.
On the south coast of Rarotonga is a ghost resort. It is a sad blot on the landscape of Rarotonga. The uncompleted Sheraton Resort was financed by the Cook Islands government to the tune of about $100 million. Of course, no doubt due to corruption and poor planning, the government bungled the whole thing and the Sheraton pulled out - leaving the government financially ruined (this folly accounts for a majority of the country's debt today) and the remains of an unfinished resort scarring the beautiful countryside of the south coast.
We wondered through this eerie place with it's installed bathrooms and ceiling fans, manky swimming pool, and smashed windows. It was like "the day after" - very weird. The extent to which the resort was complete is the most astounding thing.
Arutanga CICC, Aitutaki
Arutanga is the sleepy administrative centre on Aitutaki. The oldest church in the Cook Islands is also located there. The Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) in Arutanga is built of whitewashed coral and was finished in 1828. It is a picturesque old building and you are welcome to go inside and have a look.
Panorama from Maungapu, Aitutaki
Maungapu is the highest hill on Aitutaki. It is 124m high. From the summit you get a good view down the chain of islands on the eastern edge of the turquoise Aitutaki lagoon. Climb the hill in the late afternoon, as it is too hot in the day!
The track to the hill is signposted (the sign is on the opposite side of the road to the track) and a sealed driveway for the first 100m or so. It gets a bit steep in places after that, so make sure you have shoes with grip. The track is about 5 minutes north of the Pacific Resort and it's on the right if you're walking from the south.
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