Cook Islands. Where to go? What to see? What to do? Rachel Reeves, the author of ‘Mātini: The Story of Cyclone Martin’, gives her recommendations.

Visit the island of Atiu

I’m partial to the outer island of Atiu, which is where my grandmother comes from. It’s an island of 500 people about 45 minutes by plane from Rarotonga. It’s known for spectacular caves and wild pigs and the tumunu, or the local watering hole – a thatched-roof hut where you drink homebrew from a coconut shell.

Experience the imene tuki

There are few things more spine-tingling and arm-hair-raising than hymns sung at church in the Cook Islands. They’re a capella harmonies resounding with indescribable Maori power. Go to church on a Sunday – wear something nice that covers your knees and shoulders, and take some loose change.

Eat umukai

Food prepared in the earth oven. I don’t even know if you can sign up for this as part of a tour – but make some friends!


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