Unearthing the Other World
The Cook Islands has the cheapest duty free in the world – and that’s about the only knowledge I had of the group of 15 islands!
I had one week to spend in Rarotonga, the principal island of the Cook Islands that is almost 34km in circumference only.
There wasn’t much to do besides sunbathing, reading or getting intoxicated. So on one of my outings, when I met Patrick, a diving instructor who offered me a recreational diving course, I accepted with much enthusiasm!
Apart from a memorable seasick experience during my first dive, I quickly picked up diving without fear.
Discovering this other world fascinated me, especially during deep diving at a depth of about 20 meters. I met some underwater creatures as appeared on TV as well as many other new species. My most impressive encounter was with a humpback whale when I was submerged 15 meters into the blue ocean.
I looked forward to the upcoming dives in French Polynesia!
August, October 2014
Did you know...
- The Cook Islands Government has full executive powers.
- The Cook Islands can make its own laws and New Zealand cannot make laws for the country unless
authorised by Government.
- Cook Islanders keep New Zealand citizenship.
- The islands are 10 hours behind GMT.
- English and Cook Islands Maori are the official languages. About 90% of Islanders can read, write and speak both languages.
2013, that will rise to NZ$65. The tax applies only to international travel i.e. there is no tax on inter-island flights.LIke so many countries these days, the Islands charge you a departure tax. This is "hidden" in your air fare, whereas previously you had to pay it in cash on departure (not the best memory to have as you head for home). A hefty NZ$55 (UK£27.60,, US$42.63, 32.35 Euros, ASUS$46.24 approx) is levied on everyone over 12 years old. And from July,- Departure tax: