Source: Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development
The Cook Island 50th Independence celebrations that we wrote about in February are now in full swing! Every year the Cook Island’s celebrate self-governance, something that they achieved in 1965, in what is called Te Maeva Nui. This 50-year milestone is being celebrated over the next 2 weeks with attendance and participation from thousands of Cook Islanders from the outer islands, Australia and New Zealand.
Over the last few days there has been a fantastic parade with more than 50 floats, the official opening with a beautiful ceremony full of colour and dancing, and Te Maeva Nui dancing performances held at the national auditorium.
Rarotonga has been full of amazing costumes, dances, songs, drum beats and colour! It is fantastic to see all the groups from the outer islands perform. These islands include Manahiki, Pukapuka, Penrhyn, Suwarrow, Aitutaki, and Mangaia to name a few.
Today is Trade Day, when people from the outer islands sell crafts and produce from their home. This is a great time to try some local delicacies. There will be more opportunities to visit the trade day stalls on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Source: Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development
The official Government programme starts next Monday, with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key attending. Tuesday 4th August is the official Constitution Day ceremony.
If you haven’t made it to this or other year’s Te Maeva Nui celebrations then we highly recommend this time of year to come and visit us.
So book it in – July/August 2016 celebrate with us in Rarotonga!
The Management and staff at Rumours in Rarotonga are shocked by the news that Charlotte Dawson has died, and we would like to send our heart-felt thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.
Charlotte first came to stay at Rumours a few years ago when filming/presenting a segment on a TV Travel Show on Luxury Villas in the Cook Islands, and on that occasion Rumours was the property of choice for this show.
Obviously she really enjoyed her time with us as the following year she returned for a private holiday. During these two stays we got to know Charlotte as a vibrant and enthusiastic person who was very down to earth and genuine. She took her work very seriously, but still enjoyed having a glass of wine and an informal chat, and it was during her second visit that we got to know her as a person a little more. She was just a very nice lady and will be missed all the more because of it. Rumours Management and Staff
There have been quite a few whale sightings around the island recently, some not far from Rumours. If you are not already aware, June-November is Humpback Whale Migration season for Rarotonga.
The first sightings this year were at the end of May, and by the end of June there were daily sightings off Avarua and the west of the island. Most sightings have been in the mornings or evenings, but the 11am Reef Sub was lucky to get an amazing display from a male Humpback whale that sang, breached, and somersaulted for them for over an hour!
The best place on Rarotonga to spot humpback whales is along the north coast where the coral reef edge is closest to shore, and the most popular spots with good vantage viewing is Avarua Town and Black Rock on the north west coast.
It really is a spectacular sight to see these majestic creatures surfacing so close. Often you will see both mother and calf, and sometimes you may even see up to three whales surfacing together.
The whales migrate from the cooler climate of Antarctica up to the warm tropical waters of the Cook Islands to give birth. They usually spend a few months here with their calves, before heading back down to the Antarctica summer.
Rarotongan resident whale expert (Whale biologist and researcher) Nan Hauser has just arrived back on the island. She will now take some ID shots from the whale breachings to identify the age and sex of the whales we are seeing. The Whale Research Centre, located on the back road from Avarua Town, has information about the migration, news on recent sightings and a small collection of memorabilia. This is well worth a visit.
Rumours was approached last year by the NZ High Commissioner MrJohn Carter as to whether Rumours would be interested in helping this very worthwhile project. We committed a donation of a percentage of all the Waterfall Spa income over the months of November and December 2012.
We have recently transfered over the total amount to the NZ High Commmissioner for placement into the Troubled Youth Project account. Rumours would like to thank our great spa team and all the locals who supported the Spa during these months so that the funding in the Troubled Youth account could be substantially increased.
It is very encouraging to see projects like this being undertaken in the Cook Islands so that our young people can upskill and take a positive place in our community.
The beautiful tall ship Picton Castle is in Avatiu Harbour, Rarotonga for the next three weeks, and worth a visit to observe or even take a half day voyage.
Last Wednesday morning two traditional double-hull waka arrived safely at Avarua harbour on Rarotonga. The crew are on an epic 10,000 km Waka Tapu journey from Auckland in New Zealand to Rapanui (Easter Island).
Leading the expedition is master navigator Jacko Thatcher who is one of five traditional Po (master) navigators in the South Pacific. The two double-hulled canoes Te Aurere and Ngahiraka mai Tawhiti have been built in the traditional style and are navigated using star compasses and knowledge of the stars passed down through generations of Polynesian navigators.
The sailors will be enjoying a well earned break on shore and all the people of the Cook Islands are incredibly proud of them.
If you are staying at Rumours, or anywhere else on Rarotonga have a look at the port in Avarua or ask at Trader Jacks and they will tell you where the two waka are moored.