Monday, 14 April 2008
Today's focus.......The Cook Islands
A unique, tropical hideaway is The Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, north-east of New Zealand.
The Cook Islands are divided into two main groups, the Southern Cook and Northern Cook Islands.
First sighted by Spaniard Alvaro de Mendanain in 1956 and then first explored by Captain James Cook in 1773. Polynesians who migrated from Tahiti
in the 6th century A.D. were the first settlers. The formation of the islands was by volcanic activity, with the northern group consisting of six atolls (sunken volcanoes topped by the growth of corals).
Missionaries arrived at the islands in 1821 and Christianity is the dominant religion. The official language is English and a widely spoken Cook Islands Maori dialect.
There is a diverse culture from dance, music, visual arts-wooden carvings, with significant differences between each of the islands. A major art form in the Cook Islands is tivaevae - the art of handmade patchwork quilts. Tourism is a major industry of the islands but they remain largely unspoiled by the influx of approximately 90,000 visitors each year. Industry isn't just confined to tourism with the much sought after and exquisite black pearls being farmed there. Offshore investors are well looked after with zero tax rate for all offshore entities, guaranteeing tax neutrality.
The main sport played is Rugby Union followed by soccer and rugby league. The climate of the Cook Islands ranges from moderate to tropical. One would never be bored on the islands and in the clear unpolluted waters you can go scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating or just relax on the white sands with palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze.
There is a plethora of fruits and seafoods to tempt your taste buds . A Traditional breakfast consists of pawpaw aka papaya, covered with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon or lime and the fresh scraped flesh of coconut. You can also try the Rukau - cooked taro leaves, pickled fish and raw fish, just a few of the culinary delights.
The perfect escape from the reality.
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The Cook Islands