I have learned so much from scanning this forum the past week or so and have gained much valuable advice from many; esp LordBalfor (also fab pics on webshots - ta), Shully and Pub etc.
There are 6 of us (3 x married couples)been best mates for nearly 25 years are going to the Cooks in August to celebrate the birthday of the first to hit the big '45' later this year. Kids are staying home with grandparents.
We have 14 days and are coming from Australia (probably via NZ Air). None of us have been to Sth Pacific (2 went to Fiji 20 yrs ago). Hubby and I are the most travelled but our trips have centred on Asia, America (inc Hawaii),Canada and Europe.
Help required on the good AND not so good of all stuff! Pretty broad scope hey :)
To be a little more specific: we are thinking of taking whatever cheap 'lead in' type air/accom deal we can get to land in Raro (eg. 4 nights). We would also like to do a few nights in Atutaki, a couple in Atui and possibly also at Mangaia (depending on air costs). Then last couple of nights at Raro again. Ideas on ideal #'s of nights at each would be great.
We are fun loving, young at heart, early 40's and for this trip just looking for a little serenity and escape from our mad, hectic lives. Raging parties/rowdy nights are not on this trips agenda. We just want to sit back at night and relax with a cold one, play some cards, do some reminiscing. We also like meeting new people too(both fellow travellers and the locals of the place we are visiting).
A holiday where we can trek, bicycle and scooter around exploring nature. Want to swim, snorkel, wade out to motu's, laze in a hammock at days end with a drink or three and soak up the ambience. At least one set of accomms to include soaking up the full moon rising(which I think is around 8 - 12th Aug this year??). Lagoon cruises, wind surfing, walking along white sandy beaches at sunrise or sunset..you get the vibe of the thing.
Regarding Accomm - One couple are campers and used to hiking a lot into unexplored area's. Used to 'roughing it'. Another's main holidays (they still have primary school kids and one income)are in a camper van. Hubby and I have travelled many places and on varied budgets; from backpacking hostels to 5* luxury resorts. Mostly we timeshare now but we can rough it if we need to (and enjoy the experience!). Trying to keep costs down to a minimum as we have varied disposable income for holidays.
Good clean beds and rooms, some fans and either mossie nets over beds or coverings on windows for sleeping at night (and access to a fridge) would be our main requirements. Anyone know of anything okay in the budget to moderate range? Esp under NA$120 a night per room/couple? 3BR homes, beach bungalows, whatever.. hoping to stay in diff types of accomm in the diff islands.
Lasty for now (I've written an epic I'm sorry) help on Jetsave travel, inter-island flight combo's or air/accom packages would be greatly appreciated. Prices in general of drink and water and foodstuffs etc.
Thanks in advance SO MUCH. Because this will be for one couple their most major trip so far, and for quite some time in future, I really want to get this right for us all. :)