Cook Island Escape

Easy Small Group

From $6,290 per person

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Friday 02 – Saturday 10 September 2022 (9 Days)

Escape to the Cook Islands for a relaxing holiday. We spend time on Rarotonga, the largest in the family of 15 islands, before transferring to the smaller island of Aitutaki, with its turquoise lagoon and surrounding barrier reef. You can look forward to languid, leisurely days, intimate cultural experiences, and jaw-dropping scenery. Work on your suntan lazing under a coconut palm, relax with a massage or enjoy the other resort facilities on offer.

Day 1              Friday 02 September 2022
Our tour begins today with an overnight stay in Auckland to prepare for our early flight to Rarotonga tomorrow morning. Tonight we enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant, a perfect opportunity to meet our fellow travellers.
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport –1 night

Day 2             Saturday 03 September 2022
This morning we are transferred to Auckland International Airport for our 3-hour 45-minute flight to Rarotonga. As we enjoy a meal and movies on-board, we cross the international dateline and gain a day, arriving in Rarotonga on Friday 02 September.

Day 2 Continued                   Friday 02 September 2022
On arrival we are greeted by our local hosts and transferred to our beachfront accommodation. Spread out over an expansive 6 acres of beachfront section overlooking the stunning lagoon and picturesque views of the Rarotonga sunset. Edgewater has a variety of onsite facilities available including a restaurant & bar, swimming pool, tennis courts, laundry facilities, wi-fi access, and a spa and salon. Free cultural activities onsite are also arranged daily by the resort and great for all ages. They offer an exciting way to explore what Rarotonga has to offer and experience the beautiful Cook Islands culture and its people. A welcome dinner is included this evening in the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: The Edgewater Resort & Spa - 4 nights

Day 3             Saturday 03 September 2022
Start the morning with a tropical breakfast overlooking the lagoon and ocean. This morning we take a trip to the Punanga Nui Markets I Avarua for local food stalls, drinks, head ei’s, pareu’s and souvenirs (to name a few). Discover more about the Cook Islands culture by exploring this vibrant local market. This afternoon is at leisure to relax at the resort, take part in the activities onsite or explore the island independently. This evening we are treated to a buffet of delectable iconic Cook Islands cuisine, plus all the favourites! An hour-long cultural dance show followed by The Resort's resident Panara Boys Band tops off our evening.

Day 4             Sunday 04 September 2022
Enjoy a tropical breakfast at our accommodation this morning. Sunday is considered a day of rest and worship in Rarotonga so today is at leisure to enjoy the resort facilities and scenery. For those who are interested, there will be an opportunity to attend a local church service.

Day 5              Monday 05 September 2022
After breakfast we take a cultural tour of scenic Rarotonga. Explore the history and culture of the Cook Island people with a local tour guide.  Follow the roads and paths used by the ancestors dating back to 1100AD; visit a sacred marae and explore historical sites once inhabited. Learn where the best snorkelling spots are in Rarotonga, see why the coconut tree is known as the Tree of Life and watch a coconut husking demonstration and taste the flavoursome juices and flesh of the coconut. Tonight, we experience one of the most unique cultural dining experiences in the Cook Islands. We will be welcomed into the homes of three different local families around the island to enjoy a traditionally home cooked meal. In the Cook Islands, it is a custom that our kai kai be blessed with a traditional prayer. Kai kai is the island experience of local food, where we share communal dining in a true local atmosphere. At our first stop, savour a delicious entrée before continuing to the homes of our next hosts. Here we enjoy a main course, a freshly prepared island buffet style feast consisting of a variety of local island dishes. As we allow our tummy to settle, it’s on to our last stop for dessert. Throughout the night, soak up the warm hospitality of each family, stories of their lifestyle and family heritage and be entertained with smooth sounds of the Pacific, played by our talented tour guides. As we travel along the roads around the island, we will be captivated by some spectacular views. These evenings are quite simply stunning, so do remember to take your camera to capture that great experience.

Day 6              Tuesday 06 September 2022
Enjoy our final breakfast at the accommodation before we check out and are transferred to the domestic airport. Today we take the short 50-minute flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki; which means a little paradise. Home to approximately 1800 people and the world’s most beautiful lagoon.15 motus (islets) are sprinkled across this huge turquoise, sunlit lagoon.  On arrival we check in to our accommodation. Aitutaki Village is located at the tip of the eastern peninsula of O’otu, 5 minutes south of the airport. The hotel sits peacefully by the water’s edge overlooking the stunning lagoon, amongst acres of lush tropical gardens and gently swaying palm trees. Dinner is at the hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Aitutaki Village - 3 nights

Day 7              Wednesday 07 September 2022
Enjoy a tropical breakfast at our accommodation this morning overlooking O’otu Beach. Today we Discover the unique and hidden culture of Aitutaki - stories which have not been told since the arrival of the missionaries in 1821 at Punarei Cultural Village which dates back over 200 years. It wasn't until recently that it was discovered amongst overgrown foliage by the family of the ancestors who once dwelled there. When the works began on clearing and developing the site, sacred maraes were uncovered, artefacts were found, even the underground ovens (umu) used 200 years ago were uncovered with the ritual foods cooked in them. Today the constructed buildings on the site are replicas of what once stood in the ancient village. We learn to weave, prepare our lunch in the umu, explore the lush tropical gardens, and learn of the plants used for traditional medicine; also have the chance to learn the basics of the art of Cook Islands dancing. Finishing our tour, we enjoy the traditional feast we prepared earlier in the day.

Day 8             Thursday 08 September 2022
Following breakfast this morning, we depart to explore the tempting turquoise waters of Aitutaki lagoon with Teking Lagoon Cruises. Spending a day out with Teking is a great way to enjoy the magical and stunning island of Aitutaki out on the water, our guide has a great local sense of humour and a contagious laugh that will have us delighted. There is the opportunity to snorkel (optional) and see giant fishes and clams in their natural habitat. We also learn about these stunning creatures from the friendly team of guides. Lunch is served on the breath-taking Maina Island at about 12noon and consists of barbequed fish, chicken, eggplant, and pumpkin as well as a variety of salads to choose from including local breadfruit salad, garden salad, coleslaw and fresh tropical fruits. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 9              Friday 09 September 2022
This morning enjoy our last breakfast in the hotel overlooking the lagoon before we check out of our accommodation and transfer to the Aitutaki Airport to connect to our international flight back to Auckland, New Zealand. We cross the international dateline once again, this time losing a day as we arrive back in Auckland on 10 September.

Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport

Heartland Hotel Auckland Airport

Just a short distance to the Auckland Airport, this is a great location for the night before an overseas flight. As one of the largest hotels in the Scenic Hotel Group family, there is plenty of space to relax and enjoy the friendly and personalised service on offer.

Edgewater Resort

The Edgewater Resort & Spa

Spread over six acres of waterfront property, The Edgewater Resort & Spa is surrounded by tropical grounds and over looks one of the most beautiful ocean views on the entire island. With 280 rooms on site, there is something for everyone to enjoy their holiday.

Aitutaki Village Resort

Aitutaki Village Resort

Located right on the O’otu Beach, step right out of the romantic bungalow onto the white sandy beaches. Overlooking the lush garden surrounds, relax on the beach or take a swim in the warm turquoise waters only a few steps away.

Tour Inclusions

  • Door to door home collection & drop off service available from select areas - refer to further information available here
  • Auckland – Rarotonga return flights with Air New Zealand and local return flights between Rarotonga and Aitutaki
  • 8 nights’ accommodation - twin/double rooms, all with private facilities (single rooms available with surcharge)
  • Daily Breakfast & Dinner + 2 Lunches
  • Fully escorted with a Leisure Time Travel Tour Escort
  • Tour admissions as per itinerary
  • Touring on island
  • Breakfasts (B), Lunches (L), Dinners (D) where indicated on your daily itinerary

Tour Payments Per Person ($NZD)

Twin/Double Share: $6,290.00
Land Only Price: $5,780.00
Single Supplement: $1,950.00
Non-refundable deposit due at time of booking $1,000.00

Airport Taxes will be advised when the Final Payment Invoice is due.
Full balance of tour payment due by Monday 20 June 2022

Early Bird Offer Book and pay in full by Tuesday 05 April 2022 and receive $250.00 discount per person!


Are door to door collections included on this tour? YES

Yes. Leisure Time Tours offers a free home collection and drop off service from selected Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and most Auckland City areas. Our complimentary collections are based on your individual post code, other home collection locations available at an additional cost. Alternatively you may wish to meet us at our Hamilton depot in which case you can park your car in our secure yard free of charge for the duration of your holiday. For all tours that have a flight component, we can also offer door to door collections from Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin city areas.

Please refer to our Home Collection flyer for further information about this service.

Is the Guaranteed twin Share Price available on this tour? NO

No. There is no Guaranteed twin share available on this tour. 

What fitness level is required for this tour? EASY LEVEL

To ensure that you select the right tour for you, we’ve developed a very clear set of fitness recommendations for our tours. These physical ratings clearly explain how much physical exertion is required to participate on each tour.

Level 1 – Easy

  • Relaxed paced tour
  • Be able to participate in guided or unguided small walking tours at a relaxed pace.
  • Walk on mostly level ground
  • Tackle an occasional flight of stairs
  • Occasionally need to stand for up to 10 minutes
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided

Level 2 – Moderate

  • Be able to participate in walking tours with time to rest at least every 10 minutes
  • Stand for 15 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Tackle a flight of stairs or incline
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
  • Walk confidently on bush tracks

 Level 3 – Active

  • Participate in walking tours without having to rest for up to 20 minutes
  • Walk up an incline equal to a flight of stairs without stopping
  • Stand for 30 minutes without needing to sit down
  • Walk over uneven ground and walk through soft sand
  • Able to get on and off transportation unaided
Will there be a daily seat rotation on this tour? YES

Passengers rotate seats in the coach daily so that all passengers have the opportunity to enjoy forward and window seating. All passengers are expected to participate as a booking condition.

Can you assist with pre & post tour accommodation? YES

Yes we can. Should you wish to arrive earlier or stay longer we can book in some pre and post tour accommodation for you. Please ask at the time of booking if you require this.

Is this tour a guaranteed departure? NO

This tour will be guaranteed once there are 10 passengers booked on the tour.

Are roadside morning teas included on our tours? YES

Yes. A point of difference is that wherever possible we offer our passengers roadside refreshments served from the coach. This gives all passengers the chance to mix and mingle over a hot cuppa allowing us to share our experiences as we journey together.

Do I need travel insurance?

Leisure Time Tours strongly advises all passengers to purchase a travel insurance policy. A comprehensive travel insurance policy may prevent you from spending extra money in case of an emergency and will help you feel protected during your holiday. We are agents for Cover More Travel Insurance. Ask us for a no obligation insurance quote today. 

How much luggage can I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one suitcase and one small item of hand luggage per person. Baggage handling of one suitcase per person, at each hotel, is included in the trip price. Carry-on/hand luggage handling is the responsibility of each guest and all personal items must be taken off the coach by you each day of the trip.

What clothing should I pack?

When on tour, dress is generally relaxed and casual with an informal dress standard on most occasions. Casual wear is recommended for travelling with something a little more formal for evening dining. If taking part in outdoor activities, make sure you have a waterproof coat, comfortable footwear and dress in layers to help you adjust to any sudden changes in climate. Be prepared for New Zealand’s powerful sun, even on cold windy days, bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Terms & Conditions
Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
If you book a tour with us and pay your deposit, you are deemed to have accepted these terms.  If you book a Leisure Time Travel tour through an agent, the agent is deemed to have accepted these terms on your behalf.

This itinerary was correct at the time of printing but is subject to change without notice. This could come about due to road or weather conditions, or any changes imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary. Such changes may occur prior to travel, or whilst on tour. You agree that we have no liability to you for changes to your itinerary. If a passenger amends their itinerary by starting or concluding the itinerary earlier or later, then it becomes their responsibility to arrange tour or flight connections as necessary.

Travel Insurance
It is a booking condition for all passengers travelling on Leisure Time Travel overseas tours to have a travel insurance policy with comprehensive cover valid for the dates of travel. We can assist with a travel insurance quotation, or you may opt to arrange your own. If you choose to arrange your own travel insurance, you must provide Leisure Time Travel with policy details prior to the balance of the tour payment being made.

All travellers require a current passport which must have a minimum validity of six months after the date you return from the tour to New Zealand. We will request a copy of your passport details when you make a booking.

Visas, Customs and Immigration
Compliance with any immigration, customs and/or quarantine regulations is the client’s responsibility. Leisure Time Travel cannot, under any circumstances, be held liable nor responsible if applicable rules and regulations are not observed.

Privacy Act Waiver
Travellers joining our tours automatically give consent for us to pass essential personal information to our suppliers on the tour, including full name and address, passport number, travel and contact details.

Health and Fitness
Passengers should be in good health and able to walk moderate distances to fully participate and experience the sightseeing opportunities within the enclosed itinerary.  All passengers are required to acknowledge that they are of reasonable health and are considered to be fit to travel and are not travelling contrary to any medical advice.  By acknowledging their health and fitness to participate passengers are indemnifying us from all actions, claims and demands arising out of any lack of health and fitness.  We reserve the right to remove a passenger from a tour if their health or fitness interferes with any other passenger’s experiences or the day to day running of the tour.  In this instance our normal cancellation terms and conditions will apply.  You agree that we have no liability to you for any loss, damage, costs or other effects of health problems you may encounter on your tour.

Our Responsibilities
We are responsible for booking and packaging goods and services provided by other operators such as hotels, attractions and transportation companies to create your tour. We are not responsible and have no liability to you for the terms of other operators or for any loss, damage, omission or acts, negligent or otherwise, committed by those other operators.

Your Responsibilities
You agree to behave reasonably throughout your tour and not to be a nuisance to other passengers.  You agree to comply with our reasonable requests and the requests of other operators.  You indemnify us for any liability, costs, damages or other expenses we suffer or incur as a direct or indirect consequence of your behaviour while part of your tour.

Removal from Tour
For the wellbeing of all passengers on your tour, we reserve the right to remove you from your tour and cancel your booking with us if you breach any of your obligations under these terms provided that, except in the case of a serious breach (as determined by us) we will give you notice of the breach and a reasonable opportunity (which will be no more than two days) to remedy the breach before exercising our cancellation right.  In the case of a serious breach, we can exclude you from your tour and cancel your booking by immediate verbal or written notice to you.  In the event of such cancellation, you will be responsible, at your cost, for arranging any accommodation, travel costs and other matters required as a direct or indirect consequence of the cancellation.

Tour Manager
Your group tour will be escorted and lead by a Tour Manager. The Tour Manager will make their best endeavours to ensure your tour is enjoyable and safe, and that the well-being and travel arrangements of the group are looked after. Leisure Time Travel will not be liable for any costs or losses arising from any advice or recommendation made by the Tour Manager, or any other representative, or decisions made by any person as a result of such statements.

Force Majeure
You agree that we have no liability to you and will not pay any compensation to you where the performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. In these terms, ‘force majeure’ means any event that has an impact on your Tour which we or the other operator (where relevant) could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid.  Such events may include war or threat of war, riots, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, pilferage, epidemics, pandemics, forced quarantine, medical or customs regulations, riot, fire, storm, flood, explosion, compliance with any law or government restraint order, rule regulation, strikes, lock outs, or any other cause not reasonably within the control of our control.  We reserve the right to cancel, amend or reschedule your Tour during or following any force majeure and if we do so you agree that we will have no liability to you for any direct or indirect consequences of the cancellation, amendment or rescheduling.

Limitation of Liability
The Consumer Guarantees Act 1993, the Fair Trading Act 1986, and other statutes in New Zealand may impose warranties, conditions or obligations upon us which cannot by law (or which can only to a limited extent by law) be excluded. We exclude all such imposed warranties, conditions or obligations to the extent permitted by law and exclude any warranty, condition or obligation imposed or implied under common law, equity or otherwise.  Except to the extent that the law prevents us from excluding liability and as expressly provided for in these terms, we shall not be liable for any loss or damage or liability of any kind whatsoever (including consequential loss or lost profit or business) whether suffered or incurred by you or another person and whether in contract, or tort (including in negligence), or otherwise and whether such loss or damage arises directly or indirectly from Work or Goods provided by us to you.  To the extent that we are liable for any reason for any loss suffered or liability incurred by you arising from any breach of these terms or for any other reason, such liability is limited to the price of your tour.

It is a requirement of the tour that you will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is important to note that quarantine-free travel is subject to change at short notice, either by the New Zealand Government or the governing body of any country you may be visiting on tour. Should you be required to isolate or change your travel plans due to COVID-19, any additional costs incurred are your responsibility.
We recommend that you take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy to provide cover should your tour be disrupted due to COVID-19. Please call us if you would like a quote.

Tour price excludes airport departure taxes, drinks, telephone calls, gratuities, any passport or visa costs, travel insurance, items of a personal nature, optional sightseeing activities, and costs for variations made outside the group travel arrangements.

Price Amendments
Prices were correct at the time and date of printing, however Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend the price subject to any changes in price imposed by other tour operators and carriers included in the itinerary. Exchange rate fluctuations may result in a change to the advertised price, however, the price will not change due to currency fluctuations after full payment has been received.

Payments, Cancellations and Refunds
A non-refundable deposit is required when booking to confirm your place on a tour. Registrations will be accepted in order of receipt of deposits.
All balance payments must be received by Leisure Time Travel by the date indicated on the tour itinerary. Payments are available to be made by Cash, Direct Credit or EFTPOS only – Credit Card payments will incur a 2% surcharge. Leisure Time Travel reserves the right to amend, reschedule or cancel the tour due the result of circumstances outside the company’s control. Leisure Time Travel also reserves the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient numbers and in this instance, a substitute date will be offered, or a full refund will be made available.

Cancellation fees      
See individual tour itinerary for full details of cancellation fees applicable to each tour

Cook Islands Escape

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