I'm John Roberts and I'm afraid you've reached a part of the site that's more about me than the Cook Islands! So maybe you should just use the "back" button! But if you must...read on
In early 1982, a report in the travel pages of the UK's "Sunday Times" newspaper captured the imagination of a young journalist. It told of "a cluster of 15 reef-fringed specks" where a river of orange juice ran through the capital island, signs warned unsuspecting diners of falling breadfruit and the Prime Minister's office was "up the stairs at the back of the post office". That journalist was me and the specks were (and are) the Cook Islands.
It was the start of a love affair which continues to this day.
The passion for this place that I had still to visit was fuelled further by a chance meeting with a former Air New Zealand flight attendant who loaned me a book called "How to Get Lost and Found in the Cook Islands" by John W. McDermott (if you're reading this now, I'm sorry I never gave it back). John provides a unique insight into the Islands through the eyes of the people he meets.
My mistake was ignoring the farewell comment from a friend of John's on the final page of the book...."You have to be careful, you know, because after too much time here the little green tendrils start to grow round your ankles. They can take you over entirely, they can, and never let you go".
So maybe that explains why, nearly 40 years on and after multiple visits, my love affair with the Cook Islands is stronger than ever!
It's not easy having a long distance love affair! My home is literally on the other side of the world from the Cook Islands in a small village in Cheshire, which is in the north of England. I worked as a journalist, first on newspapers and then in radio and television. I spent most of that time at the BBC in the United Kingdom where I reported and presented for local, national and world service radio, and regional and national television news.. interviewing lots of famous and not so famous people along the way. I still love writing and the written word, and this web site has given me a chance to apply my journalistic skills in a different medium...not to mention having a lot of fun along the way!
This website started life in 2004 as little more than a photo album to share with friends and family. But since then it's almost taken on a life of its own. This is very much a single-handed labour of love. I'm also very grateful to Cook Islanders worldwide who continue to provide invaluable insights into this unique piece of paradise. If you've got information or pictures you'd like to share, please get in touch.
I hope you enjoy exploring the Islands through these pages and that you're able to discover them for yourself in the not too distant future (but watch out for those tendrils!)
Stories of buried treasure, ghostly fire, real-life Robinson Crusoes and the mafia are among the many secrets shared as you explore all 15 of the Cook Islands through the pages of this book. It combines first hand accounts by the author with those of other visitors and islanders themselves to provide a unique insight into this South Pacific paradise with some useful traveller tips along the way
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This website is very much a labour of love so I'd really appreciate any feedback...if only to know that people like you are reading it! If you have any questions or ideas about what else you'd like to see on this site, or you just want to say hello please contact me. I promise that your email address will never be shared and you will never get spam from me (I loathe it too!)
Thank you...for visiting this website. I hope you've enjoyed the armchair travelling through its pages and hopefuly it's also inspired you to visit the Cook Islands in the not too distant future