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Australia & South Pacific

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are situated 3,500km (2,200 miles) northeast of New Zealand and 1,000km (600 miles) southwest of Tahiti in the South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia.

The 15 islands fall into two groups: the scattered Northern Group are all coral atolls while the Southern Group is of volcanic origin. Most of the larger islands include lagoons surrounded by small areas of fertile land above which rise volcanic hills.

People come to the Cook Islands for the beaches - and unspoiled ones,. Despite covering a vast area, they have a very small population, and the islands do not possess any of the large tourist resorts that some might expect from a lush holiday destination.

For those simply wanting to swim, the best beaches of all are at Muri Lagoon and Titikaveka. But it won't take much to entice you to dive beneath those clear, turquoise waters, which are teeming with colourful fish and swaying coral reefs..