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05.10.16 - Top 5 Rarotonga on a budget

Cook Islands for the budget conscious traveler

With a tropical climate, warm water, stunning scenery and friendly locals, it’s hardly surprising the Cook Islands is such a popular destination for travelers. However with the increased popularity comes increased prices. Here are my top 5 things to do in Rarotonga if you are traveling on a budget.

1. Hike the Cross Island track 

This track is a must do if it is your first time in Rarotonga. The Cross Island track starts in the Avatiu Valley south of the main town Avarua and ends on the picturesque South Coast. The 360° views from the summit (known as the Needle) are spectacular and an excellent photo opportunity. There is a waterfall you can swim in at the end which is ideal after working up a sweat! The hike takes 3-4hrs and you can catch a bus back to town from the main road.
 
Hiking rarotonga
 
Rarotongan waterfall
 

2. Snorkeling at the Rarotongan 

For me this location on the South West corner of the Island offers the best snorkeling. This sheltered turquoise lagoon is best visited 1hr either side of high tide. There is an abundance of fish and unique corals. Keep your eye out for, turtles, sea snakes, moray eels and giant clams!
 
Female Bikini Rarotonga Beach
 

3. Beached As Bro

For some pure relaxation spend the day at one of the secluded palm fringed beaches. Getting too hot? Just jump in the water and cool off. The view back towards the Islands lush volcanic peaks is one you wont forget.
 
Muri Beach Rarotonga
 
Cook Island sunset photograph
 

4. Reef Surfing

If you are feeling more adventurous the Island offers numerous reef breaks. Hollow lefts and rights break over shallow reefs, perfect for the competent surfer or bodyboarder. All of the breaks can be paddled to within a matter of minutes and are best on a mid to high tide. One of the best breaks is a 15min walk from the airport! The locals are friendly and can offer some advice on where it will be pumping!
 
Tropical island Cook Islands
 

5. Hiring a Scooter or Bike

Having transport will give you the freedom to explore the Island at your own pace.  The main coastal road circumnavigates the Island for 32km and offers plenty of photo opportunities. For a more adventurous route, explore the inland ring road (ancient road). This rugged palm fringed road will give you a real insight in to the locals way of life.
 
scooter and rainforest rarotonga
 
rarotonga at night
 
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20.09.13 - BALI Part 3 – Ubud

An inland town teeming with tourists, hawkers and vehicles, Central Ubud can at times be a little overwhelming. If buying a penis shaped bottle opener or toad kite isn’t your thing I would suggest hiring a scooter and exploring Ubud’s surrounds. A mere five minutes from the city and you will be amongst lush rainforest, terraced rice fields and historic temples. A much more authentic experience awaits…

Bathers at Tirta Empul Hindu temple springs Bali
The purifying springs of Tirta Empul Tempul built in 926 AD
 
Puri Sunia Hotel and swimming pool Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Our beautiful hotel swimming pool at Puri Sunia
 
Ubud Monkey and baby, Bali
More Macaque monkeys at the Ubud Monkey forest
 
Balinese woman cutting bamboo
Local villager splitting bamboo shoots to sell as thatch
 
Lush Rice Terrace and palms in Ubud, Bali
Lush rice terraces around Ubud
 
Balinese rice terrace worker in Ubud, Bali
Balinese rice terrace worker
 
Balinese woman carrying gifts on her head
The Balinese woman often carry any number of items on their heads
 
Balinese woman carrying food on her head and child in arms
…and in their arms
 
Balinese specialty, expensive Luwak Coffee and cup, Bali
The infamous Luwak Coffee – The Luwak digests the beans and excretes them ready to roast!
 
Balinese Woman carrying rice on head amongst rainforest, Ubud, Bali
Local villager working amongst the rainforestFacebookinstagramFacebookinstagram

12.09.13 - BALI Part 2 – Nusa Lembongan Island

This is the second part of a recent trip to Bali. After the bustling streets and hectic night life of Kuta, it was a nice change to arrive on the chilled Nusa Lembongan island. The next five days would be a mix of surfing, snorkeling, scootering, eating and relaxing…

Nusa Lembongan Island and beach, Bali
The picturesque Nusa Lembongan Island
 
Tigerlilly's resort pool Nusa Lembongan
My Dad, Brother and girlfriend enjoying the relaxed pace
 
Sophie standing outside Tigerlilly's resort, Nusa Lembongan
My beautiful partner Sophie ready for here awaiting limousine aka the 50cc scooter!
 
Balinese local
The welcoming locals
 
Bali petrol station
The local petrol station! The jungle juice bottles filled with fuel cost $2 and fill the scooter.
 
Small Bali Monkey eating rice
Hungry little guy
 
Nusa Ceningan point cliff diving location
Rugged but beautiful coast of Nusa Ceningan
 
Nusa Ceningan Point, Bali photograph by Pure Pixel
My favourite spot, Nusa Ceningan Point where we celebrated my 30th birthday
 
Nusa Lembongan night photo by Jeremy Town, Pure Pixel
Nusa Lembongan by moonlightFacebookinstagramFacebookinstagram

07.09.13 - BALI 2013 part 1

From beautiful beaches to tropical rainforests, massive nightclubs to ancient temples, crowded streets to deserted rice terraces, Bali really is a place of contrasts. These contrasts and extremes all add to it’s attraction and make it a photographers dream.
 
I recently visited Bali with some family and friends and we all had an amazing experience. Whether you are into, surfing, shopping, diving, hiking, yoga, religion or just relaxing there is something for everyone. We only had two weeks there but really got a taste of what Bali is all about. I have plenty of photos from the trip and this is just part one of three! Enjoy : )

photograph of Bali Airport porters holding signs by Pure Pixel
Arriving in Bali we were bombarded by hundreds of porters holding signs the question was where is ours!?
 
Bali Villa
Although my partner thought our Villa may be a hoax due to its price, we arrived to find it was in fact real!
 
Sunset at Seminyak beach Bali
Hard to beat sunset drinks on Seminyak beach
 
Sun loungers on Legian beach bali
Chilling on Seminyak
 
Seminyak Alleyway, Bali
Lots of quirky alleyways weave their way amongst the main roads
 
Photograph of Balinese woman by Pure Pixel
Our local grocer
 
Photograph of Dreamland Beach, New Kuta, Bali
The picture perfect Dreamland beach, with some heavy surf
 
Pet monkey photograph by pure pixel
My brother making friends with the locals
 
Surfer surfing shepwrecks in Nusa Lembongan
Keep an eye out for our next stop, the surf Island of Nusa Lembongan
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