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Stunning beach directly in front of our cabins

After a mere two weeks in my new job (let’s not take that new life too seriously, shall we?), I was lucky to be whisked away for a pre-organised trip back to New Zealand.  We spent three nights in Auckland, during which I attended my sister’s hen’s afternoon/night, made bowlfuls of a seriously good cocktail, nursed a serious hangover while trying to appear completely unscathed, and caught up with friends at a BBQ.  We then flew to Rarotonga in the beautiful Cook Islands for Amy and Frejean’s wedding.

Flying into Auckland late at night produced a distinct thrill as we picked out the Sky Tower, Harbour Bridge, and Mission Bay.  It was wonderful to be back, to feel and breathe the crisp, clean air, and to experience the Rugby World Cup fever that was gripping the nation (this was the weekend of the New Zealand-Australia semi-final).  Everything looked the same, was the same, yet there was a slight sense of distance.  Past memories; a changed perspective.

Flying back into Brisbane 10 days later produced an interesting contrast with both of us experiencing a distinct lack of emotion.  We know that we live here, that our jobs are here, but four months has created only the most minimal sense of belonging.  Home really does takes time.

The photos of the hen’s night are best left to the imagination.  The photos of the wedding are definitely best left to the amazing wedding photographer, Junior, from Noir Photography.  The photos that remain are snippets of five blissful days filled with friends, family, fun and sun.

The view from our cabin at Napa Beachfront Hideaway

Some of the whanau – great to catch up

Most of the troublemakers

Lagoon close to Muri Beach

You can scooter around the entire island in less than an hour if you don’t stop. One of our first tasks upon getting to the island was to hire scooters and obtain a Cook Islands motorbike license (for those in the driver’s seat)

At Whatever Bar – drinks and awesome fish (mahimahi) burgers

Looking out over the airport.  For such a popular tourist destination, Rarotonga has managed to remain relatively underdeveloped. The islander’s attribute this to their relaxed culture and innate cruisy vibe. Planning regulations, such as the rule that no building can to be taller than the height of a coconut palm, also help.

Even paradise can make you sick…roller coaster sea during an unsuccessful fishing trip

Beach-mode in full swing: the entire island is really just your own big bach.

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