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The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 236.7 square kilometres (91 sq mi). The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,960,027 square kilometres (756,771 sq mi) of ocean.

Rarotonga is the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands. The island is volcanic, with an area of 67.39 km2 (26.02 sq mi), and is home to almost 75% of the country's population, with 10,898 of a total population of 15,040. The Cook Islands' Parliament buildings and international airport are on Rarotonga. Rarotonga is a very popular tourist destination with many resorts, hotels and motels. The chief town, Avarua, on the north coast, is the capital of the Cook Islands.

Rarotonga is a kidney-shaped volcanic island, 32 km (20 mi) in circumference, and 11.2 km (7.0 mi) wide on its longest (east-west) axis. The island is the summit of an extinct Pliocene or Pleistocene volcano, which rises 5000 meters from the seafloor. The core of the island consists of densely forested hills cut by deep valleys, the eroded remnants of the original volcanic cone. The hills are surrounded by a low coastal plain consisting of beaches, a storm ridge, lowland swamps, and alluvial deposits. This in turn is surrounded by a fringing reef, which ranges from 30 to 900 metres wide.  The reef is shallow, with a maximum depth of 1.5m, and has a number of passages, notably at Avarua, Avatiu and Ngatangiia. Beyond the reef crest, the outer reef slopes steeply to deep water. The interior of the island is dominated by eroded volcanic peaks cloaked in dense vegetation. Paved and unpaved roads allow access to valleys but the interior of the island remains largely unpopulated due to forbidding terrain and lack of infrastructure.

Palm-studded white sandy beaches fringe most of the island, and there is a popular cross-island walk that connects Avatiu valley with the south side of the island. It passes the Te Rua Manga, the prominent needle-shaped rock visible from the air and some coastal areas. Hikes can also be taken to the Raemaru, or flat-top mountain. Other attractions include Wigmore Falls (Papua Falls) and the ancient marae, Arai te Tonga. Popular island activities include snorkelingscuba diving, bike riding, kite surfing, hiking, deep-sea fishing, boat tours, scenic flights, going to restaurants, dancing, seeing island shows, squash, tennis, zipping around on mopeds, and sleeping on the beach. There are many churches open for service on Sunday, with a cappella singing. People congregate at the sea wall that skirts the end of the airport's runway to be "jetblasted" by aircraft.

The island is encircled by a main road, Ara Tapu, that traces the coast. Three-quarters of Rarotonga is also encircled by the ancient inner road, Ara Metua. Approximately 29 km long, this road was constructed in 11th century and for most or all of its whole length was paved with large stone slabs. Along this road are several important marae, including Arai Te Tonga, the most sacred shrine in Rarotonga. Due to the mountainous interior, there is no road crossing the island.


Rotterdam is a funky port city that prides itself on its unique architecture, cool art, amazing food, and massive harbor. The city is one of the most multicultural in the Netherlands and hosts an array of festivals and concerts throughout the year. Rotterdam is easily accessible by train, bus, boat and plane. Transport in the city is also well organized with an extensive network of buses, trams, and subways.

Rotterdam has the most beautiful, crazy and special buildings in The Netherlands. The city centre is a patchwork of architectural styles: icons of the Nieuwe Bouwen school of modernist Dutch architecture stand alongside characteristic post-war reconstruction architecture from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The most famous buildings are the Markthal, the cube-houses and the Euromast. They are all very cool and remarkable. The Pauluskerk which is a very unique brown church, the Timmerhuis also known as the glass greenhouse and of course the Mainport hotel where the architect really captured the spirit of Rotterdam.

Boat rides, historic monuments, a unique zoo and the remarkable architecture are just some of the many excursions possibilities Rotterdam has to offer. The water taxi is a pleasant way of travelling through Rotterdam. You don’t need a destination, because the water taxi is also available for a cruise past all the highlights of Rotterdam. Another great option is Spido’s sunset cruise where you will see the beautiful skyline of Rotterdam while enjoying a cocktail.



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