Photo Essay: Rarotonga, Cook Islands

When winter is coming to New Zealand, a Kiwi’s biggest concern is How to make the summer last a little longer.

Top answer: “Fly to Raro, mate!”

No sooner said than done, the waterproof GoPro, Mr ae.i and I found ourselves back in a time travel machine (aka flight VA173, leaving Auckland each Friday at 7pm, arriving 4 hours later in Rarotonga, on Thursday shortly before midnight).

Being a Pacific Island, Rarotonga is all about white beaches, coconut palm trees, and stunning sunsets over a turquoise lagoon. But the island gets mountainous in the centre, with Te Manga exceeding 650 metres.

That peak is where surprisingly many rain clouds get stuck, which supported the creation of a dense forest (I will write up another article about the island crossing through that forest – stay tuned).

So if you find yourself under a grey cloud on one side of the island, grab your scooter and drive 15 kilometres (half way) to the other side. You will likely end up under blue sky and sun. We explored the lagoon each single day; by kayak, paddleboard or while snorkeling. Enjoy our Top 25 Paradise Photos below.

If you like this post you might also like Photo Essay: New Caledonia

Sun Halo over Oz

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Sun Halo as seen on Phillip Island on the 25th of December 2013

During a walk at The Nobbies on Phillip Island in the South of Australia I was treated to a rare phenomenon that had people turning their heads to the sky: a Sun Halo.

The light refraction causing this optical phenomenon happens due to ice crystals in a thin veil of cirrostratus clouds high in the atmosphere (as opposed to low level raindrops which create rainbows when interacting with sunlight).

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Sun Halo, birds and light flare as seen on Phillip Island on the 25th of December 2013

If you like weather photos and phenomena you might also like this shot of a partial solar eclipse as seen in November 2012 from Fox Glacier in New Zealand…