Book cover
John Roberts,  author of
Kia Orana!

It's not easy having a long distance love affair!   My home is literally on the other side of the world from the Cook Islands in a small village in Cheshire, which is in the north of England.   I worked as a journalist, first on newspapers and then in radio and television.   I spent most of that time at the BBC in the United Kingdom where I reported and presented for local, national and world service radio, and regional and national television news.. interviewing lots of famous and not so famous people along the way.  I still love writing and the written word, and this web site has given me a chance to apply my journalistic skills in a different medium...not to mention having a lot of fun along the way!

I'm John Roberts and I'm afraid you've reached a part of the site that's more about me than the Cook Islands!   So maybe you should just use the "back" button!   But if you on

Flowers and friendly locals welcome me to Mauke

Web site author and friends

This website started life in 2004 as little more than a photo album to share with friends and family.   But since then it's almost taken on a life of its own.  This is very much a single-handed labour of love.   I'm also very grateful to Cook Islanders worldwide who continue to provide invaluable insights into this unique piece of paradise.  If you've got information or pictures you'd like to share, please get in touch.

I hope you enjoy exploring the Islands through these pages and that you're able to discover them for yourself in the not too distant future (but watch out for those tendrils!)

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In early 1982, a report in the travel pages of the UK's "Sunday Times" newspaper captured the imagination of a young journalist.   It told of "a cluster of 15 reef-fringed specks" where a river of orange juice ran through the capital island, signs warned unsuspecting diners of falling breadfruit and the Prime Minister's office was "up the stairs at the back of the post office".  That journalist was me and the specks were (and are) the Cook Islands.  

It was the start of a love affair which continues to this day.

Newspaper story
John W. McDermott and his wife
The passion for this place that I had still to visit was fuelled further by a chance meeting with a former Air New Zealand flight attendant who loaned me a book called "How to Get Lost and Found in the Cook Islands" by John W. McDermott (if you're reading this now, I'm sorry I never gave it back).  John provides a unique insight into the Islands through the eyes of the people he meets.

My mistake was ignoring the farewell comment from a friend of John's on the final page of the book...."You have to be careful, you know, because after too much  time here the little green tendrils start to grow round your ankles.  They can take you over entirely, they can, and never let you go".  

So maybe that explains why, nearly 40 years on and after multiple visits, my love affair with the Cook Islands is stronger than ever!

Meitaki (Thank you)
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