Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga Chapter Updates

Posted on 17/08/2023

Explore the exciting journey with Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga


Chapter one – Getting Set to Go to Rarotonga

‘Welcome to Elastic Island, dear children, Heathcliff the Dog and Blong the Cat,’ said Mr Jollybowler. ‘It’s a pleasure to welcome you on our luxury service to islands in the South Pacific. Today we will be departing to the beautiful shores of Rarotonga! Allow me to introduce you to Kura the Kupa, the Cook Islands Fruit-Dove, who is my assistant for this destination. ’Kura the Kupa cooed softly and smiled at them. ‘Kia orana,’ she said. ‘Do you know what that means?’ ‘It’s hello,’ said Emma promptly. ‘It’s a greeting.’ She had read about this. ‘That is correct. It is our greeting,’ said Kura the Kupa. ‘But it is also so much more. It means “may you live long”, so it’s also a blessing.” ’Oh, that is lovely!’ sighed Blong. ‘Kia orana! Kia orana to all!’ He did a small dance, looking impossibly cute in his snazzy red raincoat.

Mr Jollybowler pulled out flower crowns for all the travellers and placed them on each of their heads. ‘A small gift for each of you before we depart.’ ‘Oh, a flower garland!’ cried Blong.  ‘I love it!’ ‘It’s charming,’ said Emma. ‘Awesome!’ said Kiri.

Click here to learn more about Elastic Island Adventures or to buy your copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga
Learn more about Cook Island Maori here
Read more about top things to do for kids in Rarotonga here

Chapter two: Arriving at Muri Beach

An attractive young woman with long dark hair dressed in a stylish blue floral uniform made her way to the front of the crowd and glanced at her clipboard. ‘Kia Orana, my name is Veronica from Pacific Resort. I have a booking for Kiri, Emma, Ethan, Jed, Heathcliff the Dog and Blong the Cat, arriving on Elastic Island.’ …

Once Veronica had left, they spent a few moments sorting out who would stay where, and after a short discussion, Emma, Kiri and Blong decided on the room on the left, and Ethan, Jed and Heathcliff the room on the right. Then all that was left to decide was what to do with the late afternoon before having dinner. It was a pleasant sunny day with a gentle cool breeze, so Kiri decided to swim in the lagoon, Jed went to organise some snorkel gear, and Heathcliff was keen to walk along the beach. Ethan decided to stroll around the tropical grounds and check out the resort’s layout. Emma decided to sit on a sun lounger outside their room with her book, and Blong elected to sit on her lap and join her, both still wearing their flower garlands…

The Cook Islands had fifteen islands, and they were scattered across a sea area as large as Western Europe. Rarotonga was the largest of all the islands and had the most people. That the local’s ancestors had travelled vast distances across the ocean in double-hulled canoes to come to the Cook Islands captured Emma’s imagination. How impressive navigating the seas in such a small vessel, Emma marvelled as she turned the page.

‘Get off my sun lounger!’ said a small voice in her ear.

Emma turned in surprise to see a colourful gecko with big googly eyes sitting on her shoulder. The creature was reasonably big, perhaps about 15 centimetres. Blong seemed to still be asleep, but one ear lifted as though he was taking messages.

‘Did you say something?’ Emma asked, looking at the creature with curiosity. The gecko was pretty, an attractive brown-yellow colour with pale spots.

‘You are sitting on my sun lounger; you need to get off!’ The gecko had a croaky voice and crossed his small arms, looking grumpy…

Click here to learn more about the 15 Islands in the Cook Islands
Click here to read more about the Gardens, Flora and Fauna at Pacific Resort Rarotonga
Click here to learn more about Elastic Island Adventures or to buy your copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga

Chapter three: The Great Black Pearl Heist

Ethan looked at Mighty Moko with new interest. ‘I think you should hang around,’ he said with a smirk. ‘I’m not going anywhere!’ growled Mighty Moko. ‘This is my place. You are the ones that need to leave.’

They were distracted by a distressed cry at the entrance to the restaurant. ‘They’ve all been stolen!’ A waitress hurried over to see what was happening. The children listened to a disjointed conversation they couldn’t make head or tail of until another waitress began distributing newspapers to each table. ‘You need to see this,’ she said. ‘It’s an outrage!’ Ethan grabbed the Cook Island News and began reading.

‘BLACK PEARL HEIST’ screamed the headline.

At a table next to them, a guest suddenly shouted. ‘They have stolen my black pearl necklace!’ The woman clutched at her chest, looking distraught, and a staff member rushed over to offer sympathy. ‘Goodness,’ said Emma. ‘The thief has taken all the black pearls, even from guests staying here!’ ‘What else does the newspaper article say?’ said Jed, forgetting his food for once.

Click here to learn more about Our Cook Island Culture, History and Heritage
Click here to learn more about Cook Island Black Pearls
Click here to learn more about Elastic Island Adventures or to buy your copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga

STAY TUNED FOR MORE – new chapters added each month!

Chapter four: Making Their Way to the Needle

Of course, the children, Heathcliff the Dog and Blong the Cat, weren’t going to give up. All of them wanted to ensure the missing black pearls were returned to their owners, and the thought of a small reward was a nice incentive too. So they returned to their room and loaded their two backpacks with food, water and other provisions. After checking with the helpful staff at reception, they decided to catch one of the two buses that circled the island – one going clockwise, one going anti-clockwise…

‘How can I help you?’ asked the friendly staff member behind the counter. She wore a frangipani behind one ear, and her name badge told the children her name was Louisa. ‘We wanted to hike to the top of The Needle,’ said Kiri. ‘I recommend that I organise a guide to meet you and take you to the top,’ said Louisa. ‘It’s not an easy hike, although the view is well worth it, so I can’t have children doing this on their own.’ … 

‘I do hope the police find the culprit soon and the black pearls are returned,’ said Louisa as they zoomed along a bumpy road lined by tropical bush. ‘It’s clear this is an outside person to do such a thing. These black pearls are the livelihood for many people, and it’s also a cultural outrage that someone has stolen them.’

Click here to learn more about The Needle

Click here to see more on our flora and fauna at Pacific Resort

STAY TUNED FOR MORE – new chapters added each month!

Chapter five: The Top of the Needle

‘You can see the shoreline of the entire island!’ said Emma. It was a stunning view from The Needle as they looked at the dense tropical bush that covered the jagged volcanic ridges in the centre of Rarotonga, then out to the sandy coastal beaches, the island surrounded by the coral reef, the sea breaking gently against the reef in the distance. ‘It’s a winning view,’ said Jed.’

‘Oh, we are so high,’ said Blong in a small voice, his eyes wide as he reached out to Emma, his human. ‘I really don’t like this!’ They all turned to look at Blong with sympathy. ‘Poor Blong,’ said Emma, taking him from Kiri. ‘We won’t be here any longer than we need; we will see if we have solved the clue and find out where we go next. Which has to be somewhere down the mountain as this is the highest point. ’I think this might be what we are looking for,’ said Jed striding forward. Resting against the jagged volcanic rock was a small wooden box with a touchpad with the numbers A, B, C, and D. Below the wooden box was attached an envelope.’

Learn more about Pacific Resorts Kids corner here

Discover more about the beautiful island of Rarotonga here

Chapter six: Wigmore’s Waterfall is Wonderful

It was a picturesque spot with a cascading waterfall that flowed down a sloping cliff surrounded by lush greenery to a swimming hole below. Heathcliff the Dog looked at the cool water, promptly raced in, and sat in the swimming spot with a goofy expression.
‘Hot,’ was all he said, which aptly reflected how they all felt after hiking down the mountain, the day’s humidity sapping their energy.
‘This is extraordinary!’ said Emma, looking around.
Blong jumped down from Kiri’s arms and stretched and yawned. Ethan and Jed set down their backpacks.
‘Look!’ said Jed, pointing. ‘There’s another box.’
Kiri looked where Jed was pointing and strode over. It was the same as the first wooden box. A small container the size of a medium-sized jewellery box with a keypad on the outside with A, B, C and D. It was resting on a rock by the pool. She snatched the note below and ripped open the envelope. Kiri sighed when she saw what it said and read it to the group.

Click here to buy your copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga and find out what happens next!

Emma gasped when she saw Blong fast asleep on a rock perched over the pool, right on the edge, about to fall into the water.
‘Oh, Blong!’ Emma cried, racing forward to try and rescue him.
Emma’s cry caused Blong to wake a little, just enough to cause him to move and slip off the rock. They all watched in horror as Blong plunged into the swimming hole below, emerging with a pathetic meow, looking more like a drowned rat than a cat.
‘How did I end up here?’ he said in a pitiful voice as Heathcliff helped him out of the pool. ‘You all know I don’t like water.’

Ethan rummaged in his backpack and found a towel, which he handed to Emma. ‘To dry Blong off,’ he said.
‘That’s very thoughtful,’ said Emma, who proceeded to towel-dry Blong.
Kiri looked at Ethan in surprise.
‘I can be thoughtful!’ Ethan said defensively.
‘Huh!’ snorted Kiri, but then relented. ‘Maybe.’
‘Poor Blong,’ Emma said to her cat. ‘We will try to keep you away from water, but you must stop falling asleep in strange places.’

‘I must say Blong looks so refreshed now he’s had a swim. The water looks very inviting.’
‘It does,’ said Kiri, looking at the water with longing. ‘I’m going in!’ she declared, taking off her shirt, T-shirt and sandals to reveal she had togs on underneath. She dove into the fresh, cool water.
‘Oh, this is sweet as!’ Kiri said as she frolicked in the water.
Jed looked at Kiri for a moment, took off his T-shirt and shoes, and did a bellyflop into the pool, splashing Emma and Ethan, who laughed. Emma took off her shoes, sat on a rock and dangled her feet in the water. Ethan followed suit by rolling up his long trousers and soon had his legs in the water as well.

To plan a visit to Wigmore’s Waterfall click here.

Click here to see images on the latest Elastic Island adventures school visits around Rarotonga and Aitutaki

Chapter seven: The Maire Nui Gardens Are Beautiful

‘Oh, I love this garden!’ cried Blong as he danced ahead of the others, stopping on a small wooden bridge to admire the water lilies in the water below. ‘It is the best garden in the whole wide world!’

Emma smiled at Blong’s enthusiasm. It was beautiful, there was no doubt about that. The Maire Nui Gardens was bursting with colourful, tropical plants creating a serene and gorgeous oasis as the children looked around. The frangipanis were incredibly fragrant, thought Heathcliff. Jed counted around 20 different varieties of palm trees, and there were plenty of edible plants – mangos, passionfruit, bananas and pomegranate plants, to name a few.

To find out more about Maire Nui Gardens click here.

‘It’s a nice day for walking around the gardens,’ Mighty Moko commented, calculating how long the children might take to walk the seven acres and have lunch.

Mighty Moko smiled when he thought of the time sliding by, putting the mission out of reach. He might even be able to manipulate things, so they got lost! The thought made him even more cheery. But the smile slid off his face when Blong jumped up and danced towards a stone frog sitting on the path in front of the garden. On top of the frog’s head was another wooden box with a keypad on the outside and another envelope underneath.

‘Another box!’ Blong announced. He grabbed the envelope that was sitting underneath and took it to the table just as their food arrived.

Emma took the envelope from Blong and opened the envelope…

To find out the next clue and purchase your own copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga click here

Chapter eight: A Diversion

‘Naughty Mighty Moko hypnotised you in the bus,’ said Emma, holding Blong in her arms. ‘Bad gecko,’ said Blong, turning to look at Mighty Moko, hanging out of Ethan’s pocket and trying to right himself after Ethan had picked him up and stuffed him in there. Mighty Moko looked uncharacteristically subdued and sheepish. ‘You did what!’ said Kiri, glaring at the gecko, who shrank from her fierce stare. ‘But Mighty Moko confessed to what he had done,’ said Heathcliff, standing by Jed and looking at him affectionately. ‘And confession is an act of honesty and courage.’ Mighty Moko perked up and smiled at the group. ‘See, I did the right thing,’ he announced. Kiri opened her mouth to say something, then closed it looking confused. ‘I’m still unsure what happened, but we should get to Black Rock?’ ‘Are you sure you are up to it?’ said Emma. ‘How are you feeling?’
‘Actually, I feel just fine,’ said Kiri. ‘And swimming with the turtles was amazing.’
‘It was!’ said Jed with enthusiasm. ‘Well, let’s get a bus to Black Rock,’ said Blong the Cat. ‘Hooray, the mission is back on track.’

To find out the next clue and purchase your own copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga click here

Discover more about the beautiful island of Rarotonga here

Learn more about Black Rock here

Chapter nine: Black Rock Surprise

There was a refreshing breeze when the children made their way along the beach to Black Rock after catching the local bus. Jed had already noted a golf course on the other side of the road. When they’d solved all the clues, he’d like to come back for a golf round. There was also tennis and volleyball. Rarotonga was such an excellent place for anyone who liked sports! Black Rock was what you would expect from its description. Large black basalt rocks were sitting on the ocean’s edge, making them the perfect diving platform for the rock pools below, another beautiful aqua-coloured playground within the coral reef of Rarotonga.
The children, Blong, Heathcliff and Mighty Moko in Ethan’s pocket, made their way along the sand and stones of the shore, and it was Blong who spied the wooden box first. ‘There it is!’ Blong the Cat cried. ‘The latest box with the clues!’

To find out the next clue and purchase your own copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Rarotonga click here

Learn more about Pacific Resorts Kids corner here

STAY TUNED FOR MORE – new chapters added each month!