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Untouched islands, Polynesian beauty, a storied past and that ever-present turquoise water... Cook Islands legends and landscapes have inspired writers, adventurers, artists and filmmakers from around the world.


An Island to Oneself: The Story of Six Years on a Desert Island by Tom Neale (1966)

This real-life Robinson Crusoe faced the fear and felt the beauty of solitude on the island of Suvarov. A must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of running away from modern life to an island paradise.

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (2002)

"Boldly going where Captain Cook has gone before," the Pulitzer Prize-winning author sets out to work as a sailor on a replica of Cook's ship. An entertaining tale of history, romance and adventure follows.

Treasure Islands by Pamela Stephenson (2005)

Part-biography, part-travel book and always engrossing. Mrs. Billy Connolly loves a good story, and finds plenty worth repeating sailing the South Seas in the Wake of Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson.

An Afternoon in Summer by Kathy Giuffre (2010)

As the byline goes, "My Year on a South Sea Island, Doing Nothing, Gaining Everything, and Finally Falling in Love." A love letter to the Cook Islands.

Don't Walk Under the Coconuts by Robert Barden (2013)

The author and his wife wintered on the island of Aitutaki for 11 years and grew to love the locals as much as the landscape. A natural storyteller, Barden paints a vivid picture of life on the lagoon.


Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (1983)

This powerful story of prisoners of war in a Japanese war camp stars the late, great David Bowie and Aussie Jack Thompson. Shot partly in Cook Islands, it's regarded as a classic film and was nominated for many international awards.

The Other Side of Heaven (2001)

Watch this turn-of-the-millenium Hollywood film if only for the glimpses of lush Cook Islands scenery. Starring a young Anne Hathaway, the film is about John Groberg's time as a Mormon missionary in Tonga during the 1950s. Producers chose to film in the Cook Islands.

One More Win (2015)

Covers the real-life story of the Cook Islands rugby team's mission to make sporting history. Thrown together for two weeks to train, they dream of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup. To do that, they need just "one more win".