Hundreds of thousands of people have seen The Needle – Rarotonga’s most recognisable landmark – but I’m confident few would have seen it quite from this perspective.

Otherwise, it’s day six of wind and overcast skies and we head for Aitutaki tomorrow with its absolutely drop-dead gorgeous lagoon. Please gods, I’m begging ya, give me just two days of blue skies and I promise I’ll try and drive within the island’s 30 kilometre speed limit.

Photography Tip: Unless you’re wearing a cape, you’re going to need a drone for these photographs. To any photographer who has one, it’s worth recognising drone technology has opened up a whole new world of opportunity in terms of photographing recognisable landmarks from a different perspective. Unlike expensive helicopters, they can quickly rise and get you to some of the best angles, and in the best light, effortlessly.
These photographs were shot in overcast conditions at around 3pm, when the light was shining strongly through the clouds to bath the landscape in a gloriously even light. Details: iso 100 at 1/50th of a second at F3.2 (remember you don’t need great depth-of-field for sharp aerial pics).

Visit the Cook Islands Gallery of our photo library at to see pictures from our previous assignments to the Cooks.