Agent Tools & Info - South Pacific - Cook Islands

  

JEWELS IN THE OCEAN

The 15 islands of the Cook Islands lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, scattered like fragrant frangipani petals floating across 2.2 million square kilometres of a seductive, sensual ocean. Boasting rare beauty, an idyllic climate, warm welcoming people with the widest white smiles and a pace of life unsurpassed for peace, endless adventures, romance and pure relaxation. This is a place where days slip by effortlessly, and the passage of time is marked by the endless sunrises and sunsets punctuated only by a traditional afternoon nap before easing into the warm evenings. This is the ideal way to recharge, just as the locals do.

The main island of Rarotonga is all about rolling mountains and volcanic peaks and the turquoise crystal blue waters of the lagoon. The island vibe is chilled and the locals can’t wait to welcome you to their Modern Polynesian home. With over 50+ restaurants and cafes, and only 45 minutes by car round the whole island of Rarotonga you will feel like you are in one big resort.

Aitutaki is the other main island and a 45 minute flight from Rarotonga. A great choice if you'd like to escape to a secluded island and look forward to dreamy, leisurely days, surrounded by jaw dropping scenery. 

GENERAL INFO

Time Zone - The Cook Islands are 20 hours behind AEST. Daylight Saving Time is observed from the last Sunday in September, until the first Sunday in April.

Seasons - Dry: Jun to Aug / Wet: Dec to Mar. Best time to travel is April to November, being the drier and cooler months to visit, however the weather is quite comfortable all year round. 

Peak Season - April to November

Key Booking Period - January, February, August, September,  October,

Average Length of Stay - 6

Aitutaki - 5 nights
Avarua (Rarotonga) - 6 nights

Visa - Visa exempt for stays up to 31 days

Events to Note - Tiare Festival (November), Vake Eiva (November), Te Mire Ure Traditional Dance Festival (April)

Airlines - Air New Zealand

Top Selling Hotels

Aitutaki - Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island, Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Tamanu Beach
Avarua (Rarotonga) - Edgewater Resort and Spa, Nautilus Resort, Pacific Resort Rarotonga

INSIDER'S TIPS

Language

The official languages are Cook Islands' Maori and English. Try these Cook Island Maori phrases: kia orana (hello), aere ra (please), meitaki (thank you)

Currency

The official currency in the New Zealand dollar (NZD). ATM's are available at the airport and in some larger centres. Major credit cards are accepted in resorts and some shops in Rarotonga.

Did you know?

In the Cook Islands, there are no traffic lights, no big-brand fast food outlets, and no building is taller than a coconut tree. 

Markets

On a Saturday morning, visit the Punanga Nui Markets in Avarua selling freshly baked coconut buns and pain au chocolat, fresh produce or fish, and arts and crafts. There’s usually a cultural display and the young ones learning the ropes from the older kids, entertain the locals and the tourists.

Sundays

Sunday is a day of rest and worship. Visitors are welcome in any of the island’s coral limestone churches, where the congregation’s harmonious gospel singing is electrifying. It really is something to behold and you are always invited to join the congregation for a morning tea afterwards.

Cultural Performances

Many resorts have their own island night with traditional music and dancing. Or, there are spectacular shows at the award-winning Highland Paradise Cultural Centre, set in an ancient mountain village in Arorangi, or the stunning theatrical over-water performance at Te Vara Nui in Muri Beach.