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Cook Islands

Cook-islands

Named after the famous explorer Captain James Cook, the Cook Islands lie in the South Pacific northeast of New Zealand. The main island, and gateway to the region, is Rarotonga. Here you will find the mood relaxed and carefree with a strong cultural identity, and the people are some of the friendliest in the world.

The locals are Polynesian with close ethnic affinity to the indigenous people of Tahiti (Maohi), New Zealand (Maori), and Hawaii (Kamaina). Most Cook Islanders are bilingual – speaking both Maori and English.

The two main areas to travel in the Cook Islands are Rarotonga and Aitutaki. The island of Rarotonga is popular with families and couples, and has many restaurants, bars and cafes to visit. The inland areas have lush rainforest and valleys with plantations and village gardens. Rarotonga is fringed by white sandy beaches, and swimming and snorkelling is safe and enjoyable. Diving is on coral reefs and is suitable for open water and above. There are about 35 dive sites around the island, ranging from overhangs and swimthroughs to drop-offs, and even a river of sand. You can see many kinds of tropical reef fish, as well as sharks, rays and turtles.

A short flight from Rarotonga, Aitutaki is the idyllic “screensaver” tropical island with white sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal blue lagoons. Diving here is delightful. You are likely to see moray eels, spotted eagle rays, napoleon wrasse and big green turtles. It is mostly wall diving, with one wreck, the “Alexander” barge.

The Cook Islands

Accommodation On The Cook Islands

Sanctuary-Rarotonga

Sanctuary Rarotonga

  • Type: Resort
  • Suitable For Non Divers: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes
  • Air-Conditioning: Yes
  • Hot Water: Yes
  • On-Site Dive Shop: No
  • Resort Highlight: Adults Only!
  • Diving Highlight: –
  • Full Details Coming Soon…
Extra-Divers

The Edgewater Resort & Spa

  • Type: Resort
  • Suitable For Non Divers: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes
  • Air-Conditioning: Yes
  • Hot Water: Yes
  • On-Site Dive Shop: No
  • Resort Highlight: Fantastic Live Entertainment
  • Diving Highlight: –
  • Full Details Coming Soon…
Muri-Beach-Club-Hotel

Muri Beach Club Hotel

  • Type: Resort
  • Suitable For Non Divers: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes
  • Air-Conditioning: Yes
  • Hot Water: Yes
  • On-Site Dive Shop: No
  • Resort Highlight: Very Romantic!
  • Diving Highlight: –
  • Full Details Coming Soon…
Aitutaki-Lagoon-Resort-&-Spa

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa

  • Type: Resort
  • Suitable For Non Divers: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes
  • Air-Conditioning: Yes
  • Hot Water: Yes
  • On-Site Dive Shop: No
  • Resort Highlight: Incredible Over-The-Water Villas
  • Diving Highlight: –
  • Full Details Coming Soon…
The-Little-Polynesian-Resort

The Little Polynesian

  • Type: Resort
  • Suitable For Non Divers: Yes
  • Swimming Pool: Yes
  • Air-Conditioning: Yes
  • Hot Water: Yes
  • On-Site Dive Shop: No
  • Resort Highlight: Beautiful Infinity Pool
  • Diving Highlight: –
  • Full Details Coming Soon…

Dive Operators On The Cook Islands

Dive-Rarotonga

Dive Rarotonga

  • Type: Dive Operator
  • Snorkelling/ Non Diving Tours Available: Yes
  • Dive Courses Available: Yes
  • Training Pool: Yes
  • Equipment For Hire: Yes
  • Equipment For Sale: No
  • Dive Shop Highlight: The Only Multi-Agency Certifying Dive Centre In The Country
  • Diving Highlight: Crystal Clear Water
  • Full Details Coming Soon…

General Information

Australian passport holders require six months validity beyond your departure from the Cook Islands, an onward or return air ticket, and prior accommodation bookings. A visitor visa is not required for stays under 31 days. For more information and for holders of other passports, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for the latest travel advice.

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) is the unit of currency. One Australian dollar buys approximately one NZD. There are three legal tender Cook Island coins – $1, $2 and $5 – which are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands, but make for interesting souvenirs.

Languages spoken on the islands are English, Cook Islands Maori (known as Rarotongan) and Pukapukan.

220-240V and uses the Australian plug type.

GMT-10 (14 hours behind Sydney). Tahiti is across the International Date Line so your flight itinerary may look a little strange.

Light, casual clothing is recommended. A light sweater may be required in the evening.

The climate is pleasantly tropical throughout the year with an average temperature of 24°C. The wet season lasts from November to April and the dry season runs from May to October. Overall, Rarotonga enjoys a fairly even climate with few extremes.

23°C in winter to 30°C in summer.

None at 1 July 2012.

Tipping is not encouraged in the Cook Islands. Tip with a smile and ‘meitaki ma’ata’ (thank you). Polynesian custom says that if you give something for nothing, the person receiving will owe you – and that’s how a tip is perceived. Bargaining can also be taken as an insult.

Upoko Kanga - Top 5 list for Aitutaki

What is the the hardest thing to do in #Aitutaki - Say goodbye. Follow our little guide from the most beautiful lagoon in the world.

Posted by Cook Islands on Monday, May 23, 2016

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