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Cook Islands

Cook Islands

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In the meantime today we reminisce about lazy days and crystal clear turquoise seas in the beautiful Cook Islands. Let us take you to an old favourite or transport yourself with our delicious Ika Mata recipe

(Image: ©Cook Islands Tourism)

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OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EXPLORE IN THE COOK ISLANDS


 

The Cook Islands turquoise lagoons, idyllic beaches, mountainous backdrop aligned with beautiful resorts and accommodation throughout the nation ensure that we can tailor your tropical getaway to suit your needs and wants. From romantic honeymoon packages, fishing charters, soft adventure and off the beaten track island escapes, we can create an experience holiday just for you.
Rarotonga
Rarotonga

The main island of the Cooks, Rarotonga, is not only a holiday destination in itself but the gateway to more far-flung isles. Not that you have to leave its sandy shores. Rarotonga is almost completely encircled by a lagoon, so water-based activities are everywhere. (Image: ©Cook Islands Tourism)

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Aitutaki
Aitutaki

Aitutaki and its lagoon captivate visitors from that first glimpse out the aircraft window. Startlingly white swathes of sand contrast with the deep azure of the encircling Pacific Ocean and the remarkable turquoise of its lagoon studded with tiny islets. (Image: ©Cook Islands Tourism/Craig Owen)

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Outer Islands
Outer Islands

Authentic island life flourishes on the three remote volcanic and coral islands of Atiu, Mangaia and Ma’uke, all less than an hours flight from Rarotonga.

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INSPIRE ME
Cook Islands holiday planning articles



Are you planning your next trip to the Cook Islands? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on the Cook Islands.

 




OUR FAVOURITE WAYS TO EXPERIENCE THE COOK ISLANDS



Just under four hours away this idyllic paradise is super close to us here in New Zealand. Many Kiwi’s have already cottoned on to this fact and the Cook Islands continues to be one of our most popular travelling destinations in the South Pacific.
Get-off-the-Beaten-Track---Explore-Atiu-Island

Explore Atiu Island

Atiu is a gorgeous emerald isle and the 'eco' capital of the Cook Islands, with plenty to offer those in search of something different. Take a tour of some of the coral limestone caves, with wonders such as the Tiroto Tunnel formed by fresh running water. Wade through this tunnel almost to the sea for a real adventure. Then there's the Anatakitaki Cave, which is home to the special Kopeka bird, native to Atiu. The Rima Rau burial cave is a surreal experience, with a number of differing local legends accounting for the bones found here. If you want to try swimming in some of the caves, visit Nurau and Vai Akaruru. These feature exciting sinkholes, underwater passages and other thrilling features. Remember to always go with a guide so as not to get lost. This island is also a wonderful destination for hiking, with a number of nature trails. Take the Captain Cooks Trail, which passes through pristine jungle and beach. A highlight is the land bridge over an impressive 4 metre-wide cleft.

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Soft-Adventure-paddleboard-by-night

Raro Buggy, Pa’s Trek nature walk, Paddleboard by night

It's tempting to sink into island time and linger poolside, but if you want to venture out, Rarotonga has heaps to offer. Here are three of our top sightseeing options to get you started. A fun and exciting way to see Rarotonga is with a Raro Buggy Tour. You’ll spend a couple of hours motoring through roads less travelled, stopping off at a few points of interest while experiencing the islands incredible beauty. Be prepared to get muddy! Want to explore nature on foot? Join Pa, a delightful Cook Islander as he takes you on a trek across paddy fields, lush tropical bush covered mountains and through crystal clear streams to show you ancient villages where his ancestors once lived. For something different at night head out on a Fire on Water Night Paddle Tour. LED lights are attached to the boards as you paddle out on Muri Lagoon under a starry sky. A highlight is a special fire dance performance at the end of the tour.

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CI---Ultimate-Mates-Fishing-Trip

Akura Fishing Charters

With Rarotonga being so close to us Kiwi's (just under a 4 hour flight) it’s the perfect excuse to round up the mates and head over for a few days of ultimate fishing with Akura Fishing Charters. Akura is known for the best catch rates on the island. Fishing around Rarotonga is fantastic. You have warm water, great visibility and the expectation of ‘catch’ is endless. The fish life here is varied and depending on the season mainly includes blue marlin, sailfish, wahoo, barracuda, mahi-mahi and yellowfin and skip-jack tuna. The 40 foot vessel ‘Akura’ is perfect for game fishing and large groups, with full toilet facilities onboard and a game chair located in the centre for your convenience, its suitable for a wide range of activities including game fishing, spearfishing and reef fishing. For a fun day out look no further than the friendly team at Akura Fishing Charters.

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CI---Heavenly-Honeymoon-in-Paradise

Pacific Resort Aitutaki

Pacific Resort Aitutaki is a wonderful choice for a romantic honeymoon in paradise. Treat your loved one to a magical intimate dining experience on the soft white sands of Amuri Beach, surrounded by soft candle light and a scattering of tropical flower petals at your toes. Take in the stunning Aitutaki sunset while sipping champagne from your exclusive beachfront location. The staff can organise a range of bespoke romantic dining set up locations to suit your needs. Pair this with luxury accommodation, world-class cuisine and 5-star service and you will find this blissful resort is the perfect escape, where you can focus on what matters most – each other.

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Rarotonga and Aitutaki Island Hopping

Rarotonga & Aitutaki Combo

Get the most out of your Cook Islands getaway and discover the best of both worlds with this island combo including stays in both Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Rarotonga, the hub of the Cook Islands has so much to see and do with markets, island feasts, a range of tours, delicious restaurants and more. Aitutaki is often referred to as having the world’s most stunning lagoon. Secluded and romantic it offers a more relaxed holiday experience and is the top of any bucket list in the South Pacific. We recommend three nights at the 4-star Little Polynesian Resort – a boutique resort perfect for those seeking a romantic picturesque escape followed by three nights at the 5-star Pacific Resort Aitutaki. With 27 luxurious rooms all absolute beachfront this gem of the South Pacific is an idyllic haven for couples and honeymooners alike.

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Te Vara Nui

Te Vara Nui & Progressive Dinner

With its warm, welcoming and friendly people, the Cook Islands is the perfect holiday destination for those seeking a taste of traditional Polynesian culture. Te Vara Nui Village is Rarotonga’s leading cultural attraction located in Muri Beach. On arrival you will be met by the local Maori people who will share their stories, knowledge and heritage with you during the tour. Sit back and enjoy the dancers and musicians as they perform by flaming torchlight on floating stages. Venture out to the villages to experience true Cook Islands cuisine, hospitality and lifestyle with a progressive dinner. You’ll enjoy three sumptuous courses while listening to the sounds of the local ukuleles. Each course is served in a different local home. The Cook Islands will capture your heart with its vibrant culture and spirit.

Rumours Luxury Villa and Spa

Rumours Luxury Villas & Spa, Rarotonga

Rumours multi award-winning Waterfall Spa has been selected by the World Travel Awards Group as the winner for the “Best Resort Spa in the Cook Islands” for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. This beautifully designed Waterfall Spa will have you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated for your tropical island holiday in Rarotonga. The spa uses Ayurda products and there are a whole range of treatments on offer including facials, body masks, body scrubs, massages, manicures and pedicures, so you’re sure to find something to soothe the body, soul and mind. So escape the everyday worries and stresses of life and take some time out to indulge and pamper yourself. The professional and welcoming staff at Rumours will ensure you have one of the best spa experiences to be had. Honeymooners that stay 5 nights or more will receive two 60 minute relaxation massages at the award-winning Spa facility.

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TIPS FOR YOUR COOK ISLAND HOLIDAY


  1. EXPLORE ON WHEELS
  2. Don’t get caught in a Raro downpour, hire a car and follow the coastal road come rain or shine. With only 32 kilometres of road it only takes about an hour to get around. Discover deserted beaches, villages and yummy eateries along the way. You can now drive in the Cook Islands for up to six months using your full overseas license. Scooters are available too. If you have a motorcycle class on your overseas license you do not need to take a test to acquire a Cook Islands license, you just need to pay $20 at the police station for a visitor license. If you do not have a motorcycle class on your license you’ll just need to head down to the Cook Islands Police Station in Avarua and take a test riding up and down the street without falling off! It is now compulsory to wear a safety helmet while driving a scooter.

  3. IT'S A SNORKELLERS PARADISE
  4. From giant trevally to reef fish, Rarotonga’s underwater odyssey is replete with curiosities. Aroa Lagoon Marine Reserve offers safe snorkelling and zero coral. Then there’s Tikioki - ‘Fruits of Rarotonga’, which is one of the island’s permanent marine parks, with a nearby café for post-snorkelling refreshments. Blackrock, which is considered one of the calmest places to snorkel in Rarotonga is great for families with kids, it also has a BBQ area.

  5. BOOK EARLY
  6. This little paradise is becoming more and more popular for Kiwi’s. We’re already seeing resorts book out much earlier than usual, particularly over Easter and school holidays. Make sure you book early to ensure you get into your favourite resort and don’t miss out.

  7. HOLIDAY WITH THE RELLIES
  8. When we live such busy lives, planning some time to be together with the ones we love most has become essential so why not book a multi-generational holiday in Raro with the in-laws, and grandparents in tow. It’s a good opportunity to reconnect and create memories and let’s be honest, the extra help with child care is a bonus! Ask us about super-sized villas, two and three bedroom apartments and holiday homes, we’ll help you find the right fit.

  9. HIT THE MARKETS
  10. Punanga Nui Market is a must-do for unique and well-priced Pacifica pieces, clothing, handicrafts and black pearls. Although open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm, Saturday is the main market day with more stalls and live music performed on the stage. For a delicious selection of food, Muri Beach night market boasts island specialities at very reasonable prices. From curries to locally baked cakes, entertainers and stage singers.

  11. ISLAND HOPPING
  12. For an even slower pace of life, fly from Rarotonga to the laid-back islands of Aitutaki, Atiu, Ma’uke or Mangaia in just under an hour. The romantic island of Aitutaki is home to the most pristine turquoise, sun-kissed lagoon. Untouched and unspoiled Atiu offers secluded caves, rare tropical birds and coral sand beaches. Mau’ke known as the garden island is abundant with flowers, deep underground caves, fresh water pools and lakes. Estimated to be 18 million years old Mangaia encompasses rugged beauty, ancient artefacts and lush landscape.



NEED TO KNOW



 
Cook Islands

COUNTRY NAME


Cook Islands

Capital

CAPITAL


Avarua

Clock

TIME DIFFERENCE


Current time in Cook Islands
New Zealand is 22 hours ahead of the Cook Islands

Currency

CURRENCY


New Zealand Dollar (NZD)

Electricity

ELECTRICITY


Current is 240V, 50HZ. Plug is a 3 point rectangle-pin adaptor

Language

LANGUAGE


English and Cook Island Maori

Banking

BANKING


ANZ Bank is located in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. ANZ ATM’s are located at Avarua

Meidcal

MEDICAL


Hospital is located in Rarotonga

Visa Information

VISAS


If you’re travelling on a NZ Passport a Visa is not required, however if you intend on staying longer than 32 days a visa will be required

Flight times

FLIGHT TIMES


4 hours from Auckland top Rarotonga, 6 hours and 20 minutes from Wellington to Rarotonga and 6 hours and 40 minutes from Christchurch to Rarotonga

Travel consultant training leave

BEST TIME TO GO


From May – October. This time of year falls in the middle of a tropical winter, but winter is dry in Rarotonga and these months are best for sunshine and warm weather. You’re looking at temperatures of highs of 23°C to Lows of 21°C. There’s never a bad time to visit the tropical island paradise that is Rarotonga, embodying a warm tropical climate all year round.

Air hostess

AIRLINES


Air New Zealand and Jetstar









WE'RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU ALONG THE WAY




This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
Enquire below or pop in-store and talk to one of our travel experts today.

The best holidays are created together.