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Travel and vacation in Cook Islands
Travel information, guides, “good to know” and facts as well as travel deals. Read about the best sights, shopping and things to do. See current weather, forecasts and exchange rates.

Located in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are a self-governing state which associates with New Zealand. More than 100,000 people visit these islands every year to enjoy the music, art, and unique culture of this relatively isolated group of islands.

The Cook Islands are composed of 15 major islands, divided into northern and southern groups.

The total coverage area is more than 2.2 million square kilometers, making it one of the largest ocean-based exclusive economic zones in the world today.

Rarotonga is the most populated island out of the Cook Islands and home to about 10,000 people. Aitutaki is home to about 1,800 people. None of the northern islands has a population that exceeds 500 people, based on 2011 census data.

Much of what you’ll find during a visit to the Cook Islands is based on the Polynesian culture and lifestyle. You’ll find traditional dancing, songs, and music with religious overtones is quite popular on the islands.

One of the primary forms of art on the Cook Islands is woodcarving. Each island has its own style, though carving figures for spiritual practices has become less coming. Weaving mats, hats, and baskets is very common. A local form of art, called tivaevae, creates island vistas through patchwork quilting.

Life goes by at a slower pace on the islands, which offer numerous resort experiences and hidden beaches to enjoy. Diving and snorkeling are common activities to enjoy, while cycling, hiking, and similar outdoor adventures are offered in a variety of ways.

If you’re looking for a tropical vacation in an area that is not heavily frequented by tourism, the Cook Islands could be the perfect destination. Found out more about the travel opportunities to this Southern Pacific loation today.

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City A-Z

Aitutaki

Travel and vacation in Aitutaki, Cook Islands Travel information, guides, “good to know” and facts as well as travel deals. Read about the best sights, shopping and things to do. See current weather, forecasts and current exchange rates.Aitutaki is a popular tourism island in the Cook Islands and covers an area of just 18 square kilometres. It's known for the beautiful turquoise waters of its lagoon, stunning beaches and deserted islets. The main town is Arutanga, and altogether, just over...
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Avarua, capital of Cook Islands

Travel and vacation in Avarua, Cook Islands Travel information, guides, “good to know” and facts as well as travel deals. Read about the best sights, shopping and things to do. See current weather, forecasts and current exchange rates.Avarua puts the beautiful panoramas of the Cook Islands within your easy reach. It sits at the foothills of rugged mountains, towering over the outdoor markets of this capital city that offer some incredible beaches, fantastic restaurants, and numerous adventures. Visiting the Cook Islands will...

Raratonga

Travel and vacation in Raratonga, Cook Islands Travel information, guides, “good to know” and facts as well as travel deals. Read about the best sights, shopping and things to do. See current weather, forecasts and current exchange rates.Adrift in the South Pacific Ocean, a series of tiny spits of sand make up the Cook Islands. The most populous of these islands is Rarotonga. One of the few places in the world you would happily be a castaway, Rarotonga is the...

Travel resources for Cook Islands

What to see and do in Cook Islands ?

If you think the best holidays feature unspoilt beaches, crystal clear oceans, friendly locals, a great choice of activities and a laid-back atmosphere, it’s time you paid a visit to the Cook Islands. This is a destination at which the emphasis is on doing what you want when you want, and with such an attractive natural environment even taking a walk can represent the purest of pleasures.

Holidays to the Cook Islands usually begin with a flight to the island of Rarotonga, but from there you have a choice of several islands to visit. Spread across a relatively large area of the South Pacific, you’ll never be far away from a delightful beach.

While most visitors stay on the island of Rarotonga, there are several more to discover. Aitutaki is nothing short of a tropical paradise which offers all the peace and tranquillity, not to mention some truly stunning beaches, you are ever likely to need.

Atiu is perfect for those who like to scuba dive, thanks in part to a sea that’s simply transparent, while Mangaia is as unspoilt as it’s possible to be. A trip to Palmerston is an unforgettable experience, thanks to the presence of a sensational blue lagoon that is waiting to welcome you.

If you want to see Roratonga from on high, make sure you include a trek to Te Rua Manga in your itinerary. Known as The Needle, this rocky pinnacle is reachable via a long but pleasant trek, so be sure to pack your walking shoes and plenty of water. While trekking may not be to everyone’s taste when on a holiday to the Cook Islands, the views are more than worth the effort.

Families with children will always look for fun activities when on holiday, so if you have the kids with you it would be a good idea to visit Cocoputt in Aroa. Mini golf can be hugely enjoyable, especially when the competitive banter starts to set in, so put on your game face, tee the ball up and see who’s best.

Holidays to the Cook Islands provide so much more than relaxation. There is a sense of history in every location, none more so than at Ngatagiia Harbour, where it is claimed the forefathers of the Maori people first set sail to New Zealand. A visit to this important place should be on the schedule of any tourist who has a desire to find out more about the local heritage.

As you might expect from an island nation which has a close affinity with the sea, fishing on the Cook Islands is more than just a pleasant distraction. If you like deep sea fishing in particular, this destination is nothing less than a paradise on earth. Fishing charter boats are available on many of the islands, with those on Aitutaki offering a particularly popular service.

Unlike many other destinations, Rarotonga offers a laid-back shopping experience which doesn’t feature pushy sellers or frantic haggling. Here you can browse to your heart’s content without any pressure, and you can find wonderful examples of local cuisine, jewellery, clothing and ornaments.

Official holidays in Cook Islands

Below you can see a list of the official holidays

DateEnglish 
1 JanuaryNew Year's Day
2 JanuaryDay after New Year's Day
25 AprilAnzac Day
VariableGood Friday
VariableEaster
VariableEaster Monday
1 Mon. in JuneQueen's Birthday
VariableRa o te Ui Ariki
4 AugustConstitution Day
26 OctoberCook Islands Gospel Day
25 DecemberChristmas Day
26 DecemberBoxing Day
Also, the regions observe the following regional holidays. Most of the populated islands celebrate their own Gospel Days
13 MarchPenrhyn IslandPenrhyn Gospel Day
25 MayPalmerston IslandPalmerston Gospel Day
15 JuneMangaiaMangaia Gospel Day
20 JulyAtiuAtiu Gospel Day
21 JulyMitiaroMitiaro Gospel Day
25 JulyRarotongaRarotonga Gospel Day
08 AugustManihikiManihiki Gospel Day
15 AugustRakahangaRakahanga Gospel Day
27 OctoberAitutakiAitutaki Gospel Day
08 DecemberPukapukaPukapuka Gospel Day
Cook Islands

What is the capital of Cook Islands

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Avarua, capital of Cook Islands

Travel and vacation in Avarua, Cook Islands Travel information, guides, “good to know” and facts as well as travel deals. Read about the best sights, shopping and things to do. See current weather, forecasts and current exchange rates.Avarua puts the beautiful panoramas of the Cook Islands within your easy reach. It sits at the foothills of rugged mountains, towering over the outdoor markets of this capital city that offer some incredible beaches, fantastic restaurants, and numerous adventures. Visiting the Cook Islands will...