Cook Islands

Kia Orana! Welcome to the secret of the Pacific. Breathe in the fresh pure air. Wade into the cool, calm, blue lagoons. Let the untouched charm of these beautiful Cook Islands capture your spirit and hold your heart. The islands of the Cooks 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: the Cook Islands is Paradise.

An idyllic climate, stunning scenery, warm-hearted people and a desirable way of life where “hurry” has not been coined, make them irresistible. Bush clad volcanic peaks descend to glistening white sands and the inevitable palm-fringed blue lagoons. Rarotonga, the capital and Aitutaki which is  breathtakingly beautiful are the most popular destinations. Climb the magnificent peaks lush with native vegetation and alive with song birds. Or simply stroll through the pearly sands and stop awhile to look at the twinkling sunbeams on a white crested reef. 

Destination Information

 Getting There

Select Vacations offers economy & business class airfares with Air New Zealand.

Visa

Australian passport holders are not required to have a visa.

Passport

Your Australian must have validity exceeding 6 months after the date of entry. A valid passport and a return ticket will allow you a stay of up to 31 days, but this is currently under review in order to allow visitors the choice of staying up to six months at a time. In the meantime, extensions are granted on a monthly basis – for up to five months. Remember to apply two weeks before your visa expires.

Currency & Credit Cards

The Cook Islands’ unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by notes and coinage for local use. The unique local coins and notes are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands, but are keenly sought by collectors worldwide. Major credit cards can be used at all shops, restaurants, bars and major resorts.

Weather

The Cook Islands enjoy a pleasantly warm and sunny climate all year round. June to August is the cooler months, whilst November to March marks the warmer season, with occasional tropical showers expected. The drier months, from April to November, have an average of about 26°C, whilst the warmer season runs from December to March. During this season the temperature ranges between 22°C (min) and 30°C (max).

Getting around

The roads are relatively empty and they drive on the left, so hiring a small motor bike or a car is the most popular way to get around. If you don’t want to drive a regular bus service travels around the island regularly and will pick up and drop off upon request. Air Rarotonga has several daily return flights to Aitutaki.  Cycling is a great way to get around – bikes are available for hire.

What to Wear

Light clothes are advisable because of the tropical climate.  For women, light cotton dresses, slacks and shorts and pareos for the day and a long skirt or cool dress for evenings.  Men are most comfortable in light weight slacks and shorts and open neck shirts. Sandals or light canvas shoes are adequate.

General Tips

There is a Departure Tax of $NZ55 for each adult, but children under 12 are exempt.

Sunday is a family day where everyone goes to Church...a not to be missed experience...the singing in harmony is amazing and a morning tea is put on for the guests.

Black pearls are a particular specialty in the Cooks. They are particularly popular as rings, pendants or necklaces. Not cheap but very nice.

Hire yourself a scooter or motor bike, they are the best way to get around the place, they cost from around NZ$12 a day – great value.
Dining out in the Cook Islands is always very reasonably priced as the prices are in NZ dollars.

Tipping is not customary, and may put the person tipped into a difficult position as they may feel obliged to return the present with another, as custom dictates.

Pick up a Cook Islands painting, carving or maybe a specialty Cook Island coin collection.

Rarotonga

Aitutaki