Cook-Islands Travel & Holiday Packages
Welcome to the beautiful Cook Islands! An idyllic island paradise in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands enjoys a perfect tropical climate and showcases an impressive landscape of rugged mountains, crystal clear lagoons and pristine secluded beaches. With so much to offer, the Cook Islands is the perfect destination for family fun, action and adventure, or rest and relaxation.
When to visit
The Cook Islands enjoy a pleasant, warm and sunny climate all year round and the best time to visit depends on your personal preference.
- December to March - marks the warmer, more humid season, with occasional tropical showers. The temperature ranges between 22 degrees and 30 degrees.
- April to November - These are the drier months with an average temperature of 26 degrees. June to August period experiencing slightly cooler temperatures.
Whale watching season generally starts in July and finishes around October. Often seen from the Raratonga foreshore, whales seek the warm waters of the Cooks to mate, give birth and rest.
Kitesurfing is possible year-round due to passing low pressure systems on the tropical belt however the trade winds provide the best experience from May to October.
Some popular Cook Islands Packages
All visitors wishing to visit the Cook Islands will be issued a visitors permit on arrival into the Cook Islands, provided they meet the following entry requirements:
- All international passport holders must have a passport valid for a period of at least 6 months beyond their intended period of stay in the Cook Islands. This will allow you a stay of up to 31 days in the Cook Islands.
- All New Zealand and Australian passport holders must have a passport valid for a period of at least 7 days beyond their intended period of stay in the Cook Islands. This will allow New Zealand passport holders a stay of up to 90 days in the Cook Islands. Australian passport holders are eligible for a stay of up to 31 days.
- You must have evidence of a valid outbound ticket or return ticket to your port of origin. New Zealand passport holders can now travel on a one-way ticket to the Cook Islands
- You must have proof of accommodation during your stay in the Cook Islands.
This information is valid at the time of publication. Please check with the consulate or embassy on most up-to-date entry requirements.
As modern Pacific people, high-spirited Cook Islanders are a cosmopolitan blend of western influence and ancient Polynesian heritage. Like any true blooded Maori, they enjoy pomp, splendour and big ceremonies with traditional customs and much feasting. Hospitality, smiles and a warm welcome come naturally.
The natural, unspoilt beauty and charm of the Cook Islands is matched by the friendliness of its people who think nothing of offering a lift, striking up a conversation or inviting visitors on a night out. Part of their culture and outgoing spirit involves engaging with travellers and sharing their little paradise lifestyle.
The inherent traits of genuine care for others and love of family are apparent, no matter the island background. The bond of family is vital and extended family is an integral part of life. Children often live with grandparents and nephews and nieces live with aunts and uncles. Adoption of family members is widely encouraged.
Festivals are an important part of life, with fierce competition between the islands to produce the most outstanding performers.
Closely linked in culture and language to the Maori in New Zealand, the Maohi of French Polynesia, the Rapanui of Easter Island and the Kanaka Maoli of Hawaii – about 87% of Cook Islanders are Polynesian Cook Island Maori.
- The currency in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by local coins. The unique local coins and notes are not negotiable outside of the Cook Islands, but are keenly sought by collectors worldwide.
- ATMs are conveniently located around Rarotonga and Aitutaki and credit cards are accepted at most hotels and stores. Western Union has an office in Avarua offering money exchange and transfers.
- Electricity voltage is 240 AC/50 cycle, the same three pin plugs as used in New Zealand and Australia. Some hotels have outlets for 110 volt AC electric razors.
- Although the dress code is informal, it is recommended to dress modestly when visiting town, villages and church. Nude or topless sunbathing will cause offence. A light sweater may come in handy for the cooler evenings.
- Cook Islands Maori is the local language but everyone also speaks English.
When shopping in the Cook Islands you’ll find an exquisite array of unique handicrafts, jewellery, art and clothing for sale in an excellent choice of retail outlets.
- Rito hats are intricately woven from stripped coconut fronds, and the pareu, a colourful fabric printed in a variety of colours and patterns like a sarong. Both are a vital part of everyday life.
- Wooden carvings such as clubs, spears, canoes, different drums (pate) and ukulele are popular. The hand-stitched quilts known as tivaevae are highly valued. Manihiki in the north exports cultured black pearls to Rarotonga, where they are set into high fashion jewellery pieces. Like the rest of the Cook Islands, the black pearl is small, but perfectly formed. There are small stores around the island but the highest concentration of shops is in Avarua.
- Local arts and crafts are available throughout the islands. Pupu necklaces, hand printed pareus, local therapeutic oils and fragrances, coconut anything from the finest rito hats to bikini bras, fans, pandanus mats, carved wooden bowls, spears and paddles and above all the prized black pearls. If this is on your list of “must haves” make sure you buy in the Cooks. The quality is superb and the price is right.
Discover more about the Cook Islands culture by exploring the local markets on offer.
- The Punanga Nui Market in Avarua, Rarotonga’s main town, offers free entertainment, fresh food stalls, organic coffee, and authentic souvenirs like pearls, artwork, crafts and hats made of coconut frond. While the market is open until midday, early Saturday morning is the best time to go for locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as homemade treats like poke. Also make sure to head over to the main stage from about 10am to enjoy live music and dancing. The Punanga Nui Market also features a night market on Thursdays from 5pm to 9pm, offering a wide range of cuisine options.
- The Muri night markets in the Muri Beach Village are a great way to curate your own dinner from the various food trucks, stalls and stands all while mixing and mingling with tourists and locals alike. Currently open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5pm, the night markets offer a variety of food from local BBQ meals, seafood, fresh drinking coconuts, chicken curries, wok fried noodles, pizza, desserts and more.
Few Helpful tips:
- Go early to have the widest selection of food on offer.
- Remember to bring your New Zealand Dollars or Cook Islands coins as stalls are cash only.
- Get to the markets by bus or if you are driving, park just off the road.
Weather in Cook Islands
Why we love it!
The Cook Islands is English speaking, on the New Zealand dollar, and so easy to get around. Only 32km, Rarotonga is like one big resort where everything is easily accessible by car, bike, or even the clockwise and anticlockwise bus. It’s all so easy that you can do as much or as little as you like in this little paradise.
Take a lagoon cruise on ‘the world’s most beautiful lagoon’, where the colour blue is redefined. Enjoy BBQ lunch on board and snorkel with giant trevally. Stay for a week if the day trip is not enough and enjoy the island’s total seclusion, perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.
There are so many ways to enjoy the warm tropical waters in the Cook Islands. From lagoon cruises to sea scooter safaris, simply hopping on a kayak from your resort or joining a neon lit night SUP tour, you are spoilt for choice in this South Pacific gem.
Book an island night or choose from over 100 cafes and restaurants serving Polynesian and international cuisine. Indulge in a fine dining experience or try a variety of popular local dishes at a Night Market – the options are endless and the food is priced similar to what you would find in an Aussie capital city.
Cook Islanders love interacting with visitors. A contemporary, fun and outgoing people with an intriguing history, who love to share their Polynesian culture. Experience the Cook Islands culture and hospitality on a progressive dinner tour, at the markets or on a visit to Sunday church.
It’s not all about being on the water in Rarotonga – there’s a lush jungle waiting to be explored by storytelling bike tours, jungle 4WD safari tours, mud-splattered buggy adventures, hiking excursions, and more.
Flying to Cook Islands
Currently, the access to the Cook Islands is through New Zealand. Direct flights from Auckland are available with Air New Zealand. Jetstar will also fly Auckland to Rarotonga from 2 June. An announcement on when the direct flights from Sydney with Air New Zealand will resume will be at a later date.
Entire Travel Group is celebrating 50 years of passionately delivering unique and memorable travel experiences. We are an Australian, family owned, award winning business, with a friendly team ready to match your expectations to the perfect holiday package.
Entire Travel Group used to be known by the individual brands shown in the footer of the website. The company has not changed, but we have amalgamated under one brand - Entire Travel Group.
For more details please visit - About Us | Entire Travel Group
Well, put simply - we’re famous for building things. We offer an exclusive range of pre-designed, purpose-built, independent holiday packages full of unique and memorable experiences. The packages are delivered by our global network of handpicked suppliers, who also provide on ground travel support to our clients.
Entire Travel Group is proudly Australian family owned and operated and as it stands today represents 50 years of experience, progress, and evolution. We proudly support the community with our long-term commitment to many important charity organisations. We were awarded the best operator in our class at the most recent National Travel Industry Awards.
Entire Travel Group is ATAS Accredited. ATAS, which stands for AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme is administered by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA). AFTA is the industry body for the Australian retail travel industry. We are also a registered member of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO).
Entire Travel Group was awarded “Best Specialty Wholesaler” at the 2019 National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA), which are held annually by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA).
The awards recognise quality and excellence in the Australian travel industry. We were extremely honoured to receive this recognition and we will continue to deliver the best service and value to our customers.
In some cases, we are the sole representative in Australia for the overseas travel operator. In other circumstances the product developed has been exclusively built for Entire Travel Group and can’t be found elsewhere.
- They are not group tours with set departures - they are pre-designed, purpose built, independent holiday packages full of unique and memorable experiences.
- Our holiday packages have been exclusively built for us in collaboration with our handpicked suppliers, who also offer full on-ground support for the clients.
- We are offering unique travel experiences which cannot be found elsewhere.
- Many packages include our “Freedom of Choice” options which allow you to tailor the holiday experience. Like a sommelier matching wine to a meal, we have used our experience to carefully select and offer the right experiences in each location.
- They include our Peace of Mind Booking Plan.
- A wide selection of our packages are compliant with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Covid Safe Travels.
Our motto for Independent Holiday Packages is start your holiday when and with who you want!
Our Independent Holiday Packages are NOT group tours with set departure dates. Group Tours have specific set departure dates, and of course, you are travelling with unknown passengers in a coach. These tours are great for certain travellers and there are many reputable tour operators providing a wide range of options around the world.
At Entire Travel Group, our focus is Independent Holiday Packages. Available daily, they are pre-designed, purpose built, packaged itineraries full of memorable experiences delivered by our hand-picked local partners.
Our holidays suit every demographic, from couples to singles, to retirees to families and everyone else in between.
Of all the attributes Entire Travel Group offer - we have settled on “Experience” as the one quality we believe adds the most value to our customers. That’s how our tagline “When Experience Matters” came to life and encapsulates our business in three words, as experience does matter!
We have been operating for many years and have the experience to determine what sightseeing, duration and accommodation style makes a great itinerary. Our technology is continually enhanced, giving our team the ability to provide a great customer service experience. Our relationship with our operators is extremely strong, which ensures we are confident of the travel experience and on ground support for our clients.
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Our Peace of Mind Booking Plan allows you to book with confidence in the new international travel environment. With low deposits, a cooling off period and a flexibility period where you can cancel and rebook later, we really do have you covered.
For more details please visit - Peace of Mind Booking Plan | Entire Travel Group
Look for packages with our Peace of Mind Booking Plan logo on the website.
- We understand that occasionally plans may change, so we give you the confidence to proceed with a cooling off period.
- You may cancel for any reason within 7 days, where you will receive a 100% refund of your $100 per person deposit.
For more details please visit - Peace of Mind Booking Plan | Entire Travel Group
At Entire Travel Group we understand that our customers have their own personal tastes and interests - so throughout our packages look for “Freedom of Choice” which gives you the ability to tailor your holiday from the various experiences offered on selected days. Like a sommelier matching wine to a meal, we have used our experience to carefully select and offer the right experiences in each location.
The Freedom of Choice options are included in the package price, and the price remains the same regardless of the choice you make on each day.
For more details please visit - Freedom of Choice | Entire Travel Group
Our Freedom of Choice program offers flexibility, by allowing you to choose from different options on pre-selected days in the itinerary.
- Our per person price includes one tour on each Freedom of Choice day in the itinerary.
- The price of the package remains the same regardless of the choice you make on each day.
This specially designed program allows travellers to recognise governments and companies around the world who have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols, so consumers can experience “Safe Travels”.
For more details please visit - Safe Travels Stamp | Entire Travel Group
Book Now offers you the ability to make a reservation on our website for Holiday Packages that include our Peace of Mind Booking Plan. But it’s not just a static offer – you have complete flexibility from travel dates, passenger numbers, single supplements, room upgrades, optional extras, flexible booking terms and more.
- Our team will contact our overseas suppliers and confirm all arrangements.
- A Confirmation from our reservation system will be sent in the coming days.
- The Booking Number on this confirmation supersedes the website reference.
- To confirm a booking using our on-line Book Now process, a credit card must be used to pay the refundable deposit.
- For additional payments on the booking, Entire Travel Group supports bank transfer, credit card, TravelPay B2B, PaymentGate.
- For further details please visit our Payments page.
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On some Islands Holiday Packages (e.g. Fiji), it is practical to include flights, so where we have done this it is indicated by the plane icon.
However, on the majority of our Holiday Packages, we do not include international flights.
We found that many customers may prefer to:
- Travel on a specific airline of their choice
- Have the flexibility to book flights with Frequent Flyer points
- Select flight dates that may be different to our Holiday Package start/end dates
- Use a Travel Credit already held with the airline
- Use their travel agent for this service
We are able to assist with flights on any Holiday Package, so please just notify us during the Book Now process or contact our team.
If a package on our website does not include our Peace of Mind Booking Plan, it will not be available to Book Now.
Due to the boutique nature and limited capacity of some travel experiences offered, they have strict payment and cancellation policies. (e.g., a remote bear lodge in Canada with only a few cabins).
Although technically possible, we have decided that it is impractical for us to try and sell these type of travel services on-line. We believe it is important that such product is discussed, so that we can ensure these strict payment and cancellation policies are understood before we proceed with a booking.
For such product we may act as an agent only for the principal suppliers. Where we act as agent, your contract for the delivery of travel arrangements will be with the principal supplier and will be subject to their Booking Conditions.
We will advise you prior to confirming your booking if we are acting as agent and we will confirm the details of the principal supplier. Our responsibility to you where we sell travel arrangements as agent for the supplier is specified in the ‘Responsibility’ section of our Booking Conditions.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. During the Book Now process please confirm you require assistance, and our team will be in contact with you.
Before you travel it is your responsibility to ensure you have the appropriate documentation including visas. If you are travelling on a passport other than Australian or New Zealand, you will require a permit to re-enter Australia. It is your responsibility as the traveller and/or travel booker to meet all government entry requirements.
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How do I start a Booking?
- On any page that has Book Now simply follow the booking process.
- You must select the Travel Agent tick box and provide correct details.
- To confirm a booking only the refundable deposit is required.
- An agency credit card must be used for this initial payment.
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