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Cook Islands

Cook-Islands Travel & Holiday Packages

The Cook Islands lies halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, boasting an idyllic climate, endless adventure, romance and pure relaxation. Wander secluded beaches and take a dip in crystal blue lagoons or take advantage of the wide range of exciting activities on offer.

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.
 

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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.

 

 

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Official language
Cook Islands Maori and English
Local currency
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
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Some popular Cook Islands Packages

Helpful Information

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Visa Information

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.

 

 

General Advice
  • 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.
Shopping

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.

Markets

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.
People & Language

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.

Best Time to Visit The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands generally experience a pleasant and sunny climate. Your best bet is to go from April to November. The temperature during these months ranges from 24°C to 30°C, perfect for enjoying the beaches. The remaining months experience a more humid climate and have a greater chance of cloudy days and short and occasional rainfall.

Known Destinations in The Cook Islands

Our Cook Islands holiday packages let you visit different known destinations.

The Aitutaki Lagoon is your closest thing to paradise with the technicolour shades of its crystal-clear waters and many blissful islets. You can kayak or book a cruise tour to explore the island’s vicinity or give bonefishing a try while you’re here.

Apart from its numerous beautiful beaches, the country has other natural wonders to discover, and Te Rua Manga (The Needle) is one of its most famous landmarks. This prominent stone peak stands at over 400 metres. Travellers who wish to reach the summit must hike for more than an hour through a challenging and dense forest trail.
 

Best Hotels in The Cook Islands

Reserve a room in the most luxurious hotels and boutique accommodations as you book our Cook Islands holiday deals.

Little Polynesian is a 5-star hotel perfect for couples and honeymooners. Guests can relax on the beautiful Titikaveka Beach, take a dip in the infinity pool while basking in the stunning colours of the Rarotongan sunset or enjoy delicious dishes in the onsite restaurant.

Experience luxury with a twist when you stay at the Ikurangi Eco Retreat. Become one with this rural accommodation's leafy gardens, mountain views and pawpaw plantations. You can choose between fancy tents or traditional bungalows during your stay for a more authentic experience.
 

Post Lockdown in The Cook Islands

Travellers from Australia can only travel to the Cook Islands via New Zealand.

You can enjoy a quarantine-free flight as long as you can prove you’re fully vaccinated. Booster shots are optional. Travellers must also undergo a pre-departure COVID-19 test. RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests must be taken 48 and 24 hours before your flight, respectively.
 

Flying to The Cook Islands

The average flight time from Australia to the Cook Islands is nine hours. Currently, the only way to get here is through New Zealand. Air New Zealand offers direct flights, while Jetstar will offer trips from June 2. Flights from Sydney will be announced at a later date.

Things to Do in The Cook Islands

Fun and exciting activities await you at every corner when you visit the Cook Islands.

Enjoy a panoramic view of the beauty of the islands as you make your way to Mount Maungapu’s peak. The hike will take you at least 30 minutes, depending on how many breaks you take on your way up. Once you reach the top, a palm-studded landscape and turquoise water view await you.

Visit the Te Vara Nui Village and learn more about the rich history of the islands. You’ll start with a 2.5-hour village tour followed by various activities and demonstrations, including coconut husking, carving and weaving. The trip includes a stunning over-water night show, a world-class buffet and a cultural performance from the locals. 
 

Must-visit Attractions in The Cook Islands

Despite being one of the most remote places, the Cook Islands are among the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world.

Visit the Aroa Marine Reserve if you are fond of snorkelling and see different aquatic species. Explore the coral reefs and see moray eels, wrasse, parrotfish and other marine life up close. The lagoon has calm waters and a serene atmosphere since the area is off-limits to motorised boats. If swimming and diving isn’t your thing, you can always try out the 18-hole mini-golf course with your family. 

Take a break from the beach and enjoy a lovely stroll to the organic Maire Nui Gardens. This seven-acre property is abundant with tropical flowers, wild ginger, lush foliage and flourishing plants. Relax and enjoy the sweet fragrance of these plants as you walk and adore nature around you.
 

Weather in Cook Islands

Cook Islands Weather chart
Best Things To Do in Cook Islands

Best Things To Do in Cook Islands

If you want to go on a holiday to get away from the fast-paced city life, the Cook Islands is the place for you. This idyllic tropical paradise lies in the South Pacific, with 15 islands scattered between French Polynesia and American Samoa. Are you wondering what to do in the Cook Islands? We’ve narrowed down 13 activities that you can add to your Pacific travel bucket list.

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Flying to Cook Islands

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.

FAQs

Who are Entire Travel Group?

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

What are Entire Travel Group famous for?

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.

Is Entire Travel Group Australian owned and operated?

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.

Is Entire Travel Group industry accredited?

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).

Does Entire Travel Group have industry awards?

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.

Are the Entire Travel Group holiday packages exclusive?

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.

What’s unique about Entire Travel Group Holiday Packages?
  • 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.
What is an independent holiday package?

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.

Why travel with Entire Travel Group?

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.

For more details please visit - About Us | Entire Travel Group

How does the Peace of Mind Booking Plan work?

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

Is there a cooling-off period?

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

What is Freedom of Choice?

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

Do Freedom of Choice options cost extra?

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.
What is the Safe Travels program?

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

What is Book Now?

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.

What happens after Book Now?
  • 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.
What forms of payment can be used at Entire Travel Group?
  • 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.
How secure is the Entire Travel Group's on-line payment portal?
  • Entire Travel Group have partnered with TravelPay to ensure secure on-line credit card payments.
  • TravelPay is a level 1 PCI DSS compliant, which gives you peace of mind that your payment card data is in safe hands.
  • Entire Travel Group does not store any credit card information.

For more details please visit - Security and Compliance - TravelPay

Can you book my international airfares?

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.

Why do some packages not offer the ability to Book Now on the website?

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.

Should I take travel insurance?

Travel insurance is strongly recommended. During the Book Now process please confirm you require assistance, and our team will be in contact with you.

What should I do before travelling?

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.

For more information please visit - Before you travel | Entire Travel Group

How does a Travel Agent make a booking?

Please visit the Entire Travel Group's Agent Portal. We are here to support our industry partners with a range of informative updates, marketing collateral for campaigns and a reward & recognition program.

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.
How do I contact Entire Travel Group?

For more information please visit - Contact us | Entire Travel Group