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Cook Islands

Kia Orana and 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.

Learn more about the 2 most popular islands of the Cook Islands:


Helpful Information

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Visa Information

Australian passport holders do not currently require a visa for a stay as a tourist of up to 31 days but must hold a passport with at least seven days validity beyond the intended period of stay in the Cook Islands. A confirmed on-ward or returned ticket is also required. If you are a non-Australian passport holder, please check your visa requirements with the appropriate Embassy or Consular office.


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.

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.
Official language
Cook Islands Maori and English
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
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