Located approximately half way between New Zealand and Hawaii the Cook Islands are generally accessed via New Zealand with daily flights servicing the main Island of Rarotonga, which also happens to be the capital. There is also one return flight a week from LA to Rarotonga. The Cooks are a mix of crystal clear coral atolls and volcanic Islands with dense green tropical bush and sparkling white sand, the perfect combination for a South Pacific island getaway.
The Islands of Rarotonga and Autitaki are key destinations and have the most infrastructure, offering luxury resorts and accommodation at both destinations. There are resorts on the remaining islands but the main concentration lies with Rarotonga and Autitaki respectively.
The invigorating capital city and gateway of the territory, boasts world-class resorts, spas, fine restaurants, nightclubs, and endless shopping at the vibrant markets, pearl shops, and boutiques. For those seeking some outdoor exploration there’s impressive and accessible waterfalls, enchanting tropical gardens, various hiking trails, horseback excursions and safari’s that’ll take you to the heart of the Island.
learly visible from Tahiti and just a 7 minute flight or 1/2 hour ferry ride. Moorea is much more laid back and relaxed than Tahiti. Discover a native Polynesian village, climb the island peaks, experience a 4×4 excursions among the pineapple plantations, shark feeding, dolphin and whale watching or simply rest and relax in your luxury over water bungalow.
Getting to Cook Islands
Polynesian migration began as early as 1500BC when the Cook Islands were gradually populated by Maori who landed in their giant canoes. Around 800 AD voyagers came from French Polynesia and arrived in Rarotonga. Apart from a visit from the Spanish explorers Alvaro de Mendana in 1595 and Pedro Fernandex de Quiros in 1606 it was quiet until around 1773 when Captain James Cook visited the area. Christian missionaries arrived a few decades later in 1821 and that changed the way of life for many Polynesians although their many traditions have been preserved.
Originally the Cook Islands were named the Hervey Islands after a British Lord, although it was the Russians that named them the Cook Islands after the famous captain in 1823. In 1888 the Cook Islands became part of the British Domain because of fears the France may claim them first. The country today is self governing with free association with New Zealand which also overseas defense of the area. In 1980 a treaty with the United States of America in which claim to the islands of Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Manihiki and Rakahanga was surrendered by the US and a treaty with France delimited the boundary between the Cooks and French Polynesia in 1990.
We offer a range of luxury vacations within the Cook Islands and can also combine New Zealand, Australia, Tahiti and Tahiti and Fiji. You can select from our range of sample itineraries or have us tailor one from scratch. Simply contact us to start planning your tailored Cook Island vacation now!
Cook Islands FAQ's
The Cook Islands can be visited year round and is warm all of the time with minor variations throughout summer and winter. The winter temperatures range from 18c to 28c during May to October and in summer from 21c to 29c during November to April. Generally speaking the winter months are the best time to visit as there is less chance of rain and humidity.
Casual is the name of the game here. It’s pretty warm in this part of the world so you can leave your pullovers at home! Shorts, cotton shirts, t-shirts and linen are excellent in the heat. Oh and don’t forget your swimming suits.