Planning your Holiday to the Cook Islands

Cook Islands holidays are great for singles, couples and families looking for a mix of relaxing by the beach, swimming in turquoise lagoons and a little soft adventure to fill the day. This charming South Pacific holiday destination is a place to go for a quiet morning beach stroll before a breakfast of tropical fruits, to spend the day on a sightseeing tour around the island or lagoon cruise with snorkelling, sip a cocktail at sunset, enjoy a good meal at one of the islands great independent restaurants, watch a Cook islands dance performance at a beachside resort and then hit the ocean-front bars or lively nightclubs in town.

Cook Islands
Holidays for Couples

beach resort in the cook islands

Oozing charm, romantic holidays in the Cook Islands are idyllic. Rarotonga has a bustling ambience whilst Aitutaki has a more gentle pace of life with uninhabited islands to explore and secluded palm fringed beaches.

Accommodation for Couples

Cook Islands
Holidays for Families

couple enjoying beach in rarotonga

Rarotonga has safe swimming beaches, lots of tours and a good selection of holiday homes and large resorts with kids clubs making it ideal for a family holiday. It's soft adventures and ease of getting around are a bonus.

Accommodation for Families

Cook Islands
Tourist Info & FAQs

kayaking on rarotonga island

Practical information to assist your holiday planning from weather, flights, banking, money, tipping, internet, electricity, plug types, hospitals and health.

Popular Resorts

What to Do on Holiday in the Cook Islands?

The main appeal of a holiday in the Cook Islands is simply for a relaxing beach holiday and to walk along the soft white sand, swim in picturesque swimming lagoons and enjoy the warm year-round weather with gentle tropical breezes. The coast of Rarotonga, the main island to visit, is an almost continuous string of white sandy beaches with small beach bungalows and boutique resorts whilst the lagoon island of Aitutaki has breathtaking uninhabited islets to visit with picture postcard beach scenes (yes, there plenty of Instagram opportunities with leaning coconut trees as a backdrop), as well as idyllic sand banks and spits to explore.

picture of holiday bungalow on beach

Five Great Ideas for a Holiday

Find a cute beach bungalow on Rarotonga and hire a moped to explore the island.

Head to Aitutaki for a few days and take a day cruise on the lagoon.

Learn to scuba dive on Rarotonga where conditions are ideal for beginners

Stay on Muri Beach for kayaking, sailing and snorkelling plus some great restaurants.

Head to Atiu Island to explore caves, mingle with the locals and sample the bush beer.

Both Rarotonga and Aitutaki are wonderful islands to explore casually and see how the islanders live. Scooters are the best way to get around and there's little traffic on the road, an enforced speed limit of 40km/h and lots of pretty villages, family farms and mountain scenery to enjoy along the road. There's more to see and do on Rarotonga with a couple of good 4WD tours and walking tracks into the tropical rainforest, plus browsing in art galleries along the roadside and generally it is the better option for families as well as couples looking to explore. Aitutaki is a lot more laid back than Rarotonga and where you should definitely head for a honeymoon. Lagoon cruises are the must-do items here, to snorkel in the crystalline waters and swim with the thousands of fish and turtles that live within this spectacular lagoon or to explore the unihabited coral isles and sand bars surrounding the lagoon.

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Top Reasons to Visit

1) Honeymoon or Romantic Escape

2) Self Catering Beach Holiday

3) Fantastic Dining Out & Shopping

4) Warm & Sunny Climate All Year

5) Very Safe for Single Travellers

Another unique attraction of a holiday in Cook Island compared to the other South Pacific destinations is dining out and enjoying local nightlife. On Rarotonga, there are around twenty excellent independent restaurants around the island with many being on the coast with either beach or ocean views. Unlike Fiji and Tahiti where you have no choice other than to dine and be entertained at the resort you're staying at, here in the Cook Islands you have the freedom to explore and enjoy some great night entertainment with Cook Island dancing being one of the most spectacular in the Pacific.

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Cook Islands Tourist Information

The international airport is on Rarotonga and is served by two global airlines – Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia and for some reason the majority of flights arrive and depart in the dead of night. The local airline, Air Rarotonga, offers domestic flights with a handful of daily flights between Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

  • Cook Islands is a New Zealand dependency
  • Rarotonga is the main island with International Airport
  • Only 15,000 People Live in the Cook Islands
  • The Cook Islands uses the New Zealand Dollar as its currency
  • Coolest time to visit is May to September

The high season for tourism is between May and October when New Zealand and Australia are in the cool winters as well as over the Christmas holidays which is the popular time for Cook Islanders living abroad to visit the relatives back home and during this period flights can be full well in advance. Generally though, finding room availability is not a problem even during the school holiday periods.

The Cook Islands is one of the more expensive destinations in the South Pacific to visit with prices comparable to New Zealand and for some things, a little higher. However, you should be able to find some tempting hotel deals that make your holiday dollar stretch that little bit further.