The Cook Islands has long been a popular travel destination for New Zealanders. Now with quarantine-free travel available, it’s a great time to start planning your next trip. Check out our guide to the Cook Islands.
Handy information for the Cook Islands
Currency: New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Time zone: GMT-10 (22 hours behind New Zealand)
Climate: Mostly pleasant, warm and sunny all year round
Main Cook Island islands
Having benefited from a steady growth of tourists pre Covid-19, Rarotonga has a great range of beachfront resorts and self-catering holiday homes to choose from. There’s something to suit every budget on just about every side of the island.
If you want to relax and do a whole of lot of nothing, head to Aitutaki. It’s a short flight from Rarotonga via Air Rarotonga and for a touch of luxury, opt to stay at an overwater bungalow.
Unique Cook Island Experiences
Local Cook Island dinning – Umukai feast
Umukai, which literally translates to “food cooked in an oven,” is similar to the New Zealand hangi. A variety of fresh meat and vegetables is wrapped in banana leaves are steamed underground for several hours. It’s a unique taste of traditional Cook Island food.
Cook Island Sunday service experience
With Sunday considered a day of rest, you’ll find most many businesses closed on the Sabbath. Even if you’re not religious, by attending a service you’ll get a feel for the local culture and experience songs sung in Cook Island Maori.
Rarotonga: Punanga Nui Saturday Market
Taking place every Saturday near the waterfront in Avarua, the market is great for grabbing breakfast on the go. While you’re there, be sure to pick up some handmade crafts to take back home.
Aitutaki: Cook Island Vaka tours
A great way to see Aitutaki lagoon is by boarding a vaka, a Polynesian canoe. The vaka tour will take you to the lagoon’s many islets and includes lunch and transfers from and to your accommodation.