Experience Cook Islands
About Cook Islands
Tailor-made holidays to the Cook Islands with Round the World Experts
More than just a flight and resort deal, at Round the World Experts, we want to ensure you don’t just stay in the Cook Islands, but truly experience them; from scuba diving in some of the world’s best reefs, to embracing local island life.
We do this by getting to know exactly what you want from your holiday and tailoring it accordingly. Many of our Experts have visited the Cook Islands also, which means we can offer you advice and recommendations based on first-hand experiences. Our service doesn’t just stop when you book either. We’re so adamant you'll have a good time in the Cook Islands that we offer a free of charge Travel Butler service, so we can help and make arrangements for you every step of the way.
Our bespoke service and expertise is backed up by global buying power and over 18,000 staff worldwide. So when you book with Round the World Experts you can book with confidence knowing that we have access to one of the world’s largest ranges of airfares, accommodation and more.
Want to visit the Cook Islands sooner rather than later? Start the conversation today by contacting our team today.
Away from crowds and traffic jams, the Cook Islands boasts a lifestyle just as tranquil as the classic postcard surroundings, and despite receiving more than 100,000 visitors a year, has remained steadfastly unspoiled by tourism. If you're looking for high-rise hotels and familiar fast food chains, then these aren't the islands for you.
As one would suspect, nature is the Cook Island’s big draw card, from the palm-lined beaches and colourful reefs teeming with marine life, to inland adventures exploring caves and rafting downriver. You'll also find plenty of opportunities to explore the local culture too – a fusion of ancient Polynesian heritage and more recent colonial influences, combined with a distinctive Kiwi twist. While the largest islands like Rarotonga are up to speed with the modern world, even if they prefer a slower pace of life, venturing to far-flung islands of Mangaia, Mau’ke and Mitiaro is your chance to explore traditional villages untouched by time.
When to go
The Cook Islands is a true year-round destination, with little change in temperature throughout the year. If you want to avoid the rainy winter and the humid summer, the shoulder seasons from March to April and September to October strike the most comfortable balance and are less crowded. The islands are busiest in December and January as many Cook Islanders return home from working in Australia and New Zealand. This is also when cyclones are most likely to hit. The cool and dry winter from June to August is also a favourite time to travel for many Australians and New Zealanders. To avoid the crowds, we recommend travelling in the shoulder seasons.
Airlines that fly to Cook Islands
- Air New Zealand
Cook Islands airports
All international flights to the Cook Islands land in Rarotonga. Your accommodation will normally arrange pick-up from the airport, or you can catch a bus or taxi to get to where you need to go.
Best time to fly
Unless you have your heart set on a Christmas break, visiting the Cook Islands during the off-peak months of April, May, September or October will normally mean more affordable rates and a comfortable climate with lower humidity.
Air New Zealand is the primary international carrier servicing the Cook Islands. The flight from London to Rarotonga usually takes 25 hours or longer, with one or more stopovers in North America, Asia, Australia or New Zealand.
For first-time visitors:
- Swim and snorkel in the shallow waters off Muri Beach
- See the wreck of the Alexander freighter and spot rare seabirds at Aitutaki Lagoon
- Experience an Island Night, a fiesta of food, dance and colourful costumes
- Shop for clothing and other authentic souvenirs at Punanga Nui Market
- Try local specialities, like raw tuna with coconut milk, on Aitutaki
- Trek to Anatakitaki Cave on Atiu, one of the only nesting grounds of the kopeka bird
- Head to the top of Maungapu for breathtaking views over Aitutaki and the lagoon
- Visit the world's most remote post office on One Foot Island and stay for the beach
- See the full diversity of local flora in one place at Maire Nui Gardens
- Take a 4WD tour to Wigmore's Waterfall, the only waterfall on Rarotonga
- Learn to scuba dive at one of Rarotonga's purpose-built dive schools
- Grab a snorkel and swim with colourful fish just off Aroa Beach
- Hike through Rarotonga's interior in three to four hours along the Cross-Island Track
- Join a deep sea fishing trip to catch mahi-mahi, marlin, sailfish and tuna
For local culture:
- Join a singing sermon at Cook Island Christian Church, which dates back to 1853
- Learn the art of weaving and other time-honoured activities at the Cook Islands Cultural Village
- Learn the history of the islands at the Cook Islands Library and Museum
- Browse the Beachcomber Gallery and see jewellery being made in the on-site workshop