KIA ORANA! Welcome to the beautiful Cook Islands! Fifteen droplets of land cast across 2 million sq km of wild Pacific blue, the Cook Islands are simultaneously remote and accessible, modern and traditional.
A net of 15 islands in the heart of the South Pacific spread over an area the size of India with a population no bigger than a small New Zealand country town, that’s Cook Islands!!
Cook Islanders are true Polynesians connecting directly back to the finest seafarers of the Pacific. Sophisticated navigation took them fearlessly in search of new lands. Their bravery, skill and sheer strength far outpace legendary adventurers from Portugal or Spain, the Dutch or the English. The very centre of Polynesia, the Cook Islands stretch out in a scattering of 2 million square kilometers. Polynesians arrived in Rarotonga around 800 AD, sailing from Tupua’i, now French Polynesia.
The Maori migrations to New Zealand began from Rarotonga as early as the 5th century AD. 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.
New Zealand Dollar
Cook Island Maori & English
Mar - Nov
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 our landscape is matched by the friendliness of the people who think nothing of offering a lift, striking up a conversation or inviting visitors on a night out
They love engaging with the tourists and sharing our little paradise lifestyle as part of their culture and outgoing spirit. People may come for the warmth of our sun, but remember the warmth of the locals forever.
With a strong cafe culture, a burgeoning organic and artisan food scene, and a handful of bar and clubs, Rarotonga lives confidently in the 21st century. But beyond the island’s tourist buzz and contemporary appearance is a robust culture, firmly anchored by traditional Polynesian values and steeped in oral history.
North of ‘Raro’, the sublime lagoon of Aitutaki is ringed with tiny deserted islands and is one of the Pacific’s most improbably scenic jewels. Venture further and robust Polynesian traditions emerge nearer the surface. Drink home brew at a traditional ‘Atiuan tumunu (bush-beer drinking club), explore the ancient makatea (raised coral cliffs) and taro fields of Mangaia, or swim in the underground cave pools of Mitiaro and Ma’uke. The remote Northern Group is a South Seas idyll experienced by a lucky few.
With an amazing tropical environment throughout the year, Cook Islands is a laid back destination and with warm & welcoming people, where everything is easy and there is a sense of freedom everywhere you go.
The beating heart of our little paradise will capture yours. Rarotonga, the hub of the Cook Islands, has so much to see and do, yet remains unspoilt. No traffic lights, no McDonald’s and no building taller than a coconut tree.
The warmth of the tropical sun envelops you, the scent of frangipani washes over you, the most pressing decision that you face, should you climb the summit of the islands majestic volcanic peak or explore the crystal clear turquoise waters and swim with schools of tropical fish. Either way you know you’ll enjoy your day in this tropical paradise we call Rarotonga.
Rarotonga is just like one big resort with endless adventures and excitement just waiting to be explored. With so much on offer you’ll be excited to learn that getting around our beautiful island is as easy as hopping on board a bus travelling in either a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. It takes just 45 minutes to get around the whole Island, so you’ll never feel like you’re stuck in the same spot.
From activities packed with adrenalin, to the more sedate such as kayaking or stand up paddle boarding in the calm lagoon, through to the perfect island massage, you would enjoy your perfect time in paradise.
A little paradise means Aitutaki, home to approximately 1800 people and the world’s most beautiful lagoon. It's only 220 km or a 50-minute flight from Rarotonga. Secluded and romantic, 15 motus(islets) are sprinkled
across this huge turquoise, sunlit lagoon.
Secluded and romantic, it holds a compelling allure for honeymooners, many of whom choose this haven for the duration of their stay. You can look forward to languid, leisurely days simply reveling in each other’s company and the jaw-dropping surroundings. Work on your suntan lazing under a coconut palm, relax with a massage or ask for directions to the secret garden.
Sip champagne in sophisticated full service resorts or be awed by the gentle lapping of waves on the pristine white sand, Aitutaki will offer you a magical experience with the wide array of culinary delights that will melt in the mouth of even the most discerning foodie, set in amongst one of the most spectacular vistas you’re likely to encounter.
Incredibly special, incredibly romantic.
Home to approximately 400 proud warrior people, there are few untouched places left in the world like Atiu. Over 8 million years old, our 3rd largest island is one big adventure playground, ancient and unspoiled.
It’s a 45 minute flight either from Rarotonga or Aitutaki.
If you’re looking for a more intrepid adventure, Atiu is the island for you. Unlock its mysteries, explore ancient caves, observe rare tropical bird life, and discover 36 secluded coral sand beaches
As one of the three southern group islands known as Nga-Pu-Toru, Atiu attracts the spirit of the explorer. There are no nightclubs, virtually no township except for a couple of cafes along with precious little traffic.
Life is pretty much the same as it was some 25 years ago and offers therefore a really genuine insight into island living with its five small villages of Tengatangi, Areora, Ngatiarua, Mapumai and Teenui nestled in the centre. Gardens thrive on its rich soil and on certain days the soft aroma of organically grown coffee beans roasting wafts past from plantations that produce some of the best Arabica coffee in the Pacific.
Rich in culture and history, Atiu is an eco-lovers paradise.
Steeped in legends and mystique and estimated at 18 million years old, Mangaia, or as it is traditionally known, A’Ua’U Enua meaning terraces, or A’Ua’U meaning akatautika or levelled is the most southerly of the Cooks
and the second largest. It has to be as far from the madding crowd as any island could possibly be.
With a volcanic plateau framed by a ring of high fossilised coral cliffs – Mangaia's remarkable natural beauty and serenity are only part of its fascination. Its age, structure and ancient artefacts have for decades been a draw card to archaeologists and anthropologists who make it a “must” on their expeditions.
Renowned for its coconuts, the Mangaians regard the palm as a staple plant of survival providing food, coconut milk and also fibre.
Despite its comparably large size, Mangaia has only around 500 population and few visit its infinite beauty and lush landscape. It is however the extraordinary rugged beauty that beats even the unique ancient history and alluring traditional way of life. The roar of surf at night is untainted by other sounds. The blackness is absolute. No streetlamps or lights compete with the vast ebony sky and its myriad of shining stars. Nature rests very near.
Mauke, otherwise known as 'Akatokamanava' meaning 'The Place Where My Heart Rested', is one of the three close islands of Nga-pu-toru. Extraordinarily pretty, Mauke is a garden island, abundant with flowers
that grow wild and a place where locals take enormous pride in their garden homes.
Mauke is home to approximately 300 people and is roughly half the size of Rarotonga in circumference however it is a world away in landscape and lifestyle. 40 kilometers from their closest neighbouring island, Mitiaro, and 70 kilometers from Atiu, Mauke's central volcanic plateau is surrounded by a ring of jagged, razor-sharp fossilized coral or 'makatea' which reaches up to 1,000 meters inland. The volcanic origin means that the soil is rich and this is justifiably called the garden of the islands.