This section of our web site is constantly being updated. As we get another question repeated by our clients, we include it here, in the hope that some of your important questions may be answered - before you ask them.
However, we do love to help, so please do not hesitate to ask any question relating to your future holiday - no matter how insignificant you think it may be…
Our current immigration current policy is that you must have evidence of pre-booked accommodation here when you arrive. The commonly accepted reason for this is to prevent anyone taking advantage of our people’s natural tendency to hospitality.
Also, Most of our holiday complexes are small, and as we are a popular destination with many “very busy” periods, accommodation can be at a premium.
Whenever it suits you to escape your rat race! The people here never change, and the season is a year round one (no “off season”), so everything is happening - all the time.
Accommodation rates are pretty well standard all year, though occasionally special deals can be offered.
As for the whole world, we can never guarantee anything to do with the weather. Generally, our driest months are from May to October, and the warmest months from January to March. Daytime Temperatures range between 23 and 30 degrees centigrade pretty well year round, so it is usually sun bathing and swimming weather!
If you are cooking for yourself - the supermarkets and local food stores provide almost everything you will need. The costs are probably a little higher than you are used to because of our small population and the cost of airfreight and shipping. On the other hand, locally produced fruits and vegetables can be a bargain!
If you are eating out - cafes and restaurants are plentiful - and so are their menus. You can eat from $30 for 3 courses, or you can pay up to $40 for an exotic main course. Or you can buy a full plate of local food for prices ranging from $10 to $15! As always - you usually get what you pay for.
We have plenty of wine, beer and spirits outlets, and the costs are reasonable when compared to overseas prices. Almost all restaurants and cafes carry liquor licenses and extensive fine wine lists.
Tipping is not expected in the Cook Islands. Nor is it customary. A modest tip for excellent service above the normal standard is appreciated by the recipients. Basically however - a kind word of thanks or praise is appreciated as much as a dollar is.
It really is your choice.
Do you wish to be near the town, the restaurants, the beach, the mountains, the sunset, the sunrise? Just remember that the island of Rarotonga is only 32 km around so everything is nearby anyway. The island of Aitutaki is also small and it is not too far to anywhere.
On Rarotonga, the beaches are pure white coral sand and run from the North-West to the South-East. The deepest swimming and snorkeling parts of the lagoon are in the South (Titikaveka) and South East (Muri).
On Aitutaki, the very best beaches are on the uninhabited lagoon motus (islands), but there are many fine stretches of white sand and safe lagoon areas on the main island too.
Most other outer islands have small intimate beaches - just perfect for couples!
From Insects and animals etc - VERY safe. There are no wild animals or snakes or poisonous spiders.
From People - Cook Islanders are a gentle race. There are very few (if any) places that you would be advised against visiting.
Cook islanders are basically a giving, honest people. As with all societies, there may be exceptions. But they will be exceptions.
Common sense precautions against theft should be taken (just as you would at home).
Oh yes! The selection of tours and excursions will keep you busy for weeks.
Then there are the local activities and sports that you are encouraged to participate in.
The nightlife is fun and safe and restaurants plentiful. I doubt if anyone ever left the Cook Islands, having done it all.
I have lived here for 27 years and am still learning!
There is a choice of:
Aitutaki also has motor scooters, cars and jeeps for hire.
Immigration policies can change so if you are considering a lengthy stay - you should check with the authorities here - or send me your requirements and I will get an unofficial answer for you.
Visitors carrying a New Zealand Passport can stay up to 90 days. Most other visitors receive an arrival stamp in their passport which allows a stay here for up to a 31 days. Extensions for up to six months are usually possible, on application & for a fee.
If you are looking to work or invest here, then special conditions apply.
Cook Islands Maori (Polynesian) is the official language but every local speaks English perfectly well. All signs are in English.
There is usually someone on the island who can speak your particular language if needed.
240 volts. Most good hotels and tourism properties have “multi plugs” to enable you to use your foreign appliances - as long as they are 240V.
Irons and hairdryers are standard inclusions in most accredited holiday accommodation.
While many accommodators do provide facilities for “Self Catering”, Many do not. Check out our listings on this web site for “self catering”
Our site listings show you which properties accept children and which do not.
Generally speaking the smaller (boutique) properties which cater mainly for romantic couples do not accept children but most others do.
The New Zealand dollar is the official currency here but there are Cook Islands coins used also. They are souvenir items outside the Cook Islands because they cannot be exchanged.
Two international banks operate in the Cook Islands. ANZ have branches here, as do the Bank of the South Pacific [BSP]. The local Bank of the Cook Islands also provides various services. All banks operate 24 hour automatic teller machines at various locations around Rarotonga & a few on Aitutaki. There are about 12 ATMs on Rarotonga alone. Travelers cheques and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
All prices quoted within our site are in NZ dollars.
Public or overt Nudity is offensive to Cook Islanders.
Please respect local protocols by covering up - especially when moving through village areas.