The Cook Islands are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand, located in Polynesia. The islands are located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, between French Polynesia (Society Islands) to the east and Tonga to the west. It is an archipelago with 15 islands spread out over 2.2 million sq. km of ocean.
The Capital of the Cook Islands is Rarotonga, a tropical paradise which is extremely beautiful and small enough to explore with lush tropical mountains, pretty coastal scenes, sandy beaches and a very slow pace of life. The island is actually the top 2,000 feet of a 13,000-foot volcano with steep, craggy ridges covered in green making up the center area.
If you grow weary of soaking up the sun under palm trees on the pristine powdery white beaches, there is certainly plenty to do. Activities include canoeing, kayaking or snorkeling, attending one of the islands’ many festivals or clapping along as dance groups play at various hotels.
Things to see and do
* Scuba diving & snorkeling
* Beachcomber Gallery
* Cook Island Christian Church
* Sir Geoffrey National Culture Centre
* Lagoon reef walks & cross island treks
Cruise Season – Jan – Dec
Currency – New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Language – English & Maori
Land Area – 240 km²
Population – 24,000
Electricity – 2 Angled pins and 1 flat pin centred below Australian style
Time – GMT plus ten hours
International Country Telephone Code – +682
Port Location – The port is centrally located in the township of Rarotonga.
Transport Links – Rarotonga International Airport (RAR) is the main gateway to the Cook Islands. There are daily services to Auckland, New Zealand and weekly services to Fiji and via Papeete (Tahiti) to Los Angeles. Rarotonga and Aitutaki are regular stops for cruises operating from Tahiti. Other cruise companies also stop by occassionaly.
Getting around Rarotonga is easy – it takes just 45 minutes to go around the island by bus and is possible to cycle in a day.