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Cook Islands

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Cook Islands

Experience the unspoilt paradise of the Cook Islands

Treat yourself to a holiday in the best kept secret of the South Pacific, the Cook Islands. With new direct flights from Sydney, with Air New Zealand, and the allure of a true south sea holiday, as well as the strength of the Australian dollar against the Cook Islands’ NZ dollar currency, they won’t stay undiscovered for long. 

The Cook Islands is a great holiday destination for Beach Breaks, Family Holidays, Friends' Getaways and Romantic Getaways.

Or, check out our Cook Islands Family Friendly Resorts, Cook Islands Wedding Packages and Cook Islands Spa Packages.

Call or Enquire

To book your Cook Islands holiday package, call us at 1800 848 246 or send us an enquiry.

Cook Islands Holiday Destinations

Where exactly are the Cook Islands?  The modern Polynesian nation of 15 islands is midway between Australia and Hawaii, and scattered across a vast swathe of the Pacific Ocean.

Boasting rare beauty, a tropical climate, warm welcoming people and a pace of life unsurpassed for relaxation and romance, the unspoilt Cook Islands offer a surprising amount of tourist attractions for couples, families, and friends’ getaways.

Many consider the local cuisine to be the best of the Pacific Islands with abundant seafood and locally grown fruit and vegetables. There are more than 50 terrific, inexpensive restaurants and beachside bars. Only 32 kilometres in circumference, it takes less than an hour to drive around by scooter or bus - you’ll feel like you're at one big resort!

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Rarotonga

The spectacular island of Rarotonga is the vibrant hub of the Cook Islands. It's dominated by a once mighty volcanic pyramid, jagged peaks and razorback ridges and is carpeted in lush green vegetation that fall into turquoise lagoons.

Most of the 15,000 residents live on Rarotonga making this the ‘big smoke’ - although you won’t find any traffic lights or any buildings higher than a coconut tree! 

Avarua is the main town with a nice range of tourist attractions, shops and galleries.  Visit the unmissable Saturday morning Punanga Nui Market and purvey quality artworks, highly regarded Cook Islands’ black pearls, and brightly coloured clothing and homewares, including the Cooks’ unique ‘tivaevae’ or embroidered quilts.

The South Pacific’s best and freshest food is served in more than 50 inexpensive cafes and restaurants found right around the island, many in glorious waterfront locations. Locally grown tropical fruits and vegetables and plentiful seafood abound.

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Aitutaki

For those seeking the archetypal tropical paradise, the South Pacific island of Aitutaki, in the Cook Islands is a top travel destination.

Beautiful, romantic and secluded, the coral atoll of Aitutaki is famed for a vast triangular lagoon and is regularly voted the most idyllic in the world. 

Exquisitely clear waters in myriad shades of luminous turquoise lap dazzling white sandy beaches on a dozen lushly vegetated islets, or motus, scattered around the lagoon perimeter. Absolutely compelling, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy and explore the spectacular gin-clear warm waters, which rarely drop below 25˚C.

Enjoy padding across the sand from your beachside room to swim amongst tropical fish or take an astounding day cruise to uninhabited motus and snorkelling spots.  Readily spot giant clams and turtles, rainbow coloured parrotfish, vivid blue starfish, bright yellow angelfish, darting trevally and whitespotted eagle rays amongst colourful coral formations. 

Sporty types are drawn to Aitutaki for fantastic kite surfing and flyfishing for fighting bonefish. Just beyond the reef find quickly accessible scuba diving and deep sea fishing for tuna, marlin and swordfish.

Others come simply to relax in tranquil beachside havens ranging from the ultra luxurious to simple beach huts.

Learn the history and traditions of the proud Aitutaki people on cultural tours around the main island of Aitutaki, or hire a scooter to explore at your own pace.  Mingle with the locals at church, the Saturday market or a handful of art and craft galleries creating colourful pareu (sarongs), black pearl jewellery and wood carvings.

There are several notable places to eat, including Pacific Resort’s Rapae Bay for fine dining, Tupuna’s for prestige seafood served in a sandy floored dining room, the delicious Koru Café, and a splendid beach bar at Samade Resort.  Tamanu Resort and Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa have weekly island nights demonstrating the Aitutakians’ renowned dancing and drumming talents.

Air Rarotonga operates several 45-minute flights daily between the capital Rarotonga and Aitutaki and offers a One Day Aitutaki Excursion that includes transfers, airfares, a lagoon cruise, snorkelling and lunch.

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Transfers

  • Rarotonga International Airport (RAR) is just 3 kilometres from the main town of Avarua. Island Hopper Vacations offer coach and private transfers to most hotels while some hotels offer their own service. 
  • Aitutaki is 50 minutes north of Rarotonga and accessible via a short scenic flight on Air Rarotonga. Ground transfers on Aitutaki are available through the hotels or Island Hoppers Vacations depending on the property.

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Sightseeing Tours

4WD - Inland Tour

Get off the beaten track and visit places where only a 4WD can go. Raro Safari Tours is Rarotonga's premium soft adventure tour for all ages, with a knowledgeable guide at the helm. Visit mountain tops and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the lagoon and sweeping valleys. Head inland and see how the locals' ancestors lived at a sacred site. The tour includes a BBQ fish lunch.

Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise

Take the family on an excursion on Rarotonga's Muri Lagoon. Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise is one of the most established operators and caters to the whole family. Enjoy snorkelling where schools of butterfly fish feed right out of your hand. Then enjoy a fresh fish BBQ lunch on the offshore island in the lagoon, complete with songs and a dance demonstration. 

Pa's Nature Walk

Pa's Nature Walk is a low impact tour suitable for all ages. Pa will take you to the interior of the island and explain the history and culture of his ancestors along with many medicinal uses for the fauna and flora of the island. While on the tour Pa will recite stories of wars, famines and great migrations which have been passed on to him by his forefathers.

Important information: Sturdy walking shoes, insect repellent and a camera are recommended.

Te Vara Nui Overwater Night Show & Buffet Dinner Tour

Experience the true rhythym of the Cook Islands at Rarotonga;s biggest cultural show. Feast on a sumptuous buffet while watching Rarotonga's finest dancers perform on floating and fixed stages around picturesque volcanic rock garens. You don't want to miss this Cook Islands experience! Resort return transfers are included.

Te Vara Nui Village Combo Extravaganza Tour

Te Vara Nui offers stunning overwater night sthows and cultural village tours. This combo package provides a true cultural extravaganza and is filled with entertainment and wonder. The interactive cultural village tour teaches ancient traditions with fun knowledgeable guides. The Overwater Night show hosts Rarotonga's finest dancers and musicians performing by flaming torchlight on floating stages and includes a buffet dinner at waterfall gardens. Resort return transfers is included.

Aitutaki Day Tour

Witness beauty from the air and explore one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world. The tour starts with a scenic flight over the islands where you can witness the spectacular views from the air. In Aitutakiyou will visit the township, market place and some inland villages before boarding your catamaran for a relaxing cruise to One Foot Island. Enjoy a BBQ lunch, withenss the beauty of the lagoon and take the opportunity to snorkel amongts the magnificent marine life, explore the island or simply relax.

Aitutaki Discover Safari Tour

Teh Aitutaki Discovery Safari Tour will take you on an educational journey of beautiful Aitutaki throught the valley of the warriors. On your journey you will visit a sacred site of the ancient Marae, learn forgotten customs and hear stories which have been passed on through the ages.

The Vaka Cruise

Cruise the stunning Aitutaki Lagoon aboard the fantastic "Titi ai Tonga - Vaka Cruise". Sit back and relax as the traditional designed Vaka takes you on a superb cruise into the turquoise waters of the lagoon. you will visit 2 small remote islets, enjoy a BBQ lunch on-board and delight in an amazing snorkelling experience where you can dive off the back of teh boat in the crystal clear Aitutaki Lagoon and explore the colourful marine life and magnificent giant clams.

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Tourist Attractions in the Cook Islands

  • Laze, swim or snorkel on some of the world’s best beaches like Arorangi, Titikaveka or Muri, enjoying the whitest of sand and bluest of water, which rarely drops below 25˚C year round. There are no nasty stingers in the water at any time of year either.
  • Climb 400 metres to Rarotonga’s highest point, The Needle, before descending to Wigmore’s Waterfall for a swim on the cross-island trek.
  • Check out the fun and relaxed nightlife scene, with outdoor nightclubs, open air bars and even a special nightlife bus taking you to all the favourite spots.
  • Experience the Cooks’ invigorating drumming and dancing at cultural shows or island nights or join a dance lesson at your resort or the cultural centre in town.
  • Tour the craggy interior on a 4WD tour, complete with humorous commentary, or quad bike.
  • Have a go at scuba diving in the incredibly clear lagoons and see giant turtles, colourful fish and diverse corals.   Diving here is sheltered, gentle and affordable and children as young as 8 can try. You’ll soon be heading beyond the reef to deeper and even more spectacular waters
  • Several cruises stop at One Foot Island, where you can get your passport stamped at the world’s smallest official post office.  Other popular landings are the islands where Survivor Cook Islands and the Shipwrecked tv series’ were filmed and a gorgeous swathe of sand aptly named Honeymoon Island.

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