A newly built international airport in Rarotonga means the Cook Islands are well-equipped for two global airlines – Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. Your travel agent will tell you more, or visit www.airnz.co.nz or www.virginaustralia.com. Regional flights between Tahiti and Rarotonga are operated by Air Rarotonga and Air Tahiti; for details visit www.airraro.com

Entry Requirements
When you come to the Cook Islands, a valid passport and a return ticket will allow you a stay of up to 31 days. Extensions may be granted on a monthly basis – for up to five months. New Zealand citizens automatically qualify for a 90 day stay. For extensions, apply 2 weeks before your permit expires.

Sailors wanting to berth their yachts in the docks of Avatiu Harbour need to obtain moorings from the Harbourmaster at the Ports Authority, PO Box 84, Rarotonga, Cook Islands.

Customs
With the Cook Islands’ close ties to New Zealand, personal effects including sports equipment and clothing are exempt from duty.
Duty Free items include:
  • 200 cigarettes or 250gms of tobacco or 50 cigars or a mixture of not more than 250 grams in total
  • Two litres of mixture/ ornot of spirits, wine and liquer OR 4.5 litres of beer
  • Good in excess of NZ$250 are liable for duty
Any food items must be declared on arrival. For more information visit www.agriculture.gov.ck

Departure Tax
There is no departure tax payable at the airport as this is included in your international tickets.

Local Air Transport
The Southern Group of the Cook Islands is connected regularly by the local airline, Air Rarotonga, with Aitutaki having several daily return flights. However travel to the Northern Group is infrequent and usually only on request. For further details contact your nearest travel agent or visit www.airraro.com.

Medical Services
A range of medical and dental services are available in Rarotonga which also includes a hospital. Aitutaki and Atiu also have limited medical aid with very small hospitals.

Emergency services operate on Rarotonga and there is an optometrist plus several pharmacies for prescriptions. Physiotherapists are also available for you to take advantage of while in the Cook Islands. Medical and dental services are available and there is a well-equipped hospital with New Zealand trained staff situated in Rarotonga, with a smaller hospital in Aitutaki. There are no venomous snakes and most of the insects are innocuous - but look out for centipedes which do bite. The coral reefs should be treated with caution.

You can also browse some of the Health Services on offer here in the Cook Islands.


Currency
The Cook Islands’ unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by notes and coinage for local use. The unique local coins and notes are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands, but are keenly sought by collectors worldwide.

Banking
ANZ and Westpac Banks in downtown Avarua are open Mon-Fri from 9am – 3pm. ANZ extends its closing time on Friday’s to 4pm whilst Westpac Bank opens from 9am-12pm on Saturdays. Westpac Bank has an exchange and departure tax service available at the airport for all international flights; this is located at the International Arrivals Terminal.

ATM’s are conveniently located around Rarotonga and Aitutaki and EFTPOS is available at some hotels and stores. Western Union has an office in Avarua offering money exchange and transfers.


Climate 
The Cook Islands enjoy a pleasantly warm and sunny climate all year round. June to August are the cooler months, whilst November to March marks the warmer season, with occasional tropical showers expected. It is also known as cyclone season – something to be aware of although not necessarily a deterrent as they are not a regular occurrence.

The drier months, from April to November, have an average of about 26°C, whilst the warmer, more humid and damp season runs from December to March. During this season the temperature ranges between 22°C (min) and 30°C (max).

The table below indicates the prevalence of sunshine and temperatures. Severe weather is rare and infrequent.


Month Temp. (°C) Hours
Max Min Sunshine
Jan 28.8 22.9 179
Feb 29.1 23.1 171
Mar 28.9 22.6 181
Apr 28.2 22.0 174
May 26.6 20.4 162
Jun 25.6 19.3 169
Jul 25.2 18.6 177
Aug 24.9 18.4 177
Sep 25.3 19.1 177
Oct 26.0 20.0 185
Nov 27.1 21.0 178
Dec 27.8 21.9 181

Driving
The standard left hand rule applies to driving in the Cook Islands. And the maximum speed limit in the villages and town is 40km/h with 50km/h in the less populated areas. It is essential to have a current Drivers Licence. Visitors from Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, UK and the EU can now drive in the Cook Islands for up to six months using their overseas license.

Visitors over 16 can drive in the Cook Islands on their current and full overseas license for up to six months, unless the license expires, is revoked, suspended or disqualified in that time.

Visitors will be allowed to drive only the class of motor vehicle they are entitled to drive in their home country. If visitors hold an overseas driving license for a car only, the license holder will only be permitted to drive a car in the Cook Islands.

However, if a visitor wants to ride a scooter or motorbike in the Cook Islands and is not licensed to do so at home, he or she will still have to obtain a Cook Islands Driving License (either Class A covering motorbikes/scooters or Class AB covering both regular vehicles and motorbikes/scooters). This involves a practical test at the Police Headquarters in Avarua and the payment of NZ$20 license fee plus NZ$5 practical fee.

Visitors whose license is written in a language other than English will need an accurate translation.

Road rules are strict when it comes to drinking and driving, so best not to.


Communication
If you are a stamp collector, the colourful Cook Islands stamps are distinctive and sought after by enthusiasts. Mail is available from the Post Office, which opens Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm. Telepost, a Telecom outlet located at the CITC Shopping Complex, is open every Saturday 8am – 12 noon.

International telephone, mobile telephone, facsimile and internet services (including Broadband) are available through Telecom Cook Islands. Several internet cafes are located on Rarotonga and Aitutaki . WiFi is available at key locations.


Language
Cook Islands Maori is the local language but everyone also speaks English. Here are a few local words you might like to try during your visit:

Kia Orana Hello
Aere ra Goodbye 
Meitaki Thank you
ae yes
kare no
tane man
vaine woman
manea pretty/handsome
mataora happy
kai food
teia ra today
apopo tomorrow
ra sun
marama moon
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sub Activity Type
View our Online Books! e-news sign up
email this pageprint this pageadd to favouritessite maplegal information website owner log-in | business owner log-in
an évoSuite website designed by RéserveGroup®
 
 Home
» Change Language
» Home
» Australia
» New Zealand
» USA
» Canada
» Spain
» UK
» France
» Italy
» Germany
» Nordic
» Japan
» Switzerland
» Austria
» Luxemburg
» Belgium
» Netherlands
 Discover Us
» Our Islands
» Our Culture
» Our People
» Our History
» Important Stuff
» Flight Information
 Stay With Us
» Stay with Us
» Hotels & Resorts
» Self Catering
» Holiday Homes
» Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast
» Backpackers, Budget & Hostels
 Play With Us
» Play with Us
» Dining & Entertainment
» Discovering Our Culture
» Explore by Land
» Explore by Sea
» Shop till you drop
» Getting Around
 Plan With Us
» Plan with Us
» Ultimate Weddings
» Honeymoon Central
» Rediscover Romance
» Families & Friends
» Off the Beaten Track
» Promotions
» Promotions (land only
 Multimedia
» Multimedia Overview
» Send an ePostcard!
» Desktop Wallpapers
» Online Books
» Your Holiday Photos
» Video Gallery
» Image Galleries
 Our News & Events
» Our News & Events
» Events Calendar
» Latest News
 Share With Us
» Share With Us
» E-News Signup
» Privacy Policy
 Contact Us
» Contact Us
» Hidden Menu
Follow us on Twitter Join us on facebook View us on YouTube View us on flickr View our Image Gallery View our Video Gallery Send your e-Postcard Share your Experience e-news sign up View our Online Books! View our Online Books! e-news sign up e-news sign up Your Holiday Photos