The Cook Islands, or Kuki Airani in the Cook Islands Maori language, are 15 tropical islands in the South Pacific, Its inhabitants are Polynesian and the islands are named after British navigator, Captain James Cook (although he originally named them the Hervey Islands – thankfully a Russian navigator renamed the islands a century later).
The Cook Islands is scattered across 850,000 square miles or 2.2 million square kms of the Pacific Ocean. The Cooks Islands lie northeast of New Zealand between French Polynesia and American Samoa, the Cook Islands are split into the Northern Group and the Southern Group and include
Rarotonga, the capital, is in the Southern Group and the famous island of Aitutaki,
Each island has its unique qualities and offers the visitor a special experience through the culture which lives on in the vibrant performance of song and dance.
About Rarotonga...Rarotonga is the largest of the 15 islands and is the capital!
Rarotonga is a mere 32kms right around (about 40 minutes by car), with a population of approximately 9,000 people. The main township is Avarua located on the North side of the island.
All international flights land at Rarotonga International Airport and, despite around 80,000 visitors to Rarotonga each year, the Cook Islands are largely unspoiled by tourism. Even during the tourist “high season”, Rarotonga never feels crowded and you can always find your own space - a spot on one of the lovely beaches or the tranquility of the cooler inland.
Rarotonga as a destination offers a unique opportunity for people from all over the globe to experience a different type of vacation. This is not Waikiki with its high-rise hotels, it is not Thailand with its massive foreshore developments, and very little hype. The Cook Islands and, in particular Rarotonga offers a blend of local culture and spirit plus a few of the necessary urban pleasures.
About Rarotonga...The beauty of Rarotonga can be expressed in many ways...
...white sand beaches - turquoise lagoons surrounded by the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean
...a fascinating inland to explore - there is more to this island than beautiful beaches - the highest mountain point is roughly 653 metres. Guided tours allow you to see this wonderful inland spectacle if you wish
...the warmth and friendliness of the Cook Island people
...the vibrant local culture - Experiencing the music and dance should be at the top of your "to do" list
...great diving, fishing, snorkelling and from July-October whale watching can be experienced from the shore or possibly even your own deck
...extensive variety of accommodation to suit most tastes and budgets. We can help you, our standards are high
...excellent selection of restaurants and cafes dotted around the island
...activities for the children - family fun
...visiting some of the other beautiful islands that make up the Cook Islands
Exploration or relaxation - your choice!
About Rarotonga...A few other facts
The people of the Cook Islands are Cook Island Maori.
While English is the official language, Cook Island Maori is widely spoken in the community.
All the land is owned by the people and assigned to families for their use.
Cook Islanders enjoy a relatively high standard of living, Rarotonga is modern but still retains its culture and a community based lifestyle is evident.
Sunday is an accepted rest day with church services beginning at around 10am. Visitors are very welcome.
All signs, menus and local newspapers are in English however you can still learn some common words and greetings.
To sum up, Rarotonga offers a wide range of accommodation, transport, tours and activities, sports, cultural events, art, plus an array of cafes and restaurants, activities for the children and more...
Browse our website for lots of ideas and information!