Cook Islands Holidays

A long way from anywhere else, the Cook Islands invoke romantic pictures of tropical vistas, turquoise waters and idyllic beaches and those images are not far from the truth. Without doubt, this is a get-away-from-it-all paradise where 'time' takes on a whole new meaning.

The 15 islands of the Cooks lie halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the centre of the Pacific Ocean's Polynesian Triangle. A mix of volcanic islands and coral atolls, the cooks are a castaway's paradise with deserted powder-white beaches fringed by palm trees and warm, translucent lagoons that teem with tropical fish.

Rarotonga is the hub and main island of the Cooks, and while it may be the most commercialised of the 15 islands it still retains a Polynesian charm. Just over 20 miles in circumference the island is stunningly picturesque with a mountainous interior of verdant jungle which drops down to idyllic beaches trimmed by sapphire-blue lagoons and enticing coral reefs.

Hire a scooter, car or bicycle and explore, or alternatively hop on the island bus – whichever way you go there are villages, beaches and fields of fruit-laden trees providing an insight to island life. Take a lagoon cruise into Muri Lagoon and the surrounding reef, snorkel in crystal clear waters or dive into the warm waters where there's so much to see. For some adventure away from the beaches, the Cross Island Walk is a well beaten track that takes about four hours and is a great way to see the rainforest side of the island.

Rarotonga's main town, Avarua, is where most of the shops are located, but if you do explore the island, you'll discover colourful stalls on the side of the road selling local arts, crafts and local produce. There is also an excellent range of restaurants and cafes on Rarotonga, as after all this is a culture where food is an essential part of the hospitality. Many are situated in the most sublime surroundings with wonderful views of the amazing island sunsets.

Aitutaki, the Cooks' second most-visited island, curls gently around a vast turquoise lagoon which is enclosed by a ring of coral and scattered with dreamy uninhabited motus (islets). Explored either by snorkelling, scuba diving or glass bottom boat cruises, the lagoon and coral reef are by far the island's main attraction with one of the most bio diverse reef systems in the world and a kaleidoscope of vibrantly coloured fish.

Other experiences Aitutaki include the easy 30 minute walk to the summit of Mount Maunga Pu, for spectacular panoramic views, visiting the villages dotted around the island or perhaps having your passport stamped at the world's smallest post office on One Foot Island! As with Rarotonga, you'll discover roadside stalls and a good selection of restaurants with mouthwatering menus full of delicious local ingredients, particularly fresh seafood.

If you dream of remote tropical bliss and authentic culture, let Premier Holidays create the perfect Cook Islands holiday for you…

    Why visit Cook Islands?
  • Stunning beaches
  • Crystal-clear lagoons
  • Superb diving and snorkelling
  • Polynesian history and culture
  • Friendly, welcoming people


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Superb tours, a choice of hotels, pre-bookable excursions and unforgettable rail journeys across Australia and New Zealand. Plus cruises and Fiji, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.

Where to stay in Cook Islands

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Essential facts about Cook Islands
Local Time

GMT -10 hours

Currency

New Zealand dollar, along with local notes and coins.

Travel information

Rarotonga is approximately 25 hours from the UK (via Los Angeles). Aitutaki is around 45 minutes' flight from Rarotonga Recommended airlines flying to Rarotonga: Air New Zealand; British Airways; Virgin Atlantic.

Best time to go

There’s never a bad time to visit, with a warm tropical climate all year round. June to August are slightly cooler months, November to March marks the warmer season, with occasional tropical showers. The drier months are from April to November, while the warmer, more humid and damp season is from December to March.