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Spread over an area equal to
twenty-five percent of the USA, the fifteen islands that make up
the Cook Island Nation offer everything you expect from your South
Pacific paradise; soft white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters,
palm trees and the friendliest of people.
Although the Polynesians were the
first to settle in the islands in 1500BC, they were conquered two
centuries later by a joint force from the islands of Tahiti and
Samoa. Captain Cook first sighted the Manuae atoll in 1773 and
returned again in 1777 to discover the islands of Palmerston,
Takutea, Mangaia and Atiu. Aitutaki and Rarotonga were
both sailed past by Captain Bligh in 1789, the year of the
Mutiny on The Bounty, but they didn't land, and they didn't know
where they were! The discovery of Rarotonga is officially
credited to Captain Goodenough in 1814, but there is also evidence
that the Rev John Williams made the listed discovery, adding the
island names to the world maps, on 25th July, 1823.
Today, the Cook Islanders are very
proud of their Polynesian culture and invite guests to learn and
share their lives, stories and their history, with guided walks,
walking tours, cave exploration, 4x4 safaris, historical tours and
visiting the Te Vara Nui Cultural Centre.
You can also play golf (9 hole and
mini golf), take quad bike and buggy tours, snorkelling, fishing
and sailing excursions, cruise the lagoons, learn to kite surf,
stand up paddle board or wind surf, or try some of the best scuba
diving spots in the Pacific.
For more information on the Cook
Islands, there are many websites you could visit, but a good one in
the UK is cookislands.org.uk or The Cook Islands Tourism website, both
very informative and lots of great photos and videos, too.
The currency of the Cook Islands is
the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by notes and coinage minted
for local use. Their stamps are also popular with collectors all
over the world. There are no traffic lights, no snakes or
poisonous insects, no buildings taller than the palm trees and only
2 bus routes; clockwise or anti-clockwise around Rarotonga!
You can hire bicycles, motor scooters or a car, and it only
takes 45 minutes to drive right round the island.
The drier, cooler season runs from
July to November (winter), the warmer, more humid season runs from
December to June (summer), but there is not a huge difference all
year round. The average temperatures vary between 25-28℃ with
the night time being between 19-22℃. Aitutaki maybe a few
degrees higher due to its location. There are longer days and
quick tropical showers in summer, and lower humidity and drier days
in winter but this is also their peak season. Water
temperature is generally around 28℃ all year round, and between
June-October, there is a chance of seeing humpback, sperm and
beaked whales on their migration. Humpback may also be giving
birth in the local waters, so you could see the new babies,
Currently, there are no locally
based cruise companies offering cruse itineraries around the Cook
Islands. There are a few major cruise companies operating the
large luxury liners, who offer itineraries across and
around the Pacific that will visit some of these islands, but they
are not frequent or on a regular basis.
Please note: We are
constantly updating the prices shown on this website, but due to
volatility of the currency exchange markets at the moment with the
UK Sterling rate, prices may vary from those shown. If you
wish to confirm any prices shown here, please contact us