The Cook Islands
The Cook islands comprise of 15 tropical volcanic islands and small coral atolls deep in the South Pacific surrounded by pristine lagoons, untouched coral reefs and deserted white sandy beaches that make the Cook Islands a tropical beach getaway that will encapsulate the island paradise you have always dreamed of visiting. Due to the fact that it is far removed from any close neighbours just getting there is a feat in it’s self and is in a sense a God send because you can truly find beautiful tropical beaches with the most spectacular scenery all to your self.
The largest and main tourist hub of the Cook Islands is Rarotonga. This island is mountainous with a covering of luscious tropical rain forests that fall to the waters edge where you will find bone white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters where lazing on the beach can take up most of your day because there really is no need to go in search for the perfect tropical paradise when you are surrounded by them nearly everywhere you turn.
The second most visited place in the Cook Islands is the hook-shaped atoll of Aitutaki which is surrounded by one of the world’s largest coral lagoons, where you will find no shortage of giant clams, coral gardens packed with an abundance of multicoloured tropical marine life all visible snorkelling and diving. The great thing about being so isolated from any large land mass is that the surrounding turquoise waters have not been polluted by human development and the ocean is a pristine as you are able to find anywhere in the world.
Things to Do in The Cook Islands
The Cook Islands offer the usual water based activities you will find in most tropical destinations such as Diving, snorkelling, surfing, sea kayaking game fishing and whale watching as well as land based hiking into the mountain trails. There is definitely no shortage of activities to keep you occupied whilst there.
Hiking – The main island of Rarotonga has over a dozen marked trails taking you across the island walking through tropical jungles, past waterfalls and up to mountain look outs to take in the gorgeous scenery from the highest point of Rarotonga.
Diving & Snorkelling– The Cook Islands offer some great diving sites with comfortable water temperatures averages of 25?C in May to October and 30?C in November to April and incredible visibility of up to 30m. With such a rich abundance of marine life and well preserved marine protected areas diving can be just as spectacular as diving anywhere else in the Pacific. With the possibilities of dive through canyons and caves, deep sea drop-offs, as well as lagoons rich in tropical coral reef gardens and technicolored fish, giant clams as well as larger marine life such as eagle rays, reef sharks and turretles, there will definitely not be a shortage of things to see as a diving and snorkelling enthusiast.
Surfing – The Cook islands are not renowned for their surf breaks but there are places scattered throughout the island groups that in the right conditions will present waves of up to 2-3 meters depending on wind and swell directions.
Game fishing –with deep sea drop offs meeting shallow reefs there is plenty of great places for game fishing for mahi mahi (all year), marlin (all year but best from November to February), yellow fin tuna (all year but best from May to September), wahoo and barracuda (best from July to November).
Whale watching – July and October are the best times to watch humpback whales migrate through the Cook Islands.
The Cook islands offers offer accommodation to suit all kinds of tourists, ranging from luxurious beach resorts to self-contained beach bungalows and villas. Most of the accommodation centers around Rarotonga and Aitutaki though you are able to to rent out villas in more secluded islands for the ultimate private holiday or honeymoon.
Cook Islands Weather & Climate
The Cook Islands is a great destination all year round; seasonal variations are slight, with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 28°C in the winter months (May to October) and 21°C and 29°C during the summer (November to April). The Cook Islands has a pleasantly even climate year round, with no excesses of temperature or humidity, although it can rain quite often.
Getting there & away
Rarotonga is the only island with an international airport. Air New Zealand operates at least one daily direct flight from Rarotonga to Auckland (New Zealand), sometimes stopping in Fiji en route, as well as three weekly flights to Los Angeles via Tahiti (in French Polynesia). From Auckland you can catch regular Air New Zealand flights to other cities in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and from Los Angeles there are frequent flights to London, continental Europe and the rest of the US.