Cook Islands holidays

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COOK ISLANDS

The Cook Islands is a parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 small islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi). The Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), however, covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq mi) of ocean.

The Cook Islands main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga (14,153 in 2006), where there is an international airport. There is a much larger population of Cook Islanders in New Zealand, particularly the North Island. In the 2006 census, 58,008 self-identified as being of ethnic Cook Islands Maori descent.

When to go:
Tropical, moderated by trade winds. Rarotonga has average maximum temperatures of around 25 C in winter (May-October) and 29 C in summer (November-April), temperatures in the northern islands are several degrees higher. Rainfall mostly occurs in summer, usually in the form of afternoon storms. Cyclone season is November to March, although the islands are hit by a big one only once every five years or so.

Average monthly temperature (°C)

Timezone (GMT):
-10 hours (Cook Islands).

Language:
English, Cook Islands Maori and Pukapukan.

Currency:
New Zealand Dollar (NZD); Cook Islands Dollar.

Tourist/Visa/health information:
A visitor permit, good for 31 days, is granted on arrival for all nationalities. The only things you need to do are present a valid passport, an onward or return airline ticket, and honour the loosely policed prior booking arrangement. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are recommended for protection against disease.

Flight information:
Rarotonga International Airport (IATA: RAR) is the main gateway to the Cook Islands. A direct flight from London to the Cook Islands would take about 21 hours; indirect flight times vary.

For the latest update-to-date Cook Islands travel advice, click here.

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