English, Pukapuka, Rarotogan
Zealand dollar
Flight time
32 hours from the UK
time difference
UTC/GMT -10 hours
best time to go
Apr-May / Sep-Oct

Introducing Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is an undiscovered paradise in the South Pacific, made up of 15 islands scattered into the Pacific Ocean near Fiji and French Polynesia. The archipelago has a total landmass of just over 90 square miles but the Cook Islands’ Exclusive Economic Zone actually covers more than 690,000 square miles of ocean. So if there’s one thing that’s abundant here, it’s water; enough sea for anyone to swim, bathe, snorkel and dive in without ever running into another soul, apart from the resident fish and marine life, that is. Here in the Cook Islands, the sea is exclusively yours and you’ll never feel overcrowded on the islands’ beautiful beach resorts.

Go barefoot and take a morning walk on the powdery soft beaches, find a secluded beach spot to sunbathe and get away from the crowds, or seek out the perfect beachfront bar serving iconic Cook Island cocktails to watch the sunset over the horizon. This is the place where life’s simple pleasures will be most appreciated; whether it’s much needed rest and relaxation, just a little peace and quiet to escape the noise of everyday life, a chance for romance and love to blossom, or a new discovery and culturally immersive experience, the Cook Islands is the place to find it. Boasting rare coastal beauty, the perfect climate and a nation of warm, welcoming faces, you’ll find your perfect holiday paradise in the Cook Islands. Cook Islanders are known for their friendly and gentle nature and they have an infectious happy-go-lucky charm. Can you blame them when they live in such wonderful surroundings? As the Cook Islanders will tell you, “A day at the beach starts with a sunrise and ends with a smile”. So if you’re looking for a place to find some island happiness, book your next holiday to the wonderful Cook Islands in the South Pacific.


Families travelling with children will love coming to the Cook Islands. This destination is extremely beautiful, with a fantastic choice of beach and outdoor activities which are suited to kids of all ages. As tourism is the main industry here, Cook Islanders are extremely welcoming of tourists and will instantly charm you with their warm smiles and hospitable nature. They love kids too – so don’t be surprised if the locals make a fuss over your little ones. Wherever you go in the Cook Islands, you’ll be sure to receive a warm reception and the resorts often feature fantastic facilities for kids. Big theme parks and manmade attractions don’t exist here but the natural landscape creates a wonderful playground for kids who love the outdoors and there are some fantastic tours, excursions and boat trips which will interest young children as well as teens.


Traditional dishes from the Cook Islands make great use of the amazing local produce, including the ample seafood! If you love fish, you’ll be guaranteed to find the freshest catches in the Cook Islands as restaurants usually have daily fish supplies from the local fishermen. Some traditional dishes you may like to try include Rori (sea cucumber served with butter and garlic), Ika (raw fish marinated in a vinegarette and served with a creamy sauce), Rukau (mashed taro leaves with coconut cream and spices), and Umukai (meat cooked in the earth). Because coconuts are grown all year round, the healthy refreshment of coconut water is a popular accompaniment with meals. Tropical juices and alcoholic beverages are also available at most restaurants. Due to Cook Island customs, tipping is not required.

History and Culture

Doing things the Polynesian way means doing it with love – and this very much reflects the culture of the Cook Islanders. As a Polynesian island country, modern life is very much focused on family, extended family and friends and the Islanders are extremely sociable as a community. Big families and communal living defines family life here; grandparents often live with younger generations and even nieces and nephews often house together as one big happy group. Taking on customs and traditions from its Polynesian heritage mixed with customs from its European influences over the years, the country has formed its own unique identity.

Top Locations in Cook Islands

The island of Rarotonga is the largest of the Cook Islands, so if you’re looking some nightlife, international dining experiences and great shopping, this is the place to come. Mountains, ridges and rainforest make up the beautiful landscape as well as some of the most fabulous beaches including Muri Beach and Titikaveka Beach.
Atiu Island
Blessed with lush greenery and beautiful jungle, Atiu Island is the perfect paradise for nature lovers. Known also as Enuamanu (The Land of the Birds), Atiu is a great place for birdwatching. Atiu Villas is the island’s most developed area and the Makatea Atoll has more than 26 beaches for you to explore – most of these are completely untouched! Fantastic if you’re looking for a secluded spot to sunbathe with a loved one.
Anatakitaki Kopeka Bird Caves
These bird caves on Atiu Island are one of the main attractions. Here, you can find the endemic Kopeka bird, which is found only on Atiu. Guided tours of the caves are available throughout the week and they are suitable for all ages.
Aitutaki Lagoon
The stunning lagoon of Aitutaki is an ocean lover’s paradise. Brimming with beautiful schools of fish and marine life and blessed with crystal clear waters, this is the perfect place to snorkel or paddle board. You can spot the red-tailed tropicbird, explore the nearby wreck from the 1930s, or just wind down with a book on the beach.
Cook Islands Whale and Wildlife Centre
If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids, head over to the Cook Islands Whale and Wildlife Centre where children of all ages can come and learn about whales, marine life and other wildlife on the islands. The centre is open 10am to 4pm Sunday through to Friday and there’s also a souvenir shop inside.

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