Cook Islands - NZ Travel Bubble
If you’ve been dreaming of a carefree tropical escape, the Cook Islands deliver! And from today, for New Zealanders at least, the time has come to stop dreaming and start planning a dreamy Cook Islands adventure.
From 17 May 2021, a New Zealand-Cook Islands travel bubble allows quarantine-free travel between the two nations. Follow the link for details about the conditions of travel to the Cook Islands (and stay tuned: it is anticipated that an Australia-Cook Is. travel bubble is not far behind!).
Half way between New Zealand and Hawaii, between Tonga and Tahiti, the Cooks' are unequivocally relaxing and unapologetically understated. Jungle-cloaked volcanic peaks, sandy white beaches and crystal-clear lagoons are the backdrop for an idyllic laidback tropical getaway. Here, there are no traffic lights, no fast-food chains and no buildings higher than a coconut tree; and the island group is also one of the few places on the planet to have recorded no cases of COVID 19 since the outbreak of the pandemic!
Where to go in the Cook Islands?
A scattering of 15 idyllic islands make up this tiny Pacific nation, however international holiday makers generally head to two main destinations: Raratonga, gateway to the Cooks, and the intimate and remote Aitutaki atoll.
Raratonga is the largest of the Cook Islands (but it will still only take you 45 minutes to circumnavigate the island at a leisurely pace). Raratonga is dominated by lush-forested volcanic peaks and is almost completely encircle by a turquoise lagoon and fringing coral reefs; offering easy access to a wide range of family-friendly adventures.
The smaller Aitutaki atoll is characterised by palm fringed white sandy beaches that look out to the tranquil turquoise lagoon beyond; remote and intimate, romance and relaxation are assured! Unspoiled natural beauty and uninterrupted sunset cocktails, this is the perfect place to relax and recharge with the one you love.
Beyond these, the island of Atiu (also called ‘Enua Manu’, meaning ‘Island of the Birds’) is a treat for birdwatchers, the lagoons surrounding the northern island of Manihiki produce the beautiful black pearls for which the Cook Islands are famous, and each of ‘the Cooks’ have their own personality and unique treasures.
What is there to do in the Cook Islands?
This compact Pacific destination offers a surprising diversity of landscapes that invite activities as varied as kayaking and cycling, scuba diving and scenic flights, deep sea fishing and guided mountain hikes. Swim with sea turtles and snorkel with technicolour tropical fish. Visit traditional local villages and sample tropical Polynesian fare at the local markets to celebrate the colourful Cook Island culture and enjoy a true sense of place.
Romantic retreat or a family friendly getaway, this dreamy destination offers something for everyone.
Where to stay in the Cook Islands?
Barefoot romance or family-friendly welcome, we know all the best places to stay; beachside bungalows, lagoon-side resorts or hedonistic holiday homes and well-appointed private villas. Our Travel Designers can match you with your perfect place!
When to go to the Cook Islands?
The Cook Islands enjoy a typical tropical climate with warm weather all year round. The months of April through to November offer warm, mostly sunny days and clear skies. The humidity climbs in the Southern Hemisphere summer months (November through to March) and the cooling relief of afternoon tropical showers should be expected.
How to get there?
Direct flights operate between Auckland and Rarotonga with a flight time of just under 4 hours. Travellers from New Zealand should note that the flight crosses the international dateline (meaning that when travelling from Auckland to Rarotonga you’ll arrive the day before you depart, and on the return you’ll land in New Zealand the day after taking off from Rarotonga).
Daily scheduled domestic flights can transport you from Rarotonga to Aitutaki in under an hour.
How to get around?
The islands are all very compact and getting around is easy: hike or bike, guided tour or self-drive on a scooter or by car. And, if you do choose to self-drive, the Cook Islanders drive on the left-hand side of the road, just the same as in New Zealand.
Other practical Travel Tips:
Language: the official language is Cook Islands Maori, however everyone also speaks English and a warm welcome is guaranteed.
Currency: the Cook Islands use the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by notes and coins minted for local use (which cannot be used outside of the Cook Islands).
Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands: follow the link for further details https://cookislands.travel/nzfaq
Contact our experienced Travel Design team today to start planning your Cook Islands adventure: firstname.lastname@example.org