Cook Islands - Kūki 'Āirani




Anthem: Te Atua Mou E (God is Truth )



Queen Elizabeth II        Hon. Henry Puna     Sir Frederick Goodwin





Avarua (Rarotonga)



Official languages                          

English, Cook Islands Māori



Ethnic groups                                          

87.7% Maori, 5.8% part Maori, 6.5% other




Cook Islander




Constitutional monarchy



Constitutional  monarchy                      

Queen Elizabeth II



Queen's Representative                          

Sir Frederick Goodwin



Prime Minister                                       

Jim Marurai



Associated state


Self-government in free                         

4 August 1965

association with New Zealand




Area -Tolat                                 

240 km2 (209th) 91 sq mi



Time zone                                  




Drives on the                               




Internet TLD                              




Calling code                                      






Geography,  ClimateMoneyEntertainment,   Islands


The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, north-east of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and Fiji. There are fifteen major islands, spread over 2.2 million square kilometres of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern Cook Islands, and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls.
The islands were formed by volcanic activity; the northern group is older and consists of six atolls (sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth). The climate is moderate to tropical.
The fifteen islands and two reefs are grouped as follows:

Southern Cook Islands
Atiu(Enua-Manu or Island of Birds), Ma'uke (Akatokamanava), Mitiaro(Nukuroa) Aitutaki (Araura Enua), Mangaia (Auau Enua), Rarotonga (Tumutevarovaro) and also with the capital, Avarua., Palmerston Island(Pamati) (sometimes grouped with the Northern Group), Manuae, Takutea, Winslow Reef (submerged)

Northern Cook Islands
Manihiki (Te Fuinga O niva), Nassau, Penrhyn Island (Tongareva or Mangarongaro), Pukapuka (Te ulu o te watu), Rakahanga (Tapuahua), Suwarrow also called Suvorov , Tema Reef (submerged)


Administrative subdivisions
There are island councils on all of the inhabited outer islands (Outer Islands Local Government Act 1987, with amendments up to 2004 and Palmerston Island Local Government Act 1993) except Nassau, which is governed by Pukapuka Suwarrow,with only one caretaker living on the island, also governed by Pukapuka, is not counted with the inhabited islands in this context). Each council is headed by a mayor.
The three vaka councils of main island Rarotonga established in 1997 (Rarotonga Local Government Act 1997), that were also headed by mayors, were abolished in February 2008, despite much controversy

Northern Cook Islands
(Te Pa enua Tokerau)


Southern Cook Islands
(Te Pa enua Tonga




The Cook Islands climate is tropical oceanic, with two distinct seasons: the cold and dry season that goes from April till November with average maximum temperatures around 26°C and average minimum temperatures around 20°C; the hottest and rainy season ranging from December till March which average maximum temperature around 28°C and average minimum temperatures around 22°C, in this period the islands occasionally can be affected by tropical cyclones and hurricanes. The average annual rainfall is around 2,100 mm, more rainy months are those between December and April, the less rainy months are those between June and October. Anti-mosquito repellents are needed especially during the hot and humid season (December-March), especially on the island of Aitutaki.
The average annual temperature of the sea water in Rarotonga is 25.9°C, with maximum temperatures of 30.2°C in February and minimum temperatures of 22.0°C in August.


The Cook Islands currency is the New Zealand dollar and cent monetary system. New Zealand notes are used throughout the islands but the Cook Island has its own decorative $3 note in circulation as well as a few old coins. New Zealand coins are used mostly throughout the islands. Westpac bank at Rarotonga Airport opens for all in-coming flights. Unfortunately their 24-hr ATM cash machine no longer operates at the airport. ATM machines are available from Westpac and ANZ bank in downtown Avarua. Travellers cheques are recommended for the Cook Island and can be exchanged at favourable rates at the ANZ or Westpac bank in Avarua, Rarotonga and at the Administration centre on Aitutaki. Major credit cards are accepted at most shops on Rarotonga and some will exchange travellers cheques as well. On the other islands there are no banks so it is best to pre-book to save carrying around too much cash. Travel Insurance is advisable.

There is little risk of disease on the Cook Islands, but visitors should take precautions against insect bites and sunburn. Outbreaks of dengue fever can occur, therefore a good arsenal of mosquito repellent and protective clothing is advised. Locals consider the tap water safe, but boiled or bottled water is advised for visitors, particularly to the rural areas. A range of medical and dental services are available on Rarotonga, including a hospital and various pharmacies, but medical facilities in the Cook Islands in general are limited and a comprehensive medical insurance is advised to include air evacuation for emergencies.






While many visitors come to the Cook Islands and Rarotonga for a laidback and tranquil vacation, this tiny island offers a pretty good nightlife and plenty of lively entertainment as well. With more than enough to keep your nights busy while you stay here, the entertainment and nightlife on Rarotonga is remarkably diverse and vibrant. There are a number of fine dining establishments around the island as well as a range of clubs and bars, all just a short drive away from one another. An ‘Island Night' performance is perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy a night out on Rarotonga. Combining a traditional Polynesian buffet dinner with a dance and music performance, an island night is a great way to absorb the local culture and at same time have some fun. With the dancers in the Cook Islands regarded as the best in the Southern Pacific, this performance is an experience not to be missed. The food served here is known as umukai and involves chicken, pork, fish and various vegetables being baked in an underground oven called an umu.


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