5 Reasons You Need to Visit the Cook Islands


The Cook Islands, located between New Zealand and Hawaii, offer a pristine beauty rivaling the more famous South Pacific islands of Tahiti and Fiji. Award-winning Air New Zealand flies direct from North America to Cook Islands, making travel there accessible.

The islands’ beautiful terrain – the Cook Islands are what Hawaii was like 50 years ago but with modern conveniences.  At just 32km around the main island of Rarotonga, natural treasures are abound; there is lush green vegetation virtually everywhere, stunning jungle-clad mountains, crystal-clear waters with an abundance of aquatic life, incredible flora and fauna and medicinal plants… and no building is taller than a coconut tree (it’s the law!).

The protected lagoons are shallow and safe to swim in. Getting around the main island is simple – the main island of Rarotonga is easy to travel along as there’s just a single road that covers the entire circumference of the island (we recommend renting a scooter to whip around the island!).  Looking for more paradise?  Of course, we suggest you hop on a quick 45-minute flight from Rarotonga to what many call ‘the most beautiful lagoon in the world’, the very-secluded, pristine 15 palm-covered motus of Aitutaki!  Don’t forget to take a Vaka cruise to visit untouched island and be sure to get your passport stamped at One Foot Island!

Easily accessible – At just 9 hours from Los Angeles, and on the same time zone as Hawaii, jetlag is barely noticeable, making your transition to island life super easy.  Enjoy the luxury of escapism; the Cook Islands have a population of around 17,000 people, so you’ll often always find yourself on an un-crowded beach, free from disturbances. Cultural entertainment at Te Vara Nui Village in Rarotonga  – This evening overwater show combines a little history about the Cook Islands with traditional dance, music, drumming, fire juggling and many forms of entertainment accompanied by a lavish island-style feast. Coconut husking, carving, weaving, and Maori bush medicine are just a few of the cultural activities you can learn about too. The visually stunning over-the-water setting with floating and fixed stages set amid lush waterfall gardens presents a unique outdoor entertainment venue.

You’ll rarely be bored – Not just a place to lounge on gorgeous white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, you can also partake in island treks, safari tours, glass-bottom boat sailing, fishing trips, yacht tours and diving/snorkeling excursions.  Find your perfect pearl at a black pearl farm, learn a bit of history at Pa’s Palace or at the Te Ara Cook Islands Museum, catch a sporting event at the various village grounds around Rarotonga, and at the National Stadium. Enjoy sports yourself? There are a variety of tennis and squash courts available to rent out.

If you’re looking to head over to Australia after your stay in the Cook Islands, a transit through Auckland with Air New Zealand is super easy and you won’t need to clear immigration, customs, or even collect your bags! Contact Downunder Travel today and let them help you plan your Cook Islands, Australia & New Zealand vacation all with Air New Zealand for a seamless travel experience.