• Beautiful Cook Islands Holidays and Resorts
Cook Islands Holidays are about great adventures. Find out which regions to visit, what attractions to see and which Cook Islands resorts to stay at
Consult the Cook Islands holiday specialists for great ideas

The scattered Cook Islands have a small population, but you'll be assured of a great welcome. This South Sea paradise is largely undeveloped, and its islands are peaceful sanctuaries where you can sunbathe, swim and windsurf to your heart's content.

Hotels in the Cook Islands are particularly popular amongst New Zealand couples seeking a quiet break, but it's a great destination too for families to enjoy the lush plants, white beaches, crystalline seas and clear blue skies. The Cook Islands are a little piece of heaven on earth.

The main island of Rarotonga is just 32-km around its coast making it easy to get around and sightsee, to explore the rainforest and beaches and enjoy the island night-life - this is where most tourists spend their holidays and its particular good for families, for dining out and for enjoying a little exploring by moped. Aitutaki is a 40-minute flight from Rarotonga and appeals more to romantic holiday-makers than families more with a delightful lagoon to explore and where you can wander along pristine beaches on uninhabited coral islands. There are around five daily flights between Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Cook Islands Highlights
Traditional Island Dance Shows

Explore Rarotonga by Moped

Night on the Town, Avarua, Rarotonga

Lazing on Muri Beach

Rarotonga Cross Island Hike

Learn to Scuba Dive

Aitutaki Lagoon Cruise

Tumunu Bush Beer, Atiu Island

Cook Islands Holidays Guide

Cook Islands tourism is focused almost entirely on enjoying a relaxing beach holiday on Rarotonga or experiencing the care-free island ambience of Aitutaki. These are the only two islands to visit offering beach accommodation, restaurants and day tours.

Visit our Cook Islands Holiday Guide

Rarotonga Travel Guide

Rarotonga is the main island in the Cook Islands and where almost 90% of tourists spend their entire holiday and it has the international airport and plenty of beach front accommodation.

Rarotonga has lush tropical mountains, pretty coastal scenes, lots of picturesque sandy beaches and plenty of independent restaurants to enjoy. The island takes under an hour to circumnavigate, with mopeds being the most popular way of getting around. For a holiday, the island is well developed and decidedly geared towards tourism with an almost continuous parade of self catering beach bungalows, holiday homes and exclusive boutique beach resorts around the island. The cross island hike (4 hours) is popular for those looking to stretch their legs.

Rarotonga Accommodation Guide

Aitutaki Travel Guide

Second in popularity is Aitutaki, especially for romantic breaks or honeymoons and to snorkel its stunning lagoon and visit uninhabited coral cays on a day cruise. Said to be one of the most beautiful island in all of the vast Pacific Ocean, Aitutaki is less developed than Bora Bora, although there is a spa, hotels and golf course. Make the folks back home jealous by sending a postcard home from One Foot Island, which has one of the world's remotest post offices. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities – you can investigate submerged wrecks and see schools of colourful fish.

Aitutaki is a 45-minute flight north of Rarotonga (up to six daily flights) and offers one of the most exquisite lagoons in the world with lots of small uninhabited islets and sand bars to explore. The island is even more laid back than Rarotonga with just a handful of accommodations and basic grocery shops in the main villages. Lagoon cruises are the highlight with good snorkelling and decent scuba diving along the outer reefs.

Aitutaki Accommodation Guide

Atiu Travel Guide

More adventurous travellers might consider venturing off the beaten track and visiting the island of Atiu to marvel at some of its extraordinary caves or experience the traditional Maori culture. Here and in other outer islands, you can escape from your worries and really unwind – try chilling out and having some of the local bush beer.

There are two main groups of islands in the north and south of the country. The Southern Cook Islands have most of the population and tourist destinations. Most holiday-makers don’t make it off the main island of Raratonga, home to the majority of the Cook islands hotels and also the nation's capital. Here, you can visit the local brewery, enjoy a cosmopolitan restaurant scene, and watch a game of rugby. Scooters are a common way to get around as the island is very small – it takes just one hour to circumnavigate the coastal road. Aitutaki is the second most visited island, a 40-minute flight north of Rarotonga and here there are a dozen small resorts and as many more guesthouses. Other islands in the Southern Group include Atiu, Mauke and Managaia, but these appeal only to adventurers interested in caving or the traditional culture and have few beaches or guesthouse style accommodation only.

The Northern Cook Islands are amongst the most isolated islands in the world. and receive virtually no tourists apart from a few passing yachties and some of the more extreme backpackers seeking utter isolation. Come here to enjoy the village culture, spectacular cliffs and the feeling that you've really gotten away from it all but you'll have to stay with locals or in very basic government guesthouses.

The Cook Islands are more accessible than many other south sea islands; there are direct flights from LA, Auckland and Tahiti.


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