Cook Islands - Relaxed Summer on the Island
When James Cook visited the islands which were named after him, he was already welcomed by white sandy beaches, blue lagoons and green palm groves. Travellers find tranquillity and relaxation here to the present day. The South Sea is exactly what you expect it to be here.
Geography - Islands in the South Pacific Ocean
The Cook Islands are an island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand consisting of 15 islands. The most important and largest island is the main island of Rarotonga, which contains the capital of Avarua. The Cook Islands are about 3,500 kilometres away from New Zealand and they can be divided into a southern and a northern group. Their climate is tropical with stuffy air and temperatures around 25 °C.
Nature - Under coconut palms
Coral islands, atolls, blue lagoons and the turquoise sea - the Cook Islands are a dream come true for every island lover and offer many interesting views. The main island of Rarotonga is of volcanic origin but it is surrounded by numerous coral banks with colourful fish species. Several islands are enclosed by so many coral gardens that they are inaccessible to visitors. That is why the islands developed their very own flora and fauna with coconut palms and breadfruit trees.
Natural sights - Following the traces of Robinson Crusoe
Who does not dream of being on a deserted island with white sand, lush palms and clear sea water? The island of Aitutaki makes this dream come true. It offers everything travellers would expect from a dream island. Scenic sandy beaches, turquoise water and tranquillity. Another highlight on the Cook Islands is the island of Manihiki. It is the origin of the well-known black pearls from the Cook Islands. With a bit of luck, tourists can find one or two pearls here. If they do not, however, they can still buy the beautiful pearls, e.g. as part of fine jewellery.
Culture - The heirs of the Māori
As the name suggests, the Cook Islands were named after the great discoverer and sailor James Cook. He arrived on the islands when they were still populated by the Māori. To the present day, most island inhabitants are descendants of Polynesian tribes. Today, however, the people on the Cook Islands are Christianised and have adjusted to modern times. There has been a return to old traditions and customs in recent years.
Cultural sights - The capital of Avarua
The Cook Islands do not only impress with cultural diversity but also with unique nature. Of course, you find several special buildings here, for example in the capital of Avarua. Whitewashed churches like the Christian Church stand out in the landscape. A very interesting attraction is the National Museum in Avarua. Visitors learn everything about the ancient traditions and customs of the Māori culture here. The towns's botanical garden is also worth a visit.
Experience - Fresh fruit and Island Nights
Numerous types of fruit are grown on the Cook Islands, many of which are sold on the great weekly markets. Every holidaymaker should have tried this freshly harvested fruit. You will experience a taste adventure which does not compare to fruit from your local supermarket. Another speciality are the dishes prepared in the earth oven, called "umu". Many hotels offer their guests this traditional type of food preparation. Freshly caught fish plays an important rule in the local cuisine too. A typical event are the Island Nights, during which women and men dance to Polynesian music and invite their guests to join them.
Activities - Pearl fishing
The Cook Islands are a paradise for beach walkers, sun-worshippers, anglers and water lovers. In addition, the islands promise thrills to divers. There are several unique diving locations, breathtaking reefs and a fascinating underwater fauna. A particularly exciting activity are dives to the pearl oysters. With a bit of luck, tourists find a few pearls here.
Holidaymakers best reach the Cook Islands via New Zealand. This route is operated almost every day. About once a week, planes from the USA arrive on the Cook Islands but these flight offers vary relative to the demand. The airport on the Cook Islands is located near the capital of Avarua on the island of Rarotonga.
The Cook Islands are excellently suited for romantics and travellers who are looking for relaxation. They are the ideal place for taking a break and unwinding without any stress or rush.