|Tourists come to the Cook Islands for the beaches. The Islands, despite covering a vast area, have a very small population, and they don't possess any of the large tourist resorts that some might expect from a lush holiday destination.
Various festivals take place throughout the year. These are generally celebrated with singing and dancing, often with a strange mixture of traditional ritual grafted on to the somewhat later Christian music and ceremony. Scuba-diving and snorkelling are excellent. Visibility is seldom under 30m and the scenery is quite varied, with canyons, caves, 73 types of live coral and a rich marine life.
The humpback whale season is from July to October. In addition to observing the whales from a boat, it is possible to swim with them.
Papua Waterfall, also known as Wigmore’s Waterfall, is the only waterfall on Rarotonga and is situated at Vaimaanga. A popular way for tourists to visit the falls is on one of the numerous organised pony treks.
|Capital:||Avarua (on Rarotonga) (RAR)|
|Currency:||New Zealand Dollar (NZD)|
|Language:||English and Cook Islands Maori|
|Dialling code from SA:||+ 682|
|Time Zones:||UTC / GMT -10 (12 hours behind South Africa)|
|Public Holidays 2020:||
Jan 1, 2; Apr 10, 13, 25; Jun 1; Aug 4; Oct 26; Dec 25, 26, 28
|Side of the Road:||Left|
|Best Time to go:||April – November (Dry Season)|
|Best For:||Cultural exploration, Natural attractions|
|Plugs:||220 volts AC, 50Hz. The New Zealand and Australian three-pin plug is used as standard.|
|Drinking Water:||Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated. Bottled water is available.|
|Health:||Medical facilities are limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.|
|Customs:||If attending church on Sunday, women should wear a dress or blouse and skirt and men trousers and shirt. Swimwear should be reserved for the beach / poolside. Nude / topless sunbathing is not accepted.|
|Travel Tips / Warnings:||Cook Islands driver's licence are required, which is obtainable for a small fee from the Police Station in Avarua on presentation of an International or Commonwealth licence.|
|Duty Free:||The following goods may be imported into the Cook Islands by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
• 2L of spirits or wine or 4.5L of beer
• Goods up to the value of NZ$250
|Prohibited Imports:||Prohibited or restricted imports include medicines, weapons, indecent publications, endangered species of flora and fauna, and illicit drugs|
COVID-19 Travel Advisory: All persons are denied entry into the Cook Islands unless there is an exemption provided (in writing) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. Additional information available: cookislands.travel/news/novel-coronavirus-information-travellers-arriving-cook-islands
This Information is intended as a Guideline.
Cook Islands Consulate
Parkview Tower, Level 3, 28 Davies Avenue
Auckland, New Zealand
- SA passport holders visiting the Cook Islands do not require a visa for a stay not exceeding 30 days.
- Passengers are to be in possession of a valid passport with blank pages , valid for a minimum of 6 months, have return or onward passage, proof of suitable accommodation and proof of financial means to support his/her stay.
SA Embassy in Canberra (Australia).
|Recommended Travel Vaccines:||Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio|