5+ Things to Do in Cook Islands Should You Visit

Are you planning a trip to the Cook Islands soon? This pacific Island nation is popular among New Zealand and Australian residents due to it's warm weather, beautiful crystal clear water and easy to understand currency. 

Today we've given you the best 5 things to do in Cook Islands should you visit. These are our top picks for what you should do, of course there's many more! So pack your bags, and start exploring. 

  • Population: 18,000
  • Currency: New Zealand Dollar
  • When To Go: April - May 

5. Hiking to Te Rua Manga

In the laps of nature, what better to do than admire it! And one of the best ways to explore and observe nature is taking a hike to Te Rua Manga or the needle.

The hiking trail, full of adventure, begins from the northern coast, way up to the summit Te Rua Manga; descending from here, it will take you through Wigmore's Waterfall and finally end at the southern coast. The hike takes about 4 hours meandering through thick forests and leading upto The Needle.

The view from atop the needle is astounding with the serene beach and lush green forest insight. You then encounter the majestic Wigmore's Waterfall, which appears galactic during the rains with an opulent pool below.

 However, do keep in mind that this hike is for trained hikers only.

4. Visit Aitutaki

So, arriving in the Cook Islands, what is the first thing you do? Of course, you visit an island. One of the splendid islands to visit here is Aitutaki.

Interspersed with turquoise-hued lagoon, shimmering sands, and lush palm trees, Aitutaki Island is the perfect getaway from a comforting day. Kitesurfing is a great attraction here.

Aitutaki offers one of the ideal kitesurfing locations in the world. You can take up lessons or straightaway take the ride.

You can also visit the villages of Tautu and Vaipae. Adorned with lemon and coral colored churches, these villages are calm and exceptional.

3. Muri Beach

Coming to the Cook Islands and not visiting Muri Beach would be sacrilege. The crystal blue water has a distinct pull.

While the beach has a lot to offer in terms of marine life, there are other attractions as well. You can try paddleboarding or sup as they call it.

There are a lot of rentals to borrow one from, and you are set to go. Then there is a vibrant night market, which has a delectable variety of local food, including fish curries, Cajun chicken, papaya salad, and the ever so popular mushroom sauce.

2. Cultural Show, Rarotonga

A great way to know the culture and history of Cook Islands is a tour of the Te Vara Nui Village.

It is a guided tour that will provide a peek into the island' traditional activities such as fishing, weaving, preparing medications, dance, and music as well as gastronomy. 

It takes a couple of hours for the tour to conclude. You can then enjoy the pacific cuisine while soaking in the cultural show that combines dance and music with storytelling.

1. Avarua

The list is incomplete without visiting the capital of Cook Islands, Avarua. It is a small town located north on the Rarotonga coast.

Once here, do not forget to visit the Cook Island Library and Museum, which houses a unique collection of books connected to the Pacific as well as artifacts of cultural importance.

Also, you can visit the perfume factory on the southern side of the town where you can buy scents and colognes made from local flowers.

How To Get To Cook Islands?

The Cook Islands is well connected to New Zealand, after all they use the NZ Dollar. There's daily flights from Auckland to Rarotonga with Air New Zealand and seasonal flights with Jetstar.

There's an indirect Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne and Sydney via Auckland. One of these planes continues to Rarotonga so passengers from both flights can connect to that service or disembark in Auckland should they wish. 

The main airport is in Rarotonga, the capital and the largest Island in the Cook Islands. Public transport is few and far between so arranging a transfer through your hotel is a wise idea. 

Many people spend a few days in Rarotonga, before taking a domestic flight to some of the outlying islands. The most common place to visit, especially among honeymooners is Aitutaki, a short 45 minute hop. The Island is small and you'll end up staying in a luxury resort or a homestay.