Cook Islands Cook Islands - Image courtesy of Kirklandphotos & cookislandsescapes.com.au

How to get to the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands form part of Polynesia and are scattered across 2 million sq km of the South Pacific, around 3500km northeast of New Zealand and 1000km southwest of Tahiti, and is easily accessibly by air with direct flights from Los Angeles, Auckland and Sydney

Getting to the Cook Islands

From Australia and New Zealand: Air New Zealand offers direct flights from Sydney and Auckland to Rarotonga. Virgin Australia Airlines also operates direct flights to Rarotonga from Auckland.

From the UK: The most convenient flights are via Los Angeles on Air New Zealand. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, US Airways and American Airlines also offer connecting flights from various US cities to the Cook Islands.

From the USA: The most convenient flights are via Los Angeles on Air New Zealand. Continental, US Airways, United and Air New Zealand offer connecting flights from New York as well as other major US airports.

Flight time to Rarotonga, Cook Islands


Brisbane to Rarotonga is 8 hrs 45 min, with connecting flightˆ
Sydney to Rarotonga is 6 hrs, direct flight
Melbourne to Rarotonga is 9 hrs, with connecting flightˆ
Perth to Rarotonga is 12 hrs, with connecting flightˆ

Auckland to Rarotonga is 3 hrs 50 min, direct flight
London to Rarotonga is 24 hrs 30 min, with connecting flightˆ
New York to Rarotonga is 18 hrs 10 min, with connecting flightˆ
Los Angeles to Rarotonga is 9 hrs 45 min, direct flight
(ˆIncludes layover time.)

Flying in

Rarotonga International Airport is located 3km west of Avarua on the main island of Rarotonga. Hotel and resort courtesy buses meet every flight. Taxis and hire cars are also available.

Entry requirements

A passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay as well as proof of a return/onward ticket, adequate financial means to support your stay and confirmed accommodation are required. Generally, tourists do not need a visa for a stay of 30 days or less in the Cook Islands.

Getting around

Land – Round-the-island buses can be flagged anywhere and everyday except Sunday. These two large yellow buses – each offering a clockwise and counter-clockwise trip around the island – depart hourly from Cook’s Corner shopping centre in Avarua on Rarotonga daily.

Taxis and hire cars are available – 4WDs and motorcycles are best to reach out-of-the-ways spots. Traffic drives on the left.

Between islands – Air Rarotonga connects the main island with the islands of Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, Manihiki, Mitiaro and Penrhyn.


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Latest update: Cook Islands: 18 November, 2018


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