The best time of year to visit the Cook Islands for a beach holiday is during the winter dry season from mid-June through September.
However, for warmer weather visit in April and May, or in October and November when you can expect higher temperatures but also more rain showers.
During the peak tourist season of July and August, the southern islands of Aitutaki, Atiu and Rarotonga, enjoy an average high of 26°C (78°F).
The Cook Islands experience a tropical climate, with a relatively dry season from June to September and a wet season from December to April.
Rainfall can occur year-round in the Cook Islands. However, rain occurs mostly in the morning or in the afternoon and only for a short amount of time.
Daytime temperatures are warm throughout the year, with milder temperatures at night during the drier months.
The islands are divided into two groups: the northern islands, which are closer to the Equator, including Manihiki, Nassau, Penrhyn, Pukapuka, Rakahanga and Suwarrow, are warmer and have an average daily temperature of around 27 – 28°C (81 – 82°F) throughout the year.
Typically, the northern islands have more rainfall than the southern islands.
The southern islands, which include Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Manuae, Mauke, Mitiaro, Palmerston, Rarotonga and Takutea, have a cooler period that lasts from May to October, with average high temperatures of around 26°C (78°F) in Rarotonga and 27°C (81°F) in Aitutaki.
Here are the average temperatures in the capital, Avarua, on Rarotonga Island.
What is the best month to visit the Cook Islands?
June through September are the best months to visit the Cook Islands – the climate is perfect with hot, sunny weather and little or no rainfall.
However, anytime from mid-May to mid-October are all good for a range of outdoor activities.
Which is the hottest month in the Cook Islands?
The hottest month of the year in the Cook Islands is usually February. You can expect an average high daytime temperature of 29°C (84°F), with moderate heat and humidity, and a low of 23°C (73°F).
On the warmest days of the hot season, the average temperature may climb above 32°C (90°F).
The warm season in the Cook Islands usually lasts from early-January to mid-April, with an average daily high temperature above 28°C (82°F).
Which is the coolest month in the Cook Islands?
The coolest month in the Cook Islands is August, with an average high of 25°C (77°F) and a low of 19°C (66°F).
The cooler season lasts from mid-June to early-October, with an average daily high temperature below 26°C (78°F).
When is it sunniest in the Cook Islands?
The sunniest time of year in the Cook Islands is usually August with six hours of sunshine per day – that's around 60% of daylight hours.
Sunshine in the Cook Islands is fairly uniform throughout the year, despite occasional rainfall.
When is the sea warmest in the Cook Islands?
The sea is usually at its warmest in the Cook Islands in March when the water temperature reaches 28°C (82°F), which is warm and pleasant for swimming.
The sea in the Cook Islands is warm enough for swimming year-round.
Which month has the most rain in the Cook Islands?
February is usually the wettest month in the Cook Islands, with on average 170mm (6in) of rainfall. There are usually 13 days with some rainfall in February.
The wet season in the Cook Islands lasts from late-November through to mid-May, with a greater than 32% chance of a given day being a wet day.
You can expect rainfall throughout the year in the Cook Islands.
During the wet season, rainfall is intense and frequent, but does not last long. The northern islands see more rainfall than the southern islands.
Rarotonga is the wettest island in the Cook Islands, due to its mountainous interior; however, the coastal areas are generally sunny year-round, with occasional and brief showers.
The drier season lasts from late-May through to late-November. The month with the least rainfall in the Cook Islands is August, with an average rainfall of 51mm (2in).
What are the windiest months in the Cook Islands?
The windiest month of the year in the Cook Islands is September, with an average hourly wind speed of 23 kilometres per hour (12 knots; 14mph).
June through November are the windiest months of the year in the Cook Islands, with average wind speeds of more than 22 kilometres per hour (11 knots; 13mph).
It's less windy from November through May. The calmest month of the year in the Cook Islands is March, with an average hourly wind speed of 21 kilometres per hour (11 knots; 13mph).
The predominant wind direction in the Cook Islands is from the east throughout the year.
Is there a risk of a tropical storm in the Cook Islands?
The risk of a tropical storm in the Cook Islands is greatest between January and March during the wet season. The likelihood of a tropical storm occurring is highest in February at 2.2%.
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|Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands|
High season: Late-June through August, and during the Christmas and New Year period, when hotel and airline reservations should be booked in advance.
Low season: January to March, during the wet season.
Shoulder season: April to June, and September to November.
Note: Meteorological data for the Cook Islands is based on weather statistics gathered for the 30-year period 1991 to 2020, and is sourced from the Cook Islands Meteorological Service at the closest weather station, Rarotonga International Airport (RAR), located less than 3km (2mi) west of Avarua Harbour. Additional climate data is sourced from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Advice on the best time to visit a particular destination is based on average local weather statistics, when the weather conditions are generally better than at other times of the year. We consider high and low temperatures, risk of rain (and thunderstorms, etc.), amount of sunshine and sea temperature. For general outdoor activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 18°C (64°F) and 27°C (80°F); and for hot-weather activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 24°C (75°F) and 32°C (89°F). Often, the best times to visit correspond to high season and therefore involve higher prices.
Latest update: Best time to visit Cook Islands: 24 October, 2023
Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data and conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable. We assume no responsibility and can not be held legally responsible for any decisions made on the basis of the information presented on this site.