The Cook Islands offer a holiday experience like no other Pacific island. And for the very first time Australians will have unparalleled ease to visit the Cook Islands over winter with Air New Zealand’s direct flight from Sydney starting July 3.

Just six hours from Sydney, it is considered  one of the friendliest cultures on earth where travellers can elect to be part of the community and its good food, great outdoors, music, sport and pristine oceanfront geography.

Better still, it is also very affordable for Australians as the unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar.
The Cook Islands consist of 15 islands of which Rarotonga and Aitutaki are the most visited.

Rarotonga is the vibrant capital and is only 32km in circumference; it is dominated by high mountain peaks which rise to 653 metres from which lush rainforests cascade and provide a dramatic backdrop to a palm-fringed shore.

Aitutaki, one of the world’s most romantic destinations, is only an hour from Rarotonga by internal flight and is considered one of the world’s most beautiful, unspoilt places, surrounded by a crystal turquoise lagoon with endless blue skies most of the year.

The 13 outer islands spread like a string of pearls, offering everything one could desire in a Pacific holiday — swimming, fishing, snorkelling, culture, history, community and adventure.

Each has its own character — whether travellers are seeking the world’s best fishing in Manuae, the rare birdlife of Atiu or the beautiful pearls of the Penrhyns ­— but without the cost or the crowds of anywhere else in the Pacific.
The Cook Islands have so much to offer, from lying on a pristine beach doing absolutely nothing, to meeting with the locals down at Trader Vic’s at the marina, watching the local fishing vessels bring in their catch of the day in scenes reminiscent of the country’s colourful colonial past.

While the wonderful character of the Cook Islands has not changed over the years, the standard of accommodation has, with the new range of apartments and villas offering so much more to visitors, some of whom like the option of preparing their own meals as well as dining out. There are many shops which offer gourmet products, wine and outstanding coffee, one the region’s export products.

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