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Aerial view of Cook Island

Scattered over a vast expanse of the South Pacific roughly 3,000 kms north east of New Zealand and 4,725 kms south of Hawaii, the Cook Islands is still one of the world’s least known and unspoiled destinations. 15 tiny Islands are “hidden” in nearly two million square kilometres  of ocean, which is an area slightly bigger than Indonesia or Mexico and the world’s largest multi-use marine park. ​​1,433 kms separates the most northerly island from the most southerly and each and every one is unique. Many have stunning lagoons and, by law, no building on any island is taller than the tallest palm tree…and there are plenty of those. The sand is white; if you venture to the outer islands, the only footprints in it could be yours. The usual greeting is “Kia Orana” which means may you live long. And life moves at the sort of pace the rest of the world has forgotten. 


The only international airport is on Rarotonga which is the largest and most visited of the Cook Islands with up to 10,000 tourists a month. The Islands are most easily reached from Auckland, New Zealand. There's also a weekly flight from Tahiti.  From May there will also be a new direct flight from Honolulu and from June, a new, twice weekly non-stop flight from Sydney, Australia.

The capital island of Rarotonga 

This is home to nearly three quarters of the total population of 14,987 who live in these Islands. Avarua is the main commercial and administrative centre. There are no cities anywhere and locals just call this "town”. It's also the most commercialised island with accommodation ranging from five star resorts to backpacker places, but it still feels unspoiled. There are no big name stores or famous fast food outlets. Instead there are palm tree lined roads, lots of local shops, cafes and restaurants, a must visit Saturday market...and lots of friendly locals.