Cook Islands Overview



Avarua (in Rarotonga).


As a country located in Oceania listed on computergees, the Cook Islands are located in the South Pacific, 3500 km northeast of New Zealand and 1000 km southwest of Tahiti, and are part of Polynesia. They consist of 15 islands, the northern islands are coral atolls, the southern islands are volcanic. Rarotonga is the largest of the islands with a rugged volcanic interior, the highest mountain is the Te Manga (652 m). The island is surrounded by coral reefs and the population lives in the fertile area between the reefs and the hills. Here you can find lagoons as well as tropical and subtropical vegetation. The northern group consists of seven islands, the three largest being Penrhyn, Manihiki and Pukapuka.


Internal self-government with free association with New Zealand, since 1965. Constitution of 1965, last amendment 1991. Parliament with 25 members. The House of Ariki, which consists of a maximum of 15 members, can advise on matters such as customs, traditions and land allocation, but has no legislative power. New Zealand is responsible for foreign and defense policy.

Head of state

Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Tom Marsters, since July 2013. New Zealand is represented by High Commissioner Peter Marshall (since January 2017).

Head of government

Henry Puna, since 2010.


220 V, 50 Hz. Same adapter as required for Australia or New Zealand.

Time zone

Cook Island Time: CET -11



1 New Zealand dollar = 100 cents. Currency abbreviation: NZ $, NZD (ISO code). Banknotes are available in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 NZ $. Coins are in circulation with a value of NZ $ 2 and NZ $ 1, and 50, 20 and 10 cents.

1 Cook Island dollar (same value as New Zealand dollar): banknotes are in circulation to the denomination of $ 20, $ 10 and $ 3; coins are available in denominations of 50, 20 and 10 cents.

Credit cards

Major credit cards are accepted in banks, hotels and larger shops – especially on the main island. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.

ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

  1. General Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

No import restrictions. The importation of the local currency and foreign currencies must be declared for amounts of NZ $ 10,000 or more. The export of the local currency is only allowed up to NS $ 250, the Cook Island dollar is not allowed. The export of foreign currencies is permitted up to the amount imported (proof) and must be declared; a permit must be available for higher amounts.

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at the airport, at banks and in several large hotels and shops. There are ATMs at the ANZ and Westpac Bank in Rarotonga / Aitutaki.

Cook Islands Overview



The official languages are Cook Islands Maori (Rarotonga) and English, with the orthography based on New Zealand English.

The Maori spoken in the Cook Islands is a Polynesian language and is closely related to the Tahitian language and New Zealand’s Te Reo Māori. Almost every Cook Island developed its own dialect with the same name as the island name, such as Mitiaro, Mauke, Atiu, Mangaia and Aitutaki. In Rakahanga and Manihiki, around 2,500 people speak Rakahanga Manihiki, which is very different from the Cook Islands Maori, and the inhabitants of the northern Cook Islands Pukapuka and Nassau speak Pukapukan. There are no foreign language classes in schools.


  • Eight = varu
  • Work = ānga
  • Blood = toto
  • Three = toru
  • One = taʻi, taī
  • Food = kai-nga
  • Fish = ika
  • Woman = īne, vaīne
  • Five = rima
  • Happy = mataora
  • Hello = Kia Orana
  • My name is… = Ko… toku ingoa.
  • I come from Rarotonga = Mai Rarotonga au.
  • Yes = ʻe
  • Child = tama, tamariki, tamaiti
  • Running = āere
  • Man = tāne, tamora
  • Sea = moana, tai
  • No = kare, āuraka, kaaʻore
  • Nine = iva
  • Zero = kare
  • Tahiti = taʻiti
  • Six = ono
  • See = kite
  • Seven = ʻitu, itu
  • And you? = E koe?
  • Four = āa, a
  • What’s your name? = Ko ‘ai tou ingoa?
  • Ten = ngaʻuru
  • Two = rua




The locals are very religious, especially on the island of Aitutaki, which has the highest church density in the world with 20 churches and 2000 inhabitants. On Sunday mornings, people meet at church services. On some islands there are no flights on Sundays. Although the Cook Islanders were Christianized, the original culture lives on actively. Especially the dances and costumes are still very well maintained.

55% of the population belong to the Cook Islands Christian Church (Protestant), 17% are Roman Catholic. There are also some Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as followers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Assembly of God, and the Apostolic Church.

Social rules of conduct

General: On the Cook Islands, the clocks tick a little slower, the islanders are not in a hurry. The residents are still strongly integrated into traditional extended families and island communities, this is especially true for the people on the remote outer islands.

Manners: The locals are very relaxed, open and hospitable. One speaks quickly by first name. Invitations to private homes are common. It is considered impolite to overtake scooter drivers.

Clothing: Casual, casual clothing is acceptable everywhere. Women mostly wear skirts. Swimwear belongs on the beach. Women are expected to wear clothes to church or social events, and a hat is also recommended. Men wear long trousers and a short-sleeved shirt on these occasions.


Best travel time

Hot all year round, trade winds moderate the temperatures. Most of the rain falls on Rarotonga, the northern atolls are drier. The coolest months are from June to August. Most precipitation falls in the warm season from November to March.


Area code +682 Area (km2) 237 Population 9,838 Population density (per km2) 42 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 998

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