You can travel on for ten thousand miles, and still stay where you are
— Harry Chapin, 1942 - 1981
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Cook Islands

Background

Cook Islands

Named after Captain COOK, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand; in 1965, residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. The emigration of skilled workers to New Zealand and government deficits are continuing problems.

About

The Cook Islands are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand, located in Polynesia, in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, between French Polynesia (Society Islands) to the east and Tonga to the west. It is an archipelago with 15 islands spread out over 2.2 million sq. km of ocean. Though quite far, there's no known land between the Cook Islands and Antarctica.

With the same time zone and latitude (disregarding north and south) as Hawaii, the islands are sometimes thought of as "Hawaii down under". Though smaller, it reminds some elderly visitors of Hawaii before statehood without all the large tourist hotels and other development.

Read more about Cook Islands in our Cook Islands travel guide »

Featured journals from

Cook Islands

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but you might be interested in journals from these countries:
American Samoa, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna

Featured hotels in

Cook Islands

Cook IslandsTe Vakaroa Villas 

Ara Tapu (Main Road)
Muri Beach
Rarotonga
Cook Islands

Price (US$): $615 - $616 / night

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Location. Te Vakaroa Villas is located on the beach in Rarotonga, close to Muri Beach and Tikioki Marine Sanctuary. Other points of interest are National Museum of the Cook Islands and Cook Island Christian Church. Property Features. Te Vakaroa Villas's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Room service is available during limited hours. The villa serves a complimentary continental breakfast each morning in the room. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a spa tub. Spa amenities… more »

Cook IslandsSea Change Villas 

Titikaveka
Rarotonga
Cook Islands

Price (US$): $463 - $716 / night

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Location. Sea Change Villas is located on the beach in Rarotonga, close to Tikioki Marine Sanctuary and Muri Beach. Other points of interest are Puaikura Beach and Aro'a Beach. Resort Features. Recreational amenities include complimentary bicycles. Wireless Internet access (surcharge) is available in public areas. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves continental breakfasts each morning in the room (surcharges apply). Self parking is complimentary. Wedding… more »

Cook IslandsCrown Beach Resort & Spa 

Rarotonga Ring-Road, Arorangi
Sunset Coast Rarotonga
Rarotonga
Cook Islands

Price (US$): $426 - $669 / night

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Location. Crown Beach Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Rarotonga's Arorangi neighborhood, close to Aro'a Beach, National Stadium, and Puaikura Beach. Other points of interest are Para O Tane Palace and Cook Island Christian Church. Hotel Features. Dining options at Crown Beach Resort & Spa include 3 restaurants. A beach bar and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary hot and cold buffet breakfast each morning… more »

Cook IslandsPacific Resort Aitutaki 

Amuri
Aitutaki
Cook Islands

Price (US$): $828 - $1582 / night

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Location. Pacific Resort Aitutaki is located on the beach in Aitutaki's Arutanga neighborhood, close to Aitutaki Golf Club. Regional points of interest also include One Foot Island Beach. Resort Features. In addition to 2 restaurants, Pacific Resort Aitutaki offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant.… more »

Cook IslandsPacific Resort Rarotonga 

790 Avarua, Muri Beach
Rarotonga
Cook Islands

Price (US$): $334 - $581 / night

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Location. Pacific Resort Rarotonga is located on the beach in Rarotonga, close to Muri Beach and Tikioki Marine Sanctuary. Other points of interest are National Museum of the Cook Islands and Cook Island Christian Church. Hotel Features. In addition to 2 restaurants, Pacific Resort Rarotonga offers a coffee shop/café and a grocery/convenience store. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves a complimentary continental breakfast each… more »

Browse more hotels in Cook Islands »

Cook Islands

Capital
Avarua
Location

Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

21 14 S, 159 46 W

Area comparative

1.3 times the size of Washington, DC

Coastline

120 km

Climate

tropical oceanic; moderated by trade winds; a dry season from April to November and a more humid season from December to March

Terrain

low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Te Manga 652 m

Natural resources

NEGL

Population

11,488 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Cook Island Maori (Polynesian) 87.7%, part Cook Island Maori 5.8%, other 6.5% (2001 census)

Religions

Cook Islands Christian Church 55.9%, Roman Catholic 16.8%, Seventh-Day Adventists 7.9%, Church of Latter Day Saints 3.8%, other Protestant 5.8%, other 4.2%, unspecified 2.6%, none 3% (2001 census)

Languages

English (official), Maori

Government type

self-governing parliamentary democracy

Independence

none (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)

National holiday

Constitution Day, first Monday in August (1965)

Chief of state

Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) represented by Sir Frederick GOODWIN (since 9 February 2001); New Zealand High Commissioner Linda TE PUNI (since 3 June 2010)

Head of government

Prime Minister Henry PUNA (since 30 November 2010)

Internet country code

.ck

Internet users

6,000 (2009)

Airports

10 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Avatiu

Other countries in the region