Cook Islands, a voyage of discovery to the paradise of New Zealand Polynesia

Spend a few days in a private villa or have a unique experience in a Robinson Crusoe-style cabin, away from everyone and on a pristine beach? In the Cook Islands, all this is possible: we take you on a tour of this New Zealand Polynesian paradise, an icon of exclusivity in travel.

One only has to step off the plane at Rarotonga International Airport to be greeted by a smiling ‘Kia Orana’ and be projected into the quiet of an unspoiled paradise, complete with white sand beaches, blue lagoons and verdant mountains. New Zealand Polynesia is an ideal extension of a trip to Australia and New Zealand, but also from Tahiti and Hawaii, decidedly less obvious but possible combinations, thanks to convenient air connections.

Cook Islands
One Foot Island, Aitutaki, Cook Islands – Ph. Matteo Colombo

Hard to imagine? We are here to provide you with a clear picture of the endless possibilities that the Cook Islands offer to make your unique journey, whether you are on a honeymoon, with a group of friends, whether yours is a trip once-in-a-lifetime or a brief escape granted by your Working Holiday Visa, with whom you are carrying out a work experience in Australia or New Zealand.

Cook Islands, a thousand different vacations in one trip

We start right from there, from the countries down under: for those who wish to enrich a trip to Australia with a stay in New Zealand Polynesia where irrepressible admiration in the presence of enchanting lagoons is complemented by authentic culture and nature experiences, there is a convenient Sydney-Rarotonga direct flight which departs in the evening and arrives in the morning of the same day (you practically gain a day by crossing the international date line!). A few more concrete ideas can be provided by this proposal from Quality Group.

Even more natural, is the extension from New Zealand: the Cook Islands lie exactly halfway between this country and Hawaii. From volcanoes, fjords, geysers and whales, to Eden, in the beautiful paradise of the volcanic Cook Islands, on white sandy beaches, clear water and coral reefs all around you. Flights are daily from Auckland with New Zealand or Jetstar to Rarotonga. Just under 4 hours of travel time and you will have found your ideal place on Earth! In this case, Alidays ‘ proposals are perfect for discovering the two countries.

Cook Islands

To get your fill of Polynesia, however, the most spontaneous extension is from Tahiti: from French Polynesia to New Zealand Polynesia, the step is a very short one: 2.30 flight with Air Tahiti or Air Rarotonga for a cultural leap though, incredible. From Rarotonga, an internal flight transports you to the beautiful white beaches of Aitutaki that you will immediately compare to those of Bora Bora. What will be your coup de coeur?

Finally, a decidedly more imaginative proposal linking the U.S. to the Cooks via Hawaii. You have never thought about it, have you? Yet, with Hawaiian Airlines you can fly from LA and San Francisco to Rarotonga via Honolulu! If that seems impossible, find inspiration in Creo Travel’s travel program.

Other themed travel suggestions come from Naar or you can find inspiration here.

Cook Islands, where dreaming is possible

New Zealand Polynesia is in itself is an exclusive destination: the remote islands in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, are the epitome of the purest exoticism; a true refuge, taking us to a dimension so far away, so genuine, so unique.

Cook Islands
Ph. Julius Silver

It is certainly true, then, that everything here has a special flavor, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, although, sophistication, in these parts, is not really felt: disconnection, purity and peace are the essence of luxury in the Cook Islands. And to enjoy it 100%, it is worth renting a private villa with the best sea view, five-star amenities, spa, swimming pool and fully equipped kitchen.

Some of these villas are located on the main island of Rarotonga, such as Waterfoot House and Red Sunset Villa; from the latter for example, it is even possible to see whales swimming, and to spend evenings in the simple beauty of sunsets over the Pacific Ocean amid swaying palms.

Red Sunset VIlla, Cook Islands
Red Sunset Villa

The lagoon with coral reefs are a perfect location for swimming, snorkeling, paddling or, most importantly, exercising and amplifying all the senses.

In addition to the impressive private villas that allow you to rest during a dream honeymoon, the Cook Islands are home to a multitude of nooks and crannies where you can say “yes” in a special way, whether it’s a secluded beach at sunset, a serene whitewashed coral church or a private islet adorned with tropical flowers.

Living like Robinson Crusoe

Another way to enjoy the peace and quiet of this paradise is to move to the uninhabited One Foot Island, a private island bathed by the turquoise waters of Aitutaki. For a Robinson Crusoe-like stay, choose McBirney’s House, a two-story cabin complete with shower/toilet, kitchenette and spacious terrace, beds equipped with mattresses. Nothing else.

Since no one lives permanently on this island, except for a few night landings by local fishermen and cruise ship excursions, be prepared for total isolation and relaxation .

Directly overlooking the lagoon, this distinctive property is nestled among palm trees, pristine white sand beaches with exceptional views of islands or motu off the lagoon.

The most exclusive Cook Islands

If the level of exclusivity described so far is not enough, set out to discover that New Zealand Polynesia, which goes beyond the most popular destinations. In particular, the Southern Islands, exotic, hospitable, unspoiled and outspoken, they are a little paradise on earth to be unveiled, intimate and secret: A partially unexplored corner of the Pacific, the tranquility and exoticism of a nature sanctuary that has many treasures yet to be revealed, pearl-white beaches, crystal-clear waters, unparalleled hospitality and nothing to think about.

Pa Enua’ in the local language is the expression that encompasses all the islands of the archipelago excluding Rarotonga; ‘Pa Enua’ is the expression we adopt, to launch us on a discovery of Mangaia, Atiu, Mauke, Mitiaro, Manuae and Takutea all forming part of the Southern Islands of the New Zealand Polynesia Archipelago, together with the well-known Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

Cook Islands Aitutaki Resort
Aitutaki Resort – Ph. David Kirkland

These small and remote islands, are ancient coral atolls that host a handful of tourists each year.Over all-inclusive resorts and luxury stays, warm hospitality, untouched and priceless natural settings, and absolute harmony with the surrounding environment and local people win out here. In short, if you are looking for privacy, serenity and adventure, as well as a dream destination, you will find it here.

Cook Islands

Mangaia is by far the oldest island in the Cooks and one of the oldest in the South Pacific, a geological history that can already be felt as you land in the center of the makatea terraces (fossilized, raised corals). Explore the ancient coral atoll, from the highest peaks to the depths of the caves, the last of which hides glittering limestone and the preserved remains of Mangaian ancestors.

Deserted beaches and simple, generous hospitality round out the destination’s offerings.

Flights to the Cook Islands

Cook Islands airline connections map
The Cook Islands are easily accessible from many destinations

The main airlines flying to Rarotonga/Cook Islands are: Air New Zealand and Jetstar with daily flights from Auckland (3h40), Jetstar 4 times a week from Sydney (5h50), Air Tahiti and Air Rarotonga from Papeete/Tahiti biweekly (2h50) and Hawaiian Airlines weekly from Honolulu (6h25). The domestic airline is Air Rarotonga with multi-day connections to Aitutaki and multiweekly connections to the other islands.


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