Cook Islands - Need to Know

Where in the world are the Cook Islands!?

Lying in the very centre of the Polynesian range, the Cook Islands consists of 15 islands and their individual beauty sprinkled over 2 million squared kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. Unsurpassed in natural magnificence, the Cook Islands have been a favorite South Pacific destination known for its relaxed atmosphere and little hype.

The People

Being a British dominion, Christian is the main religion and is widely spread throughout the islands, with Sunday being a rest day. The locals speak Cook Islands Maori although English is common. 18,000 people settle in the Cook Islands, although the islands attract nearly 100,000 visitors each year.

The Islands are largely unspoilt by tourism. The locals are such friendly people and here you will get to know everyone by name, the people are stress-free and very hospitable.

The Land

Rarotonga is the youngest island to emerge from the volcanic atoll, therefore the scenic features haven’t become weather worn like her sister islands. Razorback ridges and rugged cliffs meet mountains covered with jungle and running streams. Rarotonga is the Cooks Islands capital city and hosts the international airport.

The Sky

The year sees temperatures sitting above 25 degrees, with the warmest season being summer which extends from November to April and reaches about 30 degrees. January to early May is the wet season but the rain usually only lasts for about half an hour before its bright and sunny again.

The Sea

Cook Island beaches have pretty much put the nation on the Map. Beach seekers and the like have been tantalized by the serene tropical waters of The Cook islands,her powdery beaches and crystal lagoons. Snorkelers and divers are very well catered for, as the coral reefs that surround the islands are just waiting to be explored. Palms sway in the fragrant breeze and the ocean tickles the shore, which has been until now, a long kept secret.

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Getting around the Cook Islands

Getting around Rarotonga is quite easy as the island is only 32kms in circumference, two buses run around the circuit, one operating clockwise, and the other anti clockwise, both depart on the hour from Cooks Corner. A great way to see the sights of Rarotonga. The Cooks aren’t really a shoppers delight, although Saturdays are market days, and you can pick up little souvenirs for the family back home. Black pearls are great buys, prices range from NZ $50 – NZ $20,000! Sarongs and island t-shirts will be found everywhere, along with assortments of knick knacks and carvings.

Whilst you're there

Electricity voltage is 240 so you won’t need a converter or adaptor. In some cases the hotel uses a two prong connector which may require you to hire one from the hotel. Driving is on the left hand side of the road, and before hiring a car or motorbike, you must obtain a licence for about NZ $25 which also makes a great souvenir, you will only have to show your current licence or have a practical test.

Duty Free

You can take from duty free: 200 cigarettes or 1 kg of Tobacco, 2 litres of spirits or 4 litres of beer.

Legal Information

I really like the idea of the Cook Islands so is it possible to get married legally in the Cooks?

There are a number of questions relating to bride, groom, parents of bride & groom and witnesses, which need to be answered. These questions are detailed on our booking application which you will receive once you have a booking in place and submitted once you have decided on the preferred date and place for your wedding.

  • Couple must be 21 years of age or over. Anyone under the legal age must have a written consent of their parents or legal guardians.
  • Couples must apply for their wedding license 3 working days prior to their ceremony
  • Passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Divorce Papers if previously married
  • Death certificate of previous spouse (if applicable)

Note: All above documentation must be written in English. If any documentation is not in English you must have the applicable document translated into English.

Couples must apply for their wedding license 3 working days prior to the day of their wedding ceremony. Most of the Cooks wedding package will incorporate transfers to the Registry and your Wedding Co-ordinator at your destination will assist you with the paperwork and process. This requirement may be waived by the Registrar upon request and approval, the waiver fee is NZD$55.00 (AUD$50.

View all Wedding Destinations in Cook Islands