Type the words "Cook Islands" into Google and you'll get millions of sites...and it feels sometimes like I've visited all of them! The purpose of this page is to suggest some of the most interesting and useful sites. None has paid for a mention. If you've got a site which you think belongs in this list, send me an email. Note that ONLY links relevant to the Cook Islands will be considered and all must be "family friendly". Any other requests will be ignored. All links on this page open in a new window or tab
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The government still seems to be getting to grips with the internet and some of their many sites are still pretty dull and basic, but they're improving rapidly. That said, they're still a good place to go if you're after specialist information. And some are definitely worth a browse. The main site will tell you who's who in government, has a potted history of the Islands, details of overseas representatives and some essential facts and information.
Definitely recommended is the Ministry of Cultural Development site which has lots of pictures and information about events including the annual constitution celebrations in July/early August. The National Environment Service has some interesting pages about its work and the protected areas of the islands. Also worth a look are the statistics office (census reports, tourism figures, the consumer price index etc and a great picture of the staff) and the Business Trade Investment Board (what you need to know if you're thinking of setting up in business in the Islands).
The Rimatara lorikeet is among the incredible array of plant and animal life in the Islands and it's included in what I think is one of the most amazing pieces of work on the internet.
The Biodiversity website is thanks to one man - Gerald McCormack of Rarotonga - who has meticulously documented over 4,000 species. And he thinks there's still at least 3,000 more to go! Fascinating to browse, even if you just look at the wonderful pictures which are mostly Gerald's own work. Start searching here
British born, Penelope has lived in Rarotonga since 1984 and is using her hobby of videoing to capture life in the Cook Islands. And she does it brilliantly with some beautifully shot films and informative accompanying notes. This is a "must visit. Click here
If it's truly fantastic photos you're after, take a look at Marcus Glenig's collection He's kindly allowed me to use some of them on this site. Marcus lives in Rarotonga, and as well as capturing the beauty of his home island and its people, there are also some great shots from the least visited places in the Cooks group. The picture here is his of One Foot Island in the Aitutaki lagoon
The Cook Islands News is the "must read" in the Islands. But if you're elsewhere in the world, the on line edition is updated 6 days a week and you can trust its reporting which is amazingly comprehensive. Their Facebook page is also worth following. The paper has recently put some of its content behind a paywall but a lot is still free.
The Islands' other newpapers are the Cook Islands Herald and its sister publication, the Cook Islands Times. The on line editon is well out of date, but the newspaper sometimes publishes a weekly edition on Facebook (search for Cook Islands Times). It's well worth a visit, if only to read "Chooks Corner" (all the gossip that isn't fit to print!)
Radio Cook Islands is, to say the least, quirky but fascinating to tune into. It reaches all of the islands and is a much valued service. The news bulletins are in English and Cook Islands Maori and the music will give you a real taste of the Islands. Right now its broadcast over the internet is only available via TuneIn Radio (and you need to be Australia, New Zealand or using a VPN service which can provide an IP address from there). But the station posts stories on its Facebook page
Cook Islands Television is no BBC or US network type operation, but it does a great job none the same. Watch its reports on Facebook. If you're visiting the islands, make a point of watching the very low budget adverts and the weather forecast! All that said, I recommend both for their fantastic work.
The only internal airline. Search timetables, book flights and also have a look at some great pictures and videos
TOURISM DEPARTMENT Full of photos, information and ideas. Disappointing lack of detail about the remote outer islands
AITUTAKI'S OWN WEBSITE Full of great pictures and information about the second most visited (and must visit) island
COOK'S ISLAND BUS No the apostrophe isn't in the wrong place. Timetables and more for Cook's Bus. Just decide it you're going to travel clockwise or anti-clockwise round Rarotonga