GETTING AROUND

Air, sea and land travel in the Cook Islands

Photo: Cook Islands Tourism/Manine Lych

Air travel has opened up the islands like never before, but it's quite costly. Ships are still an important lifeline, particularly for the outer islands, but their irregular schedules mean that few tourists have the time to use them. This page is just giving a few pointers about getting around and the practicalities of that

BY AIR

Air Rarotonga is the sole internal airline and operates services to eight of the islands from its Rarotonga base. Prior to the pandemic they also ran a Northern atolls adventure tour taking in Penrhyn, Manihiki and Pukapuka but it's not operating at the moment.

If you're pushed for time, I would strongly recommend the day trip to Aitutaki. It includes flights, of course, a tour of the island and a boat trip to some of the motus in the lagoon, complete with on board barbecue. It's not cheap at around NZ$600 but it's an experience you'll rem
ember for a lifetime. I promise!  

EXPLORING THE OUTER ISLANDS

Islands served by Air Rarotonga from its base on the capital island are Aitutaki, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke, Mangaia, Manihiki and Pukapuka. There's also a service to Penrhyn but this is operated on a charter only basis

BY SEA

Only one shipping company currently operates services between the islands and it's a cargo service,  with very limited space for passengers, although vessels do sail from other ports. Details are published daily in Cook Islands News. Remember that if you're going to some of the outer islands, it could be many weeks or even months between ships. ‚ÄčIf you're planning to sail to the islands on a yacht or other sea going vessel, you MUST go via the designated ports of entry: 1) Avatiu Port, Rarotonga, or  2) Arutanga Port, Aitutaki. Note that these are subject to change. Access to deserted islands Manuae and Takutea is restricted and you could be prosecuted if you land there without permission 

If you're a 'yachtie' I recommend a look at the Cook Islands pages in noonsite.com for specialist information for the cruising community.

Click here to visit the noonsite pages

TAKING THE 10 MINUTE TOUR?

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