A "How To Get There" Guide
The unspoiled beauty of the Cook Islands is in no small part due to their remoteness.  But that doesn't mean they're isolated from the rest of the world.   With a bit of careful planning, they are accessible from wherever you live.  All flights are to the capital island, Rarotonga.  If you want to visit the other islands, click here for information on internal travel by land, sea and air.


FROM AUSTRALIA
THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO SERVICES

Jetstar, which used to fly in competition with Air New Zealand before the pandemic says it can't restart operations because Australia is not going to be in the "bubble" (but see above for plans to operate out of New Zealand) 

Prior to lockdown, Air New Zealand operated a direct flight from Sydney to Rarotonga. It departed Sydney at 9:15 pm on Friday crossing the international dateline and arriving in Rarotonga at 6.25 am on the same day. The return flight left on Thursday  at 3.15 pm arriving in Sydney at 7.20 pm on Friday. The journey time is around 7 hours.  As this flight was heavily subsidised by the Cook Islands government, its future could be in doubt.  It can't operate at all right now because the USA is not in a travel bubble with the Islands. Virgin Australia, which also used to have direct flights has ceased operations completely.






FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD
Travel to and from the Islands from anywhere other than New Zealand is not allowed at the moment. And because there are strict controls on who can enter New Zealand, I'm afraid a visit isn't possible....but you can still plan!

The best advice for those wanting to visit the islands from anywhere else in the world once travel restrictions are lifted is to contact your travel agent or favourite airline.  If you're planning a round the world trip with the Cook Islands on your itinerary,  one option is the Star Alliance which includes Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Asiana Airlines.  RTW tickets offer substantial savings over what you would pay if you booked each flight separately. 




FROM THE USA AND CANADA 
THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO SERVICES

Prior to the pandemic, Air New Zealand had a direct flight from Los Angeles to Rarotonga every Saturday, typically taking about nine and a half hours. It departed LAX at 1130 pm arriving in Raro at 0600 on the Sunday. The return service was at 1159 pm on Friday, arriving back in LAX at 1210 pm on Saturday





FROM NEW ZEALAND
The islands are most easily reached from New Zealand. 




SOME OTHER PAGES YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS    INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL   EVENTS CALENDAR
Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com
Top of the page
Bookmark and Share
Sign or read my guest book
Love the Cook Islands on Facebook
Email the website author
Site visitor survey
It takes just under 4 hours outbound and just over four and a half hours on the return leg if you depart from Auckland. Remember also that you'll "gain" a day on the outward journey as you cross the international dateline. But of course, you "lose" that day again when you go back.

Air New Zealand are now taking bookings for flights between Auckland and Rarotonga and plan to operate two to three a week from 17 May (NZ time). Daily services are expected to resume in July.

Low cost Australian carrier, Jetstar is planning to operate flights from New Zealand starting in October. It's hoping its first service from Auckland will be on 16th and from Rarotonga on 19th. It's aiming to offer one way flights priced between NZ$169 and NZ$253, undercutting Air New Zealand.



Cook Islands locaiton map
Updated May 17 ,2021
THE COOK ISLANDS BORDER IS NOW OPEN. Two way quarantine-free travel between Rarotonga and New Zealand is now available, subject to visitors meeting strict controls. Find out more here

Plans for direct flights to Rarotonga from Wellington and Christchurch are now on hold. The New Zealand businessman behind a new airline, Pasifika Air has decided the time isn't right to launch his service

Click here to return to title page
Jetstar plane
Travellers will need to spend 14 days covid-free in the Islands or New Zealand before starting their journey. There are full details on the Air New Zealand website here