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 there are strict controls on who can enter New Zealand with quarantine requirements if you are allowed in ...but that doesn't stop you planning.

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. Round the World tickets tickets offer substantial savings over what you would pay if you booked each flight separately and the Cook Islands can be included in some of those tickets




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. The service was subsidised by the Cook Islands government who are clearly hoping it will start up again as they've set aside NZ$6 million to support it. But currently travel from the USA and Canada is prohibited





SOME OTHER PAGES YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS    INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL   EVENTS CALENDAR
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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 operating six flights a week between Auckland and Rarotonga and hope to resume a daily service soon.

Low cost Australian carrier, Jetstar has suspended plans to fly from Auckland until 28 March, 2022. It was hoping to operate flights from New Zealand from December, 2021 but the absence of a travel "bubble" with Australia means it's abandoned the idea.
Cook Islands locaiton map
THE COOK ISLANDS BORDER IS CLOSED. Two way quarantine-free travel between Rarotonga and New Zealand has been suspended. The government will review the situation again on 30 September.  In more detail
Plans for direct flights to Rarotonga from Wellington and Christchurch have now been scrapped. The New Zealand businessman behind a new airline, Pasifika Air has decided the time isn't right to launch his service

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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

FROM NEW ZEALAND
The islands are most easily reached from New Zealand and at the moment, only Air New Zealand is operating services.