Young Couple on Aitutaki Lagoon Beach, Cook Islands

Relax and Play on a Remote Getaway to the Cook Islands!

For the ultimate island relaxation retreat, skip the tourist crowds in the Caribbean and head to the Cook Islands, a tiny archipelago in the South Pacific, just southwest of Tahiti. The archipelago comprises of 15 islands in total, all of which are actually sunken volcanoes topped with coral!

For those looking to disconnect (and let’s face it, who isn’t these days?), the Cook Islands offer total peace and seclusion, ideal for an R&R getaway or a restful stopover on the way to or from New Zealand or Australia. Air New Zealand offers direct flights to and from Auckland or Sydney.

The Cook Islands is the South Pacific’s best-kept secret. The islands form a natural paradise that has largely escaped the crowds of island-hopping sun-seekers that plague other parts of the world. Each island has its own unique character, so you can experience something new at each one. Plan a totally customized Cook Islands vacation to make the most of this breathtaking destination.

The main island, Rarotonga, is surrounded by a brilliant cerulean lagoon and coral reef that extends out over 100 metres in some places from the shore. In stark contrast, inland you’ll find green vegetation-rich volcanoes, jutting up in jagged peaks. Although it’s the archipelago’s main island, Rarotonga is still very small, so you can drive around it in just a couple of hours, and it is well worth the drive. You’ll come across tiny villages and a plethora of wonderful fruits like bananas, coconuts, pineapples, and papaya. You can circumnavigate the island on its circular road by bus, or why not try renting a bicycle or motorbike to get a little closer to the land? Be sure to also check out the colourful market in its capital, Avarua, which happens every day except Sunday.

Rarotonga Reef Aerial View, Cook Islands
Aerial view of Rarotonga

Just north of Rarotonga lies Aitutaki, an even tinier island with just 2,000 inhabitants. The island’s barrier reef forms the shape of a triangle with the main island forming the top point and a scattering of smaller outcrops of land forming the left point and right side. The fertile volcanic soil on Aitutaki provides a variety of tropical fruits and vegetables – all you need for a truly remote getaway. Aitutaki also has the oldest church on the Cook Islands, where you can get a glimpse into the islands’ fascinating history.

Aerial view of Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands
Aerial view of Aitutaki Island

The People
One of the most rewarding aspects of the Cook Islands is its people. Descendants of a Polynesian way of life, the Cook Islands’ residents are warm and friendly, and will immediately welcome you to their land and their enviable way of life. That way of life is all about embracing a more relaxed pace and learning to let go of the frantic time constraints we’re used to in our daily lives. Make sure to get out and meet some locals on your trip; they will help you understand what the Cook Islands’ way of life is all about.

Some of the friendliest people on earth call the Cook Islands home
Some of the friendliest people on earth call the Cook Islands home

The Beaches
As if this archipelago couldn’t get any more magical, it’s full of pristine beaches. White, powdery sand peppers these spectacular islands, and you won’t need to fight the crowds for a coveted spot in the sun or the shade. You can spend a whole day sunbathing and lounging by the water, or get active with endless activities in the water, such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, and scuba diving. Muri Beach on the island of Rarotonga is perfect for swimming, while you can try Titikaveka and Vaimaanga for snorkelling. When you relax into the rhythm of life on the Cook Islands, you won’t want to leave.

Muri Beach, Cook Islands
Muri Beachcomber beach

Attention, Snowbirds!
Unlike other sunny destinations preferred by many snowbirds, the Cook Islands has a perfect climate year round, and you won’t find crowds no matter what season you visit. Cook Islands resorts are idyllic retreats that help you feel even more connected to the beautiful landscape around you. Bungalows and villas are the way to go on the islands, and because this little nation has so much coastline, many of the accommodations are beachfront. Many accommodations are also perfectly suited to a more extended stay of a month or two, with self-catering facilities like full kitchenettes and grocery stores close by.

Cook Islands Long Stay

Sunset Resort Exterior, Cook Islands
Exterior of the Sunset Resort
Beachfront views from suite balconies at the Palm Grove, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Beachfront views from the Palm Grove

If you’re hoping to take home a piece of this paradise, pick up a carved wooden souvenir like a mat, basket, hat, or even a ceremonial tool. You can also purchase paintings and sculptures made by local artists by which to remember your trip!

Tourist Browsing Sarongs in Market in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Browsing through sarongs in a Cook Islands market

If you’re looking to find a real retreat in the heart of winter, or any other time of year, a Cook Islands vacation is the perfect way to get rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation at your own pace in a landscape that is natural and still untouched by human hands.

To check out Cook Islands vacation packages visit us at

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Bronwyn Hodge
Bronwyn Hodge

Idyllic Islands General Manager - Growing up in a family travel business, Bronwyn has been travelling from a very young age. Her favourite experience was 3 months spent backpacking through India and Southeast Asia. She counts many countries among her ‘favourites,’ but is especially fond of Australia for its lifestyle, Cambodia for its culture and resilience, and Japan for its contrasts. She holds the proud distinction of being Goway’s only former Bollywood star – having once starred in a Coke commercial in Mumbai.

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