Here are some answers to frequently asked questions we get about a holiday in the Cook Islands.
What is the weather like?
If you are able to travel to the Cook Islands anytime between January and December, then that is perfect as the Cook Islands enjoy a pleasant warm and sunny climate all year round. June to August are slightly cooler months, November to March marks the warmer season, with occasional tropical showers. The drier months, from April to November, average 26°C. The warmer, more humid and damp season is from December to March, with temperatures ranging between 22°C (min) and 30°C (max).
What is the minimum legal age to drive in the Cook Islands?
You have to be at least 16 years or older and hold a current and valid Driver’s License in order to drive in the Cook Islands.
International visitors (over 16 years) can now drive in the Cook Islands for up to six months using their full overseas licence, provided it does not expire, is revoked, suspended or disqualified in that time. On an overseas licence, you will only be allowed to drive the class of motor vehicle that you are entitled to drive in your home country. The overseas licence must be in English or a certified translation provided.
Is it possible to hire a scooter?
Absolutely! Hiring your own scooter whilst you are in the Cook Islands is so much fun. Scooters can be hired for as little as NZ$15 a day. If you have a motorcycle class on your overseas license, you do not need to take a test to acquire a Cook Islands Licence, you just need to pay NZ$20 at the police station, where you will be issued your visitor license. The visitors licenses are only valid for 31 days.
If you do not have a motorcycle class on your license and would like to hire a scooter during your visit, you will need to undergo a driving test at the Cook Islands Police Station in downtown Avarua.
Please note that you need to present 2 forms of ID when applying for your visitors license; current valid license from you home country and your passport.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
Yes. As of 5 October 2016, all visitors on a visitor’s driver's licence must wear a safety helmet while travelling on a motorcycle in Rarotonga. This is compulsory for Rarotonga only and does not apply to visitors driving a motorcycle in the outer islands. We urge all visitors to comply with this new law for your own safety and to avoid any fines from the Cook Islands Police.
Can I hire a car?
If you are wanting to move around the island more independently, hiring a car in the Cook Islands is simple. Car hire fees start from as low as NZ$40 a day and if you have a full over overseas drivers license, you do not need to apply for a Cook Islands license. On an overseas licence, you will only be allowed to drive the class of motor vehicle that you are entitled to drive in your home country.
What currency is used in the Cook Islands?
The Cook Islands unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar, supplemented by local notes and coins. The unique local coins and notes are not negotiable outside of the Cook Islands, but are keenly sought by collectors worldwide.
ANZ, Bank of the South Pacific (BSP) and the Bank Cook Islands (BCI) are located in downtown Avarua. Open Monday-Friday from 9am-3pm. BSP in Avarua is also open from 9am-12 noon on Saturdays.
ATMs are conveniently located around Rarotonga and Aitutaki and EFTPOS is available at most hotels and stores. Western Union has an office in Avarua offering money exchange and transfers.
What are the entry requirements for the Cook Islands?
When you come to the Cook Islands, a valid passport and a return ticket will allow you a stay of up to 31 days. New Zealand citizens are eligible for a 90-day stay on arrival.
For more information feel free to contact us or visit the Cook Islands Tourism