Cook Islands - Profile
- The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands, spread over an area of over half a million square miles of ocean. The Southern Group, of which Rarotonga is the main island, also comprises Aitutaki, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke and Mangaia. These are high and fertile and most of the 18,500 inhabitants live there.
- The Northern Group are the low coral atolls of Penrhyn, Manihiki, Rakahanga, Pukapuka, Nassau and Suwarrow, which is a national park. Also part of the Cooks are the atolls of Manuae, Takutea and Palmerston Island.
- As most yachts sail to the Cook Islands from the east, a good time to plan one's passage is after the 14 July celebrations in Tahiti are over, as the first week of August is the time when the Cooks put on their own festivities around Constitution Day. Most of the action is in Rarotonga, but the other islands can be visited afterwards. Aitutaki is a popular stop and yachts are always assured of a warm welcome there. This is the case in all of the Cook Islands and as elsewhere in the Pacific, the more remote the island the more enthusiastic the welcome.
- Be aware that the fee structure for visiting yachts took a big price hike in 2015. See fees for more details.
December to March is rainy and also the cyclone season. Generally the climate is warm and sunny, but not too hot. During the winter, April to November, the islands are under the influence of the SE trade winds. However, sudden squalls can occur from other directions with little warning.
A useful guide to South Pacific weather resourcescomplied by a Noonsite contributor, Rory Garland.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page