Cook Islands - Restrictions

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Cyclone season:

Cruising yachts are not allowed to remain in the islands during the cyclone season, which is from November to March. Harbour masters in Rarotonga and Aitutaki may not even let transiting yachts stay overnight in port during the cyclone season.

Suwarrow:

The Cook Islands National Environment Service is the administrator of the Islands of Suwarrow. All vessels sailing to Suwarrow must request permission to visit first. See the Suwarrow Clearance section for full details of how to apply.

Suwarrow Island is free of rats and yachts are requested to be vigilant that they do not bring any rats or mice to Suwarrow. The island is a key biodiversity area and a very important bird breeding ground for the Pacific Islands. All yachts are requested to be sprayed for other invasives, such as fire ants before traveling to the island.

Last updated:  July 2023

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Cook Islands was last updated 1 month ago.

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  1. July 2, 2023 at 10:30 PM
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    wrayx88 says:

    Why does this information conflict with the official government site linked to in the document and where does the Noonsite information come fom. The formalities here state that there are only two ports of entry, while the government site shows 8 ports of entry. The Cook Island Port authority also agrees with the Cook Island government site. Is this outdate Covid information?

    1. July 3, 2023 at 7:12 PM
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      Sue Richards says:

      Dear Wray,

      Firstly, thanks for joining Noonsite and for making contact with us.

      When reviewing formalities for any country, please take a look at the “last updated” date. Each clearance section has this. You will see the Cooks were updated last month.

      All our formalities are checked with official sources. Official websites can often be out of date, very much the case with the Cooks. We always verify with the authorities themselves to get the latest “from the horses mouth”.

      The Cooks Islands Customs department confirmed with us just last month that only 2 ports of entry are open for small craft at this time – full details in the Formalities section – https://www.noonsite.com/place/cook-islands/view/clearance/.

      Of course, information does go out of date quickly and things are always changing, so do drop us a line if you want to double check information on the site at any time.

      And it goes without saying, that a quick email, or posting a comment on the country page, to confirm the formalities were as outlined on Noonsite (or not, should this the be the case), is a HUGE help for us.

      If I can be of further assistance – just let me know.
      Sue

  2. June 16, 2023 at 8:27 PM
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    Sue Richards says:

    Palmerston Island Government with its multi-agency partners will be implementing a rat eradication project in July and August 2023. The bait laying phase of the project will take place during the month of August and the Palmerston Island Government has imposed a restriction on visitors to Palmerston during this month. Ships and sailing vessels (small crafts) are restricted from calling into Palmerston during this period until the restriction is lifted.

  3. May 30, 2023 at 10:14 AM
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    Sue Richards says:

    It is no longer possible to clear into the Southern Cook Islands at Palmerston Island. All yachts must first clear at an official port of entry before proceeding to Palmerston. Landing fees on the island have also increased from NZ$5 to NZ$10 per person. Cruisers should also note that Suwar-row in the Northern Cook Islands is closed until June 1st, 2023.

  4. April 23, 2023 at 8:35 AM
    Lynda Lim says:

    From Brent Crack and Mary Bevan:

    The people of Rarotonga are so friendly and welcoming. Feels much like Rapa Nui or Pitcairn. Bananas have already been delivered without being asked for.

    The yachting facilities/infrastructure absolutely sucks. They are not set up in any way for us. Oh well.

    We had planned to stay longer but have a weather window straight to New Zealand so we will leave today.

  5. October 18, 2021 at 10:53 PM
    nelson-mitchellusa-net says:

    AITUTAKI. Dredging has started to improve the entrance and Channel to the harbour. When finished, it will be 5m deep and 15m wide. The south and north basin either side of the wharf, will be 4m deep. The north basin will be for visitors. The south basin will provide space for local boats and visitors. Initially, visitors will anchor and tie back. When funds are available, moorings and shore facilities wil be provided.
    The Cook Islands Ministry of Transport and sports and Tourism will publish correct marine information relating to access as more details are known mid-2022.