Wet season, December - March
Dry season, April - November
International dialing code for Aitutaki 682
Local Aitutaki radio: FM 88
Aitutaki has a triangular-shaped 'almost’ atoll rising up 4000 meters from the floor of the Pacific Ocean. It consists of three volcanic and 12 coral islets (motus)
Aitutaki measures just 20 square kilometers
The magnificent lagoon of Aitutaki measures 45 kms in circumference and is approx 3-25ft deep
Rarotonga is the international entry point for the Cook Islands. From Rarotonga international airport Cook Islands carrier Air Rarotonga flies to most of the outer Islands
The Cook Islands unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar. There are also a few local coins and notes that are used. These unique local coins and notes are not negotiable outside of the Cook Islands but make for a great souvenir.
TAXES & TIPPING
There is a 15% vat tax on all goods and services in the Cook Islands, most places will include this in the price.
Tipping is not expected, however if you receive excellent service and want to acknowledge it, please feel free to do so.
There are many churches on Aitutaki, the locals put on an amazing performance with their singing and praising. Some churches put out food and refreshments for the tourists after the service. Aitutaki is well known for its hospitality and it really shows after the church services. Once you arrive on Aitutaki you can check with locals about times and locations of the services. Please wear appropriate clothing when attending.
Also note that the Cook Islands are mindful towards choice of clothing. Always have suitable attire in public area or when you are not on the beach.
Aitutaki gets better weather than Rarotonga, more sun and less rain. Rarotonga, with its large mountains, traps the clouds and produces considerably more precipitation and cloudiness.
Since the Cook Islands and Aitutaki are South of the equator, the seasons are opposite to those of North America and Europe. While there are no extremes in temperatures, the drier cooler season runs from April to November. The warmer, more humid season runs from December to March.
Warmth and sunshine can be enjoyed year-round in the Cook Islands. Severe weather is rare and infrequent, so bring a lightweight jacket or windbreaker just in case it rains during your stay.
Vehicles are driven on the left hand side of the road.
The maximum road speed limit is 40km/h in the town and villages. Drivers of all vehicles are required to have a current Cook Islands Drivers License, which can be obtained from the Police Station.
The Cook Islands asks you to be sensible when on our roads.
In many areas, we do not have footpaths so please make sure that you stay on the grassy verges of the roadside. Please do not walk on the road. At night, please ensure you are visible when walking on the roadside. If possible, take a torch or wear something that will glow in the dark. When cycling the same rules apply. Please do not speed on our roads. And remember, never drink and drive.
Voltage is 220 AC/50 cycle, the same as Australia and New Zealand.
In some cases a two pin adaptor may be required.
Northern Hemisphere travelers will need adaptor plugs suited for New Zealand to use dual-voltage appliances, such as hairdryers.
All laptop computers will work on 115 volts or 220 volts so all you need is the 2 pin adapter to plug into the local receptacle
The main point of entry to The Cook Islands is Rarotonga International Airport.
This is a fully functional airport, operating since 1974, catering to the increased tourist numbers arriving each year.
Stays of up to 31 days require a valid passport and a return ticket. Adequate financial means of supporting stay, and suitable accommodation. Extensions are granted on a monthly basis - up to three additional months only. Children under 15 years of age are exempt from charges but must report to Immigration for official paperwork to be completed.
For those wanting to stay in the Cook Islands longer than 6 months, you must apply for a visa from your home territory, prior to their arrival in the Cook Islands.
For further information contact the Department of Immigration, phone (+6829) 29347.
COOK ISLANDS HISTORY
An islands group of the southern Pacific Ocean southeast of Samoa. Probably first inhabited by Polynesians more than 1,500 years ago, the Cook islands were sighted by Captain James Cook in 1773. They are now self-governing under the sovereignty of New Zealand.
In 1773, Captain James Cook sighted Manuae atoll which he named Hervey Island. On a later voyage he discovered Palmerston, Takutea, Mangaia, and Atiu.
The Cook Islands are made up of 15 distinct islands, a Northern group and a Southern Group. Rarotonga is the capital of the Cook islands. The islands of the Cook group have a total land area of about 92 sq. miles, scattered over a vast 2 million square kilometer area of South Pacific Ocean.
A former British protectorate, the Cook Islands became a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand on August 4, 1965. This day is now celebrated as Constitution Day.
An informative website to read from would be the Cook Island Tourism website. With C.I.T live chat, you wont ever have to stress about being unprepared for your trip. The Cook Island people are very easy to approach speaking fluent english and are always happy to help you along your way.