How to get to Cook Islands

By | May 4, 2022


Fifteen sandy spots in the South Pacific, the Cook Islands invite you to a single pleasure: soaking up the sun and crystal clear waters on a pristine beach. Those who want to go straight to the best beaches should head to Muri Lagoon and Titikavek. Although the Cook Islands cover a huge area, few people live here and it is not difficult to find a secluded spot. Some islands, such as Rarotonga (where there is an international airport) and Aitutaki, have a number of hotel complexes. Mountainous Rarotonga also has plenty of lush green scenery to offer. See other countries in Oceania on hyperrestaurant.

Getting there

Arriving by plane

Air New Zealand (NZ), Qantas (QF), United Airlines (UA), Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Jetstar (JQ) fly to the Cook Islands from Auckland (New Zealand). Each in cooperation with Air New Zealand (NZ) fly to the Cook Islands: – Lufthansa (LH) from Frankfurt/M. and Swiss (LX) from Zurich via Los Angeles and Auckland and – Austrian Airlines (OS) via Shanghai and Auckland.

Flight times

Frankfurt/M. – Rarotonga: 38 hrs 30 mins; Zurich – Rarotonga: 35 hrs 35 mins; Vienna – Rarotonga: 35 hours 25 minutes (each including 2 stops)

Departure fee

Approx. €33 (NZ$55) from the age of 13 (already included in the fare).

Arrival by ship

Rarotonga is served by international cruise ships. Private boats and yachts can dock at Avatiu Harbour; however, berths are severely limited. Information is available from the Harbor Master of the Ports Authority in Rarotonga (tel. +682 219 21).

Cruise ships

Phoenix, AIDA and TransOcean dock in Rarotonga on their world cruises that start in Hamburg.


Traveling by plane

Air Rarotonga (GZ) flies regularly to 9 of the 15 islands: Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Mauke, Mitiaro, Penrhyn, Pukapuka and Rarotonga. The airline also offers day trips to Aitutaki and Rarotonga sightseeing flights, among others. Flights can also be chartered.

Traveling by car/bus

There are two roads on Rarotonga; the Ara Tapu sealed ring road, which runs past beaches and through villages; and the older inland road.

Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic


Condition of the roads

Only Rarotonga and Aitutaki have roads suitable for car traffic. The other islands can only be explored by bike or on foot.

Car rental

Rental cars can be booked on Rarotonga at the airport.


Taxis are available on Rarotonga and Aitutaki at the airports and on the islands.


Bicycles and scooters are very popular on all islands and can be rented from various companies and hotels. Advance booking is recommended.


Cook’s Island Bus operates Rarotonga clockwise every hour Mon-Sat 7am-11pm and Sun 8am-12pm and 2pm-4pm and counter-clockwise Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm and Sat 8:30am-1:30pm. The buses go to many hotels.


At the Police Station in Avarua, visitors can obtain a national driver’s license (also required for scooters) upon presentation of their own driver’s license and paying a fee. Minimum age 21 years.

How to get to Cook Islands