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Cookinseln, Bild: Darren Tierney / shutterstock

Cook Islands – The South Seas Highlight in the Pacific

It is one of the last small territories that have not yet been fully developed by mass tourism: the Cook Islands. The small archipelago, which is close to and in direct partnership with New Zealand , has only developed into an insider tip among holidaymakers in recent years. Today, adventurers, connoisseurs, backpackers and people in search of relaxation are equally drawn to the islands. This is also due to the fact that you will find a comparatively untouched nature here and the geographical situation can quickly lead to other highlights of the region such as New Zealand or Australia.

The Cook Islands – what should you know about them?

Cook Islands
Image: ChameleonsEye / shutterstock

In itself, the Cook Islands enjoy a rather unknown reputation in the world affairs. Although the 15 more or less large islands have just as chequered a history as their big siblings Australia and New Zealand, they have not received any real attention in tourism or in global politics. This is a blessing for those who set off today to explore the wonderful sandy beaches in the middle of the South Seas. The islands are located in the northwest of New Zealand and thus in the middle of the South Seas. Arrival is possible by ship and today also by light aircraft, although most holidaymakers still choose to start their journey in New Zealand.

Today, about 20,000 people live on the island. In the course of the 20th century, this number declined sharply and it was only the beginning of tourism that caused a new boom among the inhabitants. In addition to the ancient and traditional craft economy, tourism has also become one of the most important economic sectors for the island in recent years. Nevertheless, the beaches and towns are not as built-up as you might know it from other beautiful islands. The Cook Islands have maintained an almost untouched reputation to this day and the few resorts and hotels that have sprung up in recent years fit perfectly into the landscape and culture of the islands.

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How to spend a holiday in the Cook Islands?

Fishermen Cook Islands
Traditional fishermen in the Cook Islands, Image: ChameleonsEye / shutterstock

It’s perfectly normal to board ships or planes several times during your trip to the Cook Islands, as island hopping is a must if you want to explore as much of this wondrous little area as possible. In addition, many of the hotels are located on the main island of Rarotonga, while the most beautiful sandy beaches and many other sights can be found on one of the other 14 islands. The corresponding flights are offered at reasonable prices and are therefore affordable for holidaymakers who want to see more of the Cook Islands.

For example, divers should book a flight to the small island of Aitutaki quite quickly. With its waters and diverse underwater world, it is a paradise for divers and water sports enthusiasts who want to pursue their hobby in this almost surreal setting. Past rays, turtles and colorful fish, you can not only dive into the deep sea, but of course also snorkel or take advantage of other water sports offers, which are mostly offered by the locals and also advertised in guided tours to the inexperienced visitors.

The island of Atiu is the exact opposite. Well, not quite, there are wonderful beaches and many opportunities for relaxation. The focus of the island, however, is on the dense jungle, in which people have hardly dared to venture with technical progress until today. Quaint restaurants in the small village on the island can round off a day trip after the long hike through the jungle and provide a unique experience and great memories.

Cook Islands – an almost unknown dream in the South Seas

It is above all the many opportunities in the Cook Islands that have ensured that more visitors have come to appreciate the beauty of this place in recent years. The inhabitants have decided to grow slowly and to give tourism only as much leeway on their islands as can be offered, without changing the original image. This can mean looking for the right season when booking. Although there is a great climate here all year round, the journey could be difficult, especially in the stormy months. All in all, however, the Cook Islands are a paradise for divers, a place with beautiful beaches and a diverse culture. If you get involved with the culture of the locals and learn more about the local Maori, for example, you will quickly understand why this paradise in the South Seas deserves even more attention.

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Facts about the Cook Islands

  1. Geography: The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands scattered in an area of about 2.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean. The largest island is Rarotonga, where the capital Avarua is also located.
  2. Population: The Cook Islands have a relatively small population of about 17,500 inhabitants. The majority of the population are ethnic Maori, also known as the Cook Islands Maori. The official languages are English and Cook Islands Maori.
  3. Politics: The Cook Islands are a self-governing country in free association with New Zealand. This means that they have their own government, but New Zealand is responsible for defence and foreign policy. The prime minister is the head of the government.
  4. Economy: The economy of the Cook Islands is mainly based on tourism, agriculture, and fishing. The picturesque beaches, clear waters, and rich marine life attract tourists from all over the world.
  5. Culture: The culture of the Cook Islands is strongly influenced by Maori culture. Traditional dances such as the haka and the tamure are popular, and handicrafts, including carving wood and mother-of-pearl jewelry, are widespread.
  6. Natural beauties: The Cook Islands are known for their stunning natural beauty. From dreamy beaches to emerald lagoons and lush tropical forests, the islands offer a diverse landscape and abundant wildlife.
  7. Aitutaki: One of the most famous islands in the Cook Islands is Aitutaki. It is famous for its spectacular lagoon, which is often referred to as one of the most beautiful in the world. Aitutaki is a popular destination for weddings, honeymoons, and water sports activities such as snorkeling and diving.
  8. Religion: The majority of the population of the Cook Islands belongs to Christianity, especially the Cook Islands Christian Church, which is the largest religious community on the islands.
  9. Māori culture: Maori culture is an integral part of life in the Cook Islands. Traditional customs, dances, music and handicrafts are cultivated and celebrated at various festivals and events.
  10. Tourism: Tourism plays an important role in the economy of the Cook Islands. Visitors can experience the stunning beaches, snorkeling and diving in the clear waters, hiking in the tropical rainforest, and the rich culture of the islands.