Cook islands – Summary, tips and budget

16 April 2018
One foot island - Cook islands

The Cook islands, this little paradise on earth will make it dream more than one! So, if we know that “it’s not cheap”, it’s difficult to get a precise idea of the budget because there is not that much informaton on Internet… But I will bring you some concrete information with this post, exactly as I had done with Sri Lanka! Prices are indicated in NZD (local Currency).

I took advantage of my Easter holidays to go to the sun. Yes because even if I taunted you a little with my sunny photos while you were under the snow, New Zealand is not really a tropical country! And for that I chose the beautiful Cook Islands! Although being an independent state, the Cook islands are still linked to New Zealand e.g. for defence

Beware, when we come from NZ we go back for a day! We leave on Wednesdays but we arrive on Tuesdays, even if there is only 4h of flight.

  • Trip

  • Aitutaki

– Day 2-3 : The day after my arrival I took an domestic flight to go on one of the most beautiful atoll in the world, Aitutaki. I had booked my first two nights in a Airbnb on the west coast. Beware, lift fee from the airport ($20)! Room at $48 per night. Very comfortable Fruit and milk available.
– Day 4-5 : Still on Aitutaki I moved to the east coast of the island in a new Airbnb. I had my bike but she offers a free lift! Room at $119 per night. Very good comfort, great view from a private balcony. Very nice, Pira will help you organize your stay if needed. By cons means of locomotion essential because it’s 6-7 km from the beach. Fruit, water and milk available.

  • Rarotonga

– Day 1 : Arrived at Rarotonga I took a Airbnb close to the airport for the first night. Beware lift free from the airport ($10). Room at $110. German a little crazy! It goes for a night of transit but I would not have stayed there. And in addition I did not manage to take a hot shower!
– Day 6-7-8 : I picked up a domestic flight back to Rarotonga and I stayed in a Airbnb at the South of the island, close to Muri for $58 per night. Free Lift this time and here it feels like family, I loved it! No private bungalow But we can use the kitchen. And the breakfast is included:).

For more information on the two islands, follow the links :


  • Transport at Cook islands

  • Plane

To go from Rarotonga to Aitutaki, the only way is the airplane. Attention only one local airline allows this lift so the fare is as expensive as coming from NZ ($526). If you have time and no reservation there would be last minute offers from time to time following the filling of the airplane. But nothing is sure so if you come a few days only I advise you to book everything before! Especially if you want to take a “cheap” accomodation.

For information the airline offers a day tour on Aitutaki if you would rather stay on Rarotonga

  • Bus

On Rarotonga There are two bus line. The buses run the same circular route but in both directions. So there is the line “clockwise ” and the bus “anti-clockwise “. Beware on Sundays and evenings there is only the “clockwise”. And no bus on public holidays!

There is no bus on Aitutaki.

  • Rental

In Cook Islands I haven’t rented a motorised vehicle, it’s a personal (and financial) choice. I rented a bike on Aitutaki via the company Rino’s rental (They leave you a bike at the airport and then you spend paying when you want at their offices). The site doesn’t let the rental appear but they have, send them an email! I’m definitely not a fan of bike I have a little regretted because it’s really hot! On the internet they announced me a price of $15/day but at the office they asked me only $10/day (I don’t know if it’s because I was in Airbnb and not in resort or if there is another reason). The most popular rental here is the scooter (for info, no helmets here).

At Rarotonga my Airbnb was lending one for free :). You can also rent their car. And as we were “as a family” they also propose me to bring me to the market with them.

  • Power point

In the Cook Islands the Australian/New Zealander system is used. On first trip to New Zealand I had bought on Amazon an adapter. Now I also have a New Zealand charger with USB output.

  • ATM

You will find ATM in the Cook Islands without much difficulty. Card payment is quite widely accepted.

  • Budget for a Week in the Cook Islands

For information I paid my airfare NZ $557.35 (but just with carry-on bagage, I had only my little backpack).

The rest of my budget :

Transport : $596 (including $526 for domestic flight)
Accomodation : $560
Excursions : $225
Souvenirs : 34,8
Food/drinks: $172,5

A total of $2145.65 ($268,21/day). So 1269,45E (158, 68E/day). Of course with Aitutaki it’s more expansive but I don’t regret my choice to go there, on the contrary!

  • Bilan

What I liked most about the Cook Islands :

– The cruise day at Aitutaki!
– Honeymoon Island
– Swim with turtles in wildlife
– Be able to eat with the locals, that there is no tourist/local split driven by tourism prices
– There are no homeless animals (there is a law to etablish that)
– Go to the market at Rarotonga (especially Muri’s night market)

What’s disappointed me at the Cook Islands :

– On Aitutaki there is no beach except on the Northwest of the island
– Muri beach, the beach is beautiful but there is too much tourists!! And restaurants around are epensive

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  • Reply Anne-Sophie FERRER Sunday April 29th, 2018 at 03:29 AM

    Très bon article ! Toutes les réponses à mes questions s’y trouvent. Merci !

  • Reply Présentation, voyage et running sont mes passions - Travel and Run Thursday May 3rd, 2018 at 02:55 AM

    […] J’en profite également pour visiter quelques îles du Pacifique, je vous recommande les îles Cook! Je vais ensuite quelques mois en Australie, toujours en PVT. Je voyage quasiment toujours en solo […]

  • Reply Lucie Sunday May 6th, 2018 at 10:18 AM

    Je ne connaissais pas du tout, mais comme la Nouvelle Zélande est sur ma liste de plus en plus, pourquoi pas y faire un tour, ton article donne envie, malgré le budget un poil conséquent.

    • Reply Travelandrun Sunday May 6th, 2018 at 12:56 PM

      Oui c’est sûr que c’est pas un pays donné, mais ça en vaut la peine 😊

  • Reply Bilan Fréquence Running - Mon 1er plan d'entraînement - Travel and Run Tuesday May 15th, 2018 at 12:50 PM

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  • Reply 6 mois, seule à l'autre bout du monde - Travel and run Wednesday May 23rd, 2018 at 09:19 AM

    […] prévoir des week-ends « visite du pays ». Du pays mais aussi d’îles voisines comme les îles Cook par ex. Par contre vivre en Nouvelle Zélande et particulièrement en ville je n’aime pas du […]

  • Reply notremondeadeux Saturday July 28th, 2018 at 05:28 PM

    Nous avions entendu parler de ces îles 😉 Peut-être que nous aurons la chance d’y aller en jour 😉

    • Reply Travelandrun Monday July 30th, 2018 at 02:38 AM

      Aitutaki est vraiment sublime! C’est pourtant pas une destination tres connue en France (ou on prefere “notre” Polynesie)

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