In the South Pacific
The Cook Islands is a free democratic country in the South
Pacific, in free association with New Zealand. It is composed of 15 small
islands covering a land territory of 240 square km and a total of 1,800,000
Square km of total ocean area.
Map Showing the location of the Cook Islands in the South
Half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
The 15 islands and two atolls lie about halfway between
Hawaii and New Zealand. Despite the size of the area that can be compared to
India or Western Europe, the population is a mere 20,000 inhabitants.
They are of Maori descent and hold New Zealand citizenship
with a special status as Cooks Islands nationals. All defense and foreign
affairs matters are dealt by New Zealand in consultation with the island’s
Cook Island feature white sands and crystal-clear water
A Paradise in the South Pacific
The islands, sometimes called a paradise in the South
Pacific are not yet discovered by mass tourism, although more than 100,000
tourists visit the islands yearly. The South Pacific beaches are still
unspoiled and the beauty is rare and idyllic. They are grouped into southern
and northern islands.
The Cooks Islands capital Avarua, on the Island of
Rarotonga, is a thriving town with restaurants, hotels, banking facilities and
where the International Airport is located. Here the visitor will find first
class resorts and beautiful beaches some of them reef protected for a great
The Island of Rarotonga is one of the Cooks Islands
- Nga-pu-Toru is the generic name given to the islands of
Atiu, Ma'uke, Mitiaro and Takutea in the Cooks Islands archipelago. In Cook
Islands Māori language, the "Three Roots"
- Atiu Island, also known as Enuamanu or land of the birds,
lies 187 km northeast of Rarotonga
- Ma'uke known as Akatokamanava is the easternmost island of
- Mitiaro known as Nukuroa is the fourth largest of the Cooks
Islands boasts the only fresh water lakes
- Takutea is a small uninhabited island 21 km northwest of
Atiu. It has been designated a wildlife sanctuary, mainly for the red-tailed
tropic birds and red-footed Boobies.
The Island of Aitutaki one of the Cooks
The other group of South Cooks Islands
- Aitutaki Island, is one of the Cooks Islands, north of
Rarotonga. It has a population of approximately 2,000. Aitutaki is the second
most visited island of the Cook Islands. The capital or main village is
Arutunga on the west side.
- Mangaia known as Auau Enua is a least 18 million years old,
making it the oldest island in the Pacific. It's the second largest of the Cooks Islands and the furthest south of
- Rarotonga also called Tumutevarovaro is the largest island of
the group lying at the southern section of the group.
- Palmerston Island is a coral atoll about 500 km northwest of
- Manuae is an uninhabited atoll in the southern group, 100
kilometres south east of Aitutaki.
- Winslow Reef is a submerged coral reef of the southern Cook
Pukapuka is a coral atoll on the northern Islands
Northern Cook Islands
- Manihiki also known as Te Fuinga o Niva, is an island known
as the Island of Pearls. It is a triangular atoll 1,160 km north of Rarotonga.
- Nassau known as Te Nuku o Ngalewu is located 90 km south of
Pukapuka, it is just 9 meters above sea level, with an oval sandy cay on a
coral reef foundation and is surrounded by a narrow reef flat.
- Penrhyn Island or Tongareva or Mangarongaro is the most
remote and largest atoll of the 15 Islands.
- Pukapuka known as Te Ulu o te Watu is a coral atoll in the
Cooks Islands with three small islets threaded on a reef, which encloses a
beautifully clear lagoon.
- Rakahanga orTapuahua is a rectangular atoll which is the
sister island of Manihiki, 42 km to the south. It comprises a lagoon surrounded
by two islands and seven small islets or "motu"
The beaches of Suwarrow one of the Cooks
The two Atolls
- Suwarrow also called Suvorov on the southern extremity of
the northern group of the Islands is a true atoll. There is no continuous
history of Polynesian habitation and therefore no traditional Polynesian name
for the island.
- Tema Reef, also called Tima Reef, is a submerged coral reef
in the northern Islands, 23 km southeast of Pukapuka.
Te Manga is the highest point on the Islands
These Polynesian Islands offer great opportunities for Scuba
Diving due to an array of coral reefs surrounding all the islands. You will
find many diving stands in many of the islands ready to guide you on a real
scuba diving experience.
Mainly in Rarotonga and Aitutaki you may visit historic
centers that will show you around and learn about the Polynesian heritage of
the islands and haw they were discovered by Europeans around the 1600’s.
The flag of the Cook Islands
It is based on the traditional design for former British colonies in the Pacific region. It is a blue ensign containing the Union Flag in the upper left, and on the right, fifteen stars in a ring.
For more information visit Cook Official Website
aitutaki by julius silver
pukapuka by nasa
suwarrow by suwarrow
te manga by glenig
all courtesy of wikimedia commons
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