The Cook Islands are renowned for their pleasant, temperate climate, being sunny most of the year round.
The cooler months are June to August, while November to March marks the warmer season, where occasional tropical showers can be expected. The drier months from April to November have an average temperature of about 26°C, whilst the warmer; more humid and damp season runs from December to March.
During this season the temperature ranges between 22°C and 28°C. Severe weather is rare and infrequent
Cook Islands (1996 Census): 18,034 Rarotonga (Capital): 10,337
The currency used in the Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). The Westpac and ANZ Banks in Avarua are open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm. In addition visitors can exchange travelers cheques and principal currencies at larger stores and hotels. Banking facilities are also provided at the airport for currency exchange and cashing of travelers cheques. They are open for the arrival and departure of all International flights. Major credit cards are accepted throughout the island at most shops, and restaurants.
Facilities are becoming more widespread throughout local businesses and cash advances on major credit cards are accepted and Automatic Teller Machines are available on Rarotonga. Cards acceptable for cash withdrawals are Visa, MasterCard or any card issued overseas carrying the logos Cirrus, Plus or Maestro.
Cook Islanders are devout Christian followers and Sundays is regarded island-wide as a day of rest (most islanders will be at church). You will find very few shops or tourist activities open on a Sunday, other than petrol stations and half a dozen restaurants.
While the Cook Islands are informal and the dress is casual, it is recommended that very brief attire such as bikinis not be worn in shopping areas or public places outside of the beach and resorts, as it may cause offence in some places.
English is spoken by everyone and Cook Islands Maori is the local language.
Tipping is not a custom in the Cook Islands
Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Cars and motor scooters can be rented but all drivers must have a current Cook Islands license -- this costs US$6.50 (NZ$10), is a great souvenir and an even better tax-raising device for the Cook Islands Government.
The test itself is better seen as a formality and very few people have ever failed it!
There are no vaccination requirements.
WATER AND ELECTRICITY
Voltage is 220 AC/50 cycle, the same as New Zealand and Australia. In some cases, a two pin adapter may be required. Some hotels and motels have provisions for 110 volt AC electric razors.
Although some visitors prefer to boil water before use, it is not necessary. Bottled water is available from the local shops for those who wish to purchase.