View from Maungapu Photo by Akos Kokai via Flickr Creative Commons


English is widely spoken on the Cook Islands, so visitors will never have a hard time communicating with the locals. Maori, Rarotongan and Pukapukan, along with other local dialects like Penrhyn, Rakahanga-Manihiki, Mitiaro, Aitutaki, Mauke, and Mangaian are also common.


The New Zealand dollar (NZD) is used on all of the islands, and notes come in denominations of NZD 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5. Credit cards (especially Diners Club, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) are widely accepted in most establishments, including restaurants, bars and hotels. Currency exchange is available in banks, large stores, hotels, and at the airport. Most places also accept travelers’ checks.


GMT – 10:00


Type I or three pin plugs are used throughout the Cook Islands. Bring an adapter if necessary. A voltage transformer is also needed for devices that can’t handle 220 AC/50 cycles.


The country code for the Cook Islands is +682 followed by the area code and the number you wish to call. The area code for Rarotonga is 2, while Aitutaki uses 31 and 32, followed by Atiu Island at 33. There are several mobile phone providers on the main islands, and roaming services are available via local partners like Telecom XT Mobile, Digicel, Vodafone New Zealand, Telstra, and Optus. Phone calls can also be made through card operated phone boxes. Hotels typically offer pay phone services, but rates vary and are often expensive. Wireless internet access is available in most hotels and cafés, as well as local hotspots like the telecom center in the capital.


Duty-free is cheaper on the Cook Islands than Australia and New Zealand. You may buy perfumes, cigarettes, liquor, souvenirs, and gifts tax free from the airport or collect duty from the airport on items purchased in town. Allowed are two liters of wines or spirits, 200 cigarettes or 500 grams of tobacco, and gifts and items less than NZD 250 in value. Banned imports include plants, livestock and meat, gunpowder, ammunition, firearms, cartridges, and fireworks. Canned, frozen, and vacuum-sealed foods must be declared upon arrival.

Tourist Office

The Cook Islands Tourism Corporation: +682-2-435 or -436 or http://www/

Consulates in The Cook Islands

German Consulate, Rarotonga: +682-24-567 or -577 Kiwi Embassy, Rarotonga: +682-22-201


Ambulance: 998 Police: 999 Fire: 996

Click here to learn about Visas and Vaccinations in the Cook Islands