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The Cook Islands enjoy a pleasantly warm and sunny climate year round. The drier months from April to November have an average maximum temperature of about 26 degrees centigrade with lower humidity levels. A sweater is sometimes needed in the winter evenings June through August. During December through March the humidity is higher with temperatures ranging between 22 degrees centigrade and 28 degrees. Cyclone season is between November and March, however, severe weather is rate and infrequent.
The Cook Islands unit of currency is the New Zealand Dollar. This is supplemented by some Cook Island coins: $1, $2 and $5. The coins are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands, but make for interesting souvenirs. New Zealand dollars may be purchased at the airport, ANZ or Westpac bank, or the Western Union Office, downtown Avarua. Money transfers may be sent to the Cook Islands from anywhere in the world via Western Union Money Transfer Service. Western Union is the quickest, most efficient system to transfer money either to or from the Cook Islands.
There are approximately 9 ATMS around the island of Rarotonga provided by Westpac Bank, ANZ Bank and the Bank of the Cook Islands. Aitutaki is the only other island that has ATM service.
Most major credit cards are accepted at many restaurants, hotels, and stores on Rarotonga. Please note: Credit cards are not widely accepted in the Outer Islands
Adult: NZ $55.00 Child (2-11): Exempt from paying Departure Tax From 1 December 2012 Departure tax now becomes included in your airfare and will no longer be collected upon departure.
A visiting visa is not required for stays of 31 days or less. An onwards airline ticket is required. Extension of visitor stays may be granted on a monthly basis for up to 3 months.
For the best rates on the island for all the major currencies go no further than GLOBALEX.
Globalex has a policy of NO FEES and NO COMMISSION so this means more money for you!! Located centrally downtown, on the main road next to JETSAVE TRAVEL
OPEN: Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday 8.30am to 12.30pm
The Cook Islands as with most tropical destinations have annoying insects. You will see cockroaches, mosquitoes, and lizards even at the best establishments. Protect yourself against mosquito bites by bringing a burner with small candles, and lemon scent or citronella. These are small items to include in your travelling case and provide a lovely scent to your room while keeping the mosquitoes at bay.
The Cook Islands are an ideal area for investment as the government is stable and tourism is increasing. Foreigners are able to purchase land (60 year lease), private homes and/or businesses in the Cook Islands. The Cook Island Development Investment Board can assist you with queries regarding immigration and investment policy.
: The shopping hours are 8am to 4pm, Monday thru Friday and 8am to 12noon on Saturday. The main shopping area is located downtown, Avarua from Avatiu Harbour to the Bamboo Jacks Restaurant. Things to buy: Cook Islands black pearls and black pearl jewellery, local wood carvings, handicrafts, paintings and art work. You can find the best prices for locally made ukuleles at the Rarotonga Prison. Atiu coffee, hand-made Tivaevae's (patchwork like quilts), and tie dyed pareus are also excellent choices for gifts or souvenirs. Other sought-after souvenir items include woven baskets, often made from the fibre of coconuts. The attractively carved slit drums (pate), carved bowls, pandanus bags and hand made pottery. "Fruits of Rarotonga" prepare gift packs of locally made jams, salad dressings, and sauces which make ideal presents. Another memento of the Cook Islands could be one of a very colorful range of stamps - sought after the world over. Birds, fish, corals, and flowers have all been featured in the stamps which make a very portable souvenir of the country and an asset to any collection. Shopping in Rarotonga is very relaxed. The quality of the goods is high and they are reasonably priced.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2011
Sat 1st - New Years Day Public Holiday
Sun 2nd - in Lieu of New Years Day
Mon 3rd - Public Holiday - New Years day
Wed 26th - School Term 1 Begins (12 Wks) To April 15th
Sat 5th - Palmerston Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Palmerston
Feb - Canoeing Sprint Season (Oe Vaka)
Feb - BUSINESS HOUSE SQUASH COMPETITION
Thur 3rd - Te Mire Atu Song Composers
Sat 5th - Triathlon Business House Team Relay (200m Swim, 8km Cycle, 2km Run)
Sun 6th - International Womens Day
Sat 12th - Triathlon Women Only (600m Swim, 16km Cycle, 4km Run)
Sun 13th - Penrhyn Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Penrhyn
Sat 26th - V12 ) Vaka Corporate race
March - BUSINESS HOUSE SQUASH SEMI/FINALS
Fri 2nd - CISNOC Sports Awards
Fri 15th To Sun 2nd May - School Holidays Begins (2 Weeks) End of Term 1
Fri 22nd - Good Friday (Public Holiday)
Sat 23rd - Easter Saturday
Sun 24th - Easter Sunday
Mon 25th - Easter Monday (Public Holiday)
April - Air NZ Anzac Golf Tournament
Mon 2nd - School term 2 begins
Tue 3rd - Round Raro Cycle Race
Thu 5th - Te Mire Ura Dancer of the Year (- Te Akauroa (Papaa - Expats & Visitors
Sat 7th - International Triathlon
Sat 7th - Triathlon Air NZ Rarotonga International Triathlon - 1500m Swim, 41km Cycle, 10km Run) World Red Cross Day
Wed 25th - Te Mire Ura Dancer of the Year Juniors, Intermediate and Senior Finals (Including participants from the Outer Islands)
Thur 2nd - To Sat 4th Golf Tournament (Turama House)
Mon 6th - Public Holiday - Queens Birthday
Mon 6th - Kumete Sports
Wed 15th - Mangaia Gospel day - Public holiday Mangaia Only
June - Canoeing National Distance Series
June-Nov - Rarotonga Club Rugby 7s and 15s season
Mon 4th - to Sat 9th OTF 14s and 18s East Pacific qualifier tennis
Tue 19th - Atiu Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Atiu
Fri 22st - Mitiaro Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Mitiaro
Thu 21st - CI Ministry of Education Careers Expo 2010
Fri 22nd - End of Term 2 - School Holiday Begins (2 Weeks)
Sat 23rd - Mauke Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Mauke
Mon 25th - Rarotonga Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Rarotonga
July - Squash Club Tournament
July - Sailing National Class Champs Aitutaki
July - Golf Michigan Shootout/Palm grove Open Tournament
July - Canoeing National Distance Series
Fri 29th - TE MAEVA NUI CELEBRATIONS Float Parade
Sat 31st - TE MAEVA NUI CELEBRATIONS
Thu 4th - COOK ISLANDS NATIONAL SELF GOVERINING COMMEMORATIVE DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY
Thu 4th - to Sat 6th Constitution Rugby 7s
Mon 8th To Fri 7th Oct - School Term 3 Begins (9 Weeks) End of School Holidays
Mon 8th - Manihiki Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Manihiki
Mon 15th - Rakahanga Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Rakahanga
August - Canoeing National Distance Series
August - Squash National Champs
Sun 4th - Fathers Day
Sept - Canoeing National Distance Series
Sat 24th - Rarotonga Club 15s Grand Finals
Sat 24th - ROUND RAROTONGA ROAD RACE (main race)
Fri 7th To 17th - School Holiday Begins (1 Week) End School Term 3
Mon 17th - End School Holiday Term 4 Begins
Wed 26th - National Gospel Day
Thu 27th - Aitutaki Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Aitutaki
Oct - Canoeing National Distance Series
Oct - Squash Cook Islands Open
Oct-Dec ANZ Mini Tennis Program
Mon 1st - Turama All Souls Day
Thu 3rd - to Sat 5th CI Rugby Union International Rugby 7s
Fri 18th To Friday 25th - VAKA EIVA Paddling/Canoeing Festival
Sat 26th - Te Mire Tiare - Flower Festival (Float Parade)
Thu 1st - Miss Tiare pagent & the Young Warrior Comp.
Tue 6th - Pukapuka Gospel Day Public Holiday ONLY for Pukapuka
Tue 6th - Nat Senior/Vets Tennis Champs
Fri 9th - End of Term 4, School Holidays Begin
Sun 25th - Christmas Day Public Holiday
Mon 26th - Boxing Day Public Holiday
Tur 27th - Christmas Day Public Holiday
Dec - Squash Christmas Tournament
The Calendar of Events is provided courtesy of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation.
NATIONAL DANCER OF THE YEAR:
Held in April. This is an exciting contest to find the best male and female Cook Island Dancer. There are several eliminating competitions before the final night. You will enjoy the fabulous native costumes, drumming, and dancing.
Held Anzac Day holiday in April. Anyone is welcome to participate in this endurance race. Swim, cycle, and run constitutes the components of the race. Even if you do not participate, you will enjoy cheering on the contestants.
FIRE KNIFE COMPETITION:
Held in July. This is a new event for the Cook Islands with the first competition held 2001. The small group of young and enthusiastic people want to develop this art form and hopefully turn it into a major event here in the Cook Islands.
STRING BAND COMPETITION:
Held in June. This is an exciting contest to find the best string band in the Cook Islands. Usually held at the National Auditorium is always fun to watch.
CONSTITUTION DAY CELEBRATIONS:
Held around 4 August. This is the major event of the year for all Cook Islanders as it marks the day of independence from New Zealand. The celebrations commence with a float parade on the last Friday in July, followed by a week of sporting, cultural, and entertainment events. An Agricultural Show is also held during the week with an exhibition of flowers, plants, and produce.
ROUND RAROTONGA ROAD RACE:
Held the first week-end in October. Overseas runners and locals alike compete in this popular international event of 31km, which encircles the Island.
GOSPEL DAY CELEBRATIONS:
Held in 26 October. This is an interesting event to watch for each year one village is selected to conduct open air performances of stories from the bible. Gospel Day commemorates the arrival of Christianity to the Cook Islands and is celebrated with a real island flair. You will enjoy the colorful costumes and singing.
INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL:
Held in November. This popular event features food from around the world. Everyone gathers to cook their favorite dish. You can find anything from pizza to curry to oriental dishes to local island food to chocolate cake. Prices are very reasonable
Tiare Week: Held in November. This is a very special week to visit the Cook Islands as all the shops, restaurants and hotels are decorated with flowers. There is a competition and awards for the most original and best flower displays.
Tipping is not expected in the Cook Islands and there is no service charge added to restaurant or service bills.
HOLIDAY PACKAGES TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Hotels, Airfares, and Accommodation booked through Jetsave Travel are subject to a deposit of 25% within 10 days of booking. Domestic Airfares for all Outer Island Packages must be paid within 7 days of booking. Final payment is due 60 days before arrival to allow for mailing of tickets and documents. All prices are subject to change without notice. This may be due (but not limited) to airfare increases, changes in airline taxes or government departure & custom taxes, or yearly accommodation rate changes. Please note that all prices are valid from 1 April to 31 March of each year. Amendments and Reservation Changes. All changes to confirmed reservations are subject to a change fee of $50 per booking file. Changes to domestic airfares are subject to change fees and/or increased airfares to be advised. Cancellation and Refund Policy. There is a 50% cancellation penalty for domestic airline tickets travelling via Air Rarotonga unless refund is due to cancellation or changes to scheduled flights. Refunds are subject to the individual policy of selected accommodation. No refund applies to house rentals unless accommodation can be re-sold. All refunds are subject to a documentation fee of $250 per booking file plus individual accommodation cancellation fees. Many hotels have a no refund policy if cancelled within 30 days. No Refund applies for no-shows. No Refund applies for unused services. Insurance is recommended for all travellers as protection in case of flight delays and/or cancellations, sickness, and accidents.
Jetsave travel recommends that all travellers obtain insurance prior to departing from your home city.
If there is any information you would like or if you have questions with regards to general information for the Cook Islands, please click on"contact us" below and Jetsave Travel will be pleased to provide any information you require.