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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 Bank of the South Pacific, ANZ Bank and the Bank of the Cook Islands. Aitutaki is the only other island that has ATM service.
Visa and Mastercard 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 $65.00 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 most nationality's 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 to 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.
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.
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.