How to get here |
Yachts | Weather
Where in the world...
Fly due south from Hawaii for about six hours and you should reach the Cook Islands
which are the mirror image of Hawaii south of the equator (in terms of position if not
The fifteen islands and atolls form a sprinkling of land within two million square
kilometres of the South Pacific Ocean.
To the east Tahiti is about an hour's flying away Our nearest neighbours to the
west are Samoa and Nuie but with no direct air link it takes a lot of travelling to reach
them, usually via New Zealand.
How to get here
Once upon a time the Cook Islands had its own international airline! Not surprisingly
for a country with less than 20,000 inhabitants most of whom live on Rarotonga, an island
32km around, Cook Islands International did not survive for long. In the past we have also
had services from Polynesian Airlines, Air Nauru, Hawaiian Air and Canada
3000. At the moment Pacific Blue and Air New Zealand operate international flights in and out of Rarotonga
from New Zealand and Air Tahiti has flights twice weekly to Papeete.
|Avatiu is the principal
port in the Cook Islands. About 150 yachts call at Rarotonga each
year. Beware of out-of-date guidebooks that still recommend Avarua
Harbour, which has not been used since the hurricane of 1987.
Berthing instructions can be obtained from the Harbour Master who can
be contacted on VHF Ch 16, or through the Coast Station Radio
Rarotonga (call sign ZKR), which maintains a
continuous watch on VHF Ch 16 and also on HF SSB 2182 and 4125 KHz.
Avarua Harbour is
popular with yachtsmen from the end of April until October - outside the
Yachts should fly their
quarantine flag until cleared by Port Health.
Customs and Immigration formalities can be attended to at the Harbour
Master's office. Documents required are:
· clearance from the last port,
· the vessel's Registration Certificate, and
· passports for all on board.
Any firearms must be declared and deposited with the police
for the duration of the vessel's stay.
A permit for 31 days will be given on arrival. This can be extended up to 3
months by application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
Water is available on the wharf. Diesel fuel can be delivered. LPG bottles
can be filled.
There is no slipway, but yachts up to 15 tons can be lifted out by crane,
but cradles are not available.
Yachts are not encouraged to stay in the harbour during the cyclone season
from December to March.
Fresh fruit and imported goods are in plentiful supply. Chandlery supplies
are very limited, but can be obtained from overseas within a week if
Port dues are payable at the Ports Authority in Rarotonga prior to
departure and are assessed on the length and type of vessel. The fees
Monohull Yacht NZ$2.00 per metre per day
Multihull Yacht NZ$2.75 per metre per day
Motor Yacht NZ$2.25 per metre per day or NZ$0.50 per gross tonne per day
(whichever is greater)
There is also a mooring fee of NZ$5.00 per day at Aitutaki.
All persons departing the Cook Islands are required to pay departure tax of
NZ$30.00 per person (NZ$15.00 for children under 12).
Visa extension fee amounts to NZ$70.00 for 3 months per person.
More information can be found at:
John Fallon is
The Cook Islands does not have a long range weather forecast. We get daily forecasts
from Fiji. Generally speaking the long range forecast is fine and sunny with definitely no
'Winter' is the dry season - from April to November - when daily temperatures are up to
26C but it can drop to less than 20C at night. (On really cold nights it
can get as low as 14C.) In the wet season, from December to March, daily temperatures can
rise to 28C or more. On Rarotonga we judge how hot the weather is by checking how much the
tar seal on the roads has melted!
The hurricane (tropical cyclone) season runs from November to April but fortunately
cyclones are not common.
Check how much cloud cover there is over the South Pacific at the Naval Research Lab, Marine Meteorology Division, Monterey, CA.
This picture shows the position of Rarotonga.
IT IS NOT CURRENT. Go to Monterey to see the latest.