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Cooks to reopen to Australia

Wednesday 16 March 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in National, Travel


Cooks to reopen to Australia
An Air New Zealand plane arrives at Rarotonga International Airport. DANILO REYES/22011013

Cook Islands will reopen to Australia on April 12 and will open to the rest of the world on May 1 which is in line with New Zealand.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Mark Brown during his Covid-19 update on Tuesday.

“New Zealand will be opening to Australians from the 12th of April, and expect to open to the rest of the world from the 1st of May,” Brown said.

“We can expect that our own border entry requirements will also change to allow visitors from these countries on those dates as well.”

Brown said it would be welcome news for the tourism industry that had done it tough over the past two years.

“We can now plan with certainty across our different stakeholders, and everyone can start looking forward to getting our businesses, our market vendors, our growers, our fishermen and others all back up and running to supply our markets as our country gets back into business.”

Tourists will still need to be vaccinated and test negative in a pre-departure test.

New Zealand was originally going to reopen to Australia with the other visa-waiver countries in July.

Prime Minister Mark Brown has previously said further border openings would be in line with New Zealand.

Earlier this month Brown said: “We’re following New Zealand’s lead on this, when they start accepting people from other countries without MIQ in their country then that’s probably a signal to do the same thing.”

Owner of The Rarotongan Beach Resort, Tata Crocombe welcomed the announcement.  

Crocombe said he was not surprised the border would reopen earlier than first announced.

“It's been signaled for some time now and it was very much anticipated in New Zealand that it was going to be brought forward.”

He said the Australian market was very important for Aitutaki.

“To the Cooks, it was about 20 per cent (of the market) but to Aitutaki, it's about 50 per cent, the Aussie market is very important to Aitutaki, more than Rarotonga.”

He said the rest of the world was even more important to Aitutaki.

“Something like 90 per cent of Americans and Europeans are on their way to Aitutaki, it's very, very, very important for Aitutaki the long-haul markets and also Atiu, Mangaia and the others, they tend to draw from long haul markets, particularly Europe."

“Things seem to be heading in the right direction.”


John David on 24/03/2022

Gee Willie - your comment ignores the history of Cook Islands entirely. This little country has been devastated by disease brought from overseas in the past; especially the Spanish Flu after WWI. Investing in the Pacific is tough at anytime with Mother Nature dictating alot about the way things are done. I think you made the right decision for you.

Willie Egan on 17/03/2022

I mean no ill-will. Before COVID I was planning to invest in and move to the Cooks Islands. Having witnessed the hysterical, unscientific and extreme policy positions taken by Cooks Gov in obedient lock-step with NZ Gov, I have gone in another direction. Love the Cooks but not a safe place for business.

John Paterson on 17/03/2022

Will see you in Nov. Thanks Cook Islands from Canada