The Cook Islands are located in the southern Pacific, about 3,500 kilometers in northeast New Zealand and about 1,000 kilometers in southwest Tahiti (French Polynesia ). They consist of 15 islands and are attributed to Polynesia. The islands in the south have a volcanic origin, while those in the north are coral atolls.
The largest of the Cook Islands is Rarotonga, which is surrounded by coral reefs and covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation. Here you can find signs of volcanic formation everywhere. There are lagoons between reefs and hills. At 652 meters, the Te Manga is the highest point in Rarotonga and the entire Cook Islands.
The northern archipelago of the Cook Islands is made up of seven individual islands. Penrhyn, Manihiki and Pukapuka are the largest of them. There are numerous beaches on the islands. The most beautiful are at the Muri Lagoon and at Tiikaveka. Aitutaki is located 220 kilometers north of Ratotonga and is one of the most popular islands because of its large laguna. Suwarrow is the southernmost atoll in the northern Cook Islands and is a protected area.
The Suwarrow National Park is an important breeding ground for seabirds in the South Pacific.
For many, the term Cook Islands is synonymous with vacation and fantastic surroundings. Many can also imagine life here on the islands.
Since 1971, however, the number of residents on the Cook Islands has continued to decline. At that time around 21,300 people lived permanently on the islands. Today there are even fewer. It is believed that the Cook Islands are home to around 12,000 people today. Which in turn creates attractive situations for immigrants who are looking for peace and quiet and who need a certain amount of freedom.
There are two official languages in the Cook Islands. In addition to English, Cook Island Maori is also spoken. In addition, some of the residents understand Pukapukan and Penrhyn, and some of them are also able to speak the Rakahanga Manihiki language.
Cook Islands climate
According to ebizdir, the Cook Islands have a typical tropical climate. The temperatures are consistently high all year round. It gets warmest between November and March. The peak values are reached in February with 28 to 30 ° C during the day and 21 ° C at night. The coolest months are July and August. Then “only” 25 ° C during the day and 18 ° C at night. Basically, temperatures increase from south to north towards the equator.
Like the air temperatures, the water temperatures on the Cook Islands are always tropically warm. Values of 27 – 30 ° C in February and 22 – 23 ° C in August make bathing and diving a pleasure all year round.
For a country in the tropics, it is also true that rain falls all year round. The average rainfall is 2,100 mm. Most of the rain gets the up to 800 m high mountains on Rarotonga. The more northerly archipelagos generally receive less rainfall. The wetter period is from November to March. Then it is often cloudy and there are short but heavy rains almost every day in the late afternoon. Cyclones can occur during this time of year.
The dry phase, in which rainfall is quite normal, lasts from April to October.
Thanks to the trade winds, the Cook Islands have pleasant breezes from the sea all year round. For this reason, in contrast to other countries in the tropics, it never gets too hot and never too humid.
Cook Islands Landmarks
The Cook Islands consist of a total of fifteen individual islands. Almost every one forms its own natural beauty. Particular attention should be paid to the island of Suwarrow. It was discovered in 1814 by the crew of the Russian sailor of the same name. The wife of Robert Louis Stevensons, the writer of “Treasure Island”, raved about the island, it was the most romantic in the whole world. The island is a pure atoll, which means it is a ring-shaped coral reef that includes a lagoon.
In addition to a beautiful landscape and fantastic flora and fauna, the Cook Islands have only one interesting sight to offer. This is the impressive Protestant church in Avarua. It was built in 1836 and consists entirely of white coral blocks.