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Great Eastern Wine Week, 9-18 September 2022

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

What about us? Cook Islands issue appeal to tourists


New Zealand and Fiji are very much on the radar of Australian travellers. Samoa and Tonga less so. And the Cook Islands are sometimes completely overlooked.

With New Zealand allowing quarantine- and isolation-free travel for Australian citizens and permanent residents from April 13, the Cook Islands have also opened up as a potential Pacific Island destination.

“Cook Islanders are waiting with open arms and big smiles to greet their first Australian visitors in just over two years,” said Graeme West, general manager of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation for Australasia.

“Because tourism is the mainstay of our economy, the last two years has caused significant financial hardship for many people. We are looking forward with much anticipation to welcoming Aussies back to our beautiful islands.”

West describes the Cook Islands as the ultimate South Pacific experience.

"Our tourism infrastructure is well established and offers a wide range of fantastic choices for accommodation, restaurants, and outdoor activities.," he says, pinpointing the spectacular beauty of the lagoons surrounding both Rarotonga and renowned Aitutaki (above).

The Cook Islands has a vaccination rate of 97% of the eligible population but there are some requirements that travellers must comply with.

All visitors over 5 years and 3 months of age (changing to over 16 years of age from May 2) must be fully vaccinated and provide an official International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) issued by the Australian Government.

A supervised RAT within 24 hours of departure from Auckland to Rarotonga is required and currently must be taken in New Zealand. From May 2, Australian visitors can take a supervised RAT or PCR test in Australia 48 hours prior to their scheduled flight time from Auckland to Rarotonga.

Visitors must complete a Cook Islands contact form no more than 96 hours prior to the scheduled departure time from Auckland to the Cook Islands.

From April13, Australian travellers can travel to the Cook Islands via Auckland on Air New Zealand and on Jetstar from June 2.

Air New Zealand’s direct service from Sydney to Rarotonga is expected to recommence later this year.

More information and details on entry requirements at www.cookislands.travel

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