The Cook Islands is just east of the International dateline - 10 hours behind GMT. This makes it a day behind New Zealand and Australia and one of the last countries on the globe to experience a new day. Today in the Cook Islands is yesterday in many countries.

Which can create a lot of confusion when visitors are organizing their arrival and departure times. According to the calendar New Zealanders arrive in the Cook Islands before they leave New Zealand. Travel agents regularly get it wrong too so it is worth checking those dates carefully because missing flights can be expensive.

To be exact, when it is midday in the Cook Islands it is 10am the next day in New Zealand; 9am the next day in Sydney and Melbourne; 2pm the same day in San Francisco & Los Angeles and 9pm the same day in London. (This makes no allowance for daylight saving.)

Weather

Tropical, moderated by trade winds. The Cook Islands enjoy a pleasantly warm climate all year round without big seasonal variations. June to August are the cooler months; November to March marks the warmer season when it is also more humid.

The Cook Islands do not experience dramatically different wet and dry seasons although there is generally more rain during the summer months. Often, heavy tropical showers pass quickly over the islands leaving clear blue skies in their wake.

On Rarotonga, the weather is affected by its high mountainous peaks and different sides of the island can be experiencing quite different weather at the same time.

From April to November, the average maximum temperature is about 26 degrees centigrade (79F) and the average minimum temperature about 20 degrees centigrade (68F).

The wetter, more humid months, from December to March, have an average maximum temperature of 28 degrees centigrade (82.4F) and an average minimum of 22 degrees centigrade (71.6F). During these summer months, the Cook Islands can experience occasional severe tropical storms and even cyclones (hurricanes). But severe weather is rare and infrequent.