Flying to the Cook Islands
Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia and Jetstar fly direct from Auckland, Air New Zealand direct from Los Angeles and Sydney, and Air Tahiti (operated by Air Rarotonga) from Papeete.
Rarotonga International Airport is the gateway airport for the Cook Islands.
Approximate flight times are two and a half hours from Tahiti, four hours from Auckland, six hours from Sydney, and nine and a half hours from Los Angeles.
For flight information and fares, visit:
- Air New Zealand (to/from Auckland, Sydney, Los Angeles)
- Virgin Australia (to/from Auckland)
- Jetstar Australia (to/from Auckland)
- Air Rarotonga (to/from Papeete)
All international visitors to the Cook Islands require a valid passport for the duration of their stay.
On arrival you need to complete an arrival form, which includes details of where you are staying. This is important, because the Cook Islands has a 'prior booking requirement' and you can 'technically' be sent back if you haven't booked a place to stay, at least for the first night of your visit. Additionally, you will need to show proof of a return or onward flight booking.
You will need to complete a customs form declaring food products, seeds, plants or biological material. The Cook Islands have strict quarantine rules. There's usually no problem with canned and vacuum-packed foods, but they must be declared at customs on arrival.
Visitors are given a free 31-day visitors permit upon arrival, which can later be extended as long as you can show adequate funds and an onward passage. Those wanting to stay for longer than six months must apply for a visa from their home country.
The duty free allowance into Rarotonga is 2 litres of spirits or wine, plus 200 cigarettes or 500 grams of tobacco (please check these allowances with retailers in case of a recent change).
Further information about visas and entry requirements is available on the Cook Islands Government website.
Departure tax is included in your outwards fare and no tax is paid at the point of departure.
No departure card is required.