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Best time to visit the Cook Islands

Make sure you pick the right diary date for your trip to the Cook Islands with this handy guide.

Whether your idea of the “perfect” time being the cheapest time or having the best weather, we’ve done the research for you so you can have your ideal trip to this island paradise.

Best times to visit the Cook Islands

May to September pip the others to the post in terms of the best weather. At this time of year, the average temperature is about 26°C and the rains of the rainy season, which runs from November to March, have dried up.

When is the cheapest time to visit the Cook Islands?

January to March tends to be the cheapest time to go to the Cook Islands from New Zealand, with flights being available straight to Rarotonga from Auckland.

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When to go to the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are warm and sunny all year round. The warmest months are between November and March, with temperatures hitting the top 20s.

These months are also the wettest in the Cook Islands. Although you won’t usually lose entire days to rain, you can expect regular, short, sharp showers, often in the afternoon.

Occasionally, hurricanes hit during this time of year, although extreme ones are rare. If one is going to reach the islands, it will probably be in February, which is the highest risk month.

Things cool down between June and August, but only by a fraction. Average daily highs reach 26°C. These months are drier, too. The islands are busiest in July and August, although you’ll never experience anything close to grid lock. However, if you intend to visit during these months, it’s best to book ahead to bag the accommodation that you most want.

Best time to visit the Cook Islands for…

  • Beaches. It’s possible to hit the beach all year round in the Cook Islands, although you’ll have more chance of having your day broken up by short heavy showers if you visit between November and March. The sea is balmy no matter when you visit. The coolest water temperatures hover around 24°C between June and October.
  • Cruises. Cruise lines like Paul Gauguin and Windstar offer cruises in the Cook Islands all year round. To catch the best weather, book onto an itinerary between May and September. Time your trip for August, meanwhile, and you have a chance of spotting whales as you sail around the area.
  • Surf. November to March is the best time to surf in the Cook Islands. The conditions have improved at this time of year because trade winds from the southeast meet storms from the North Pacific and the collision feeds the swell, especially around the southern islands, like Rarotonga. This time of year is also storm season, but downpours tend to happen in the afternoons, so it’s usually still possible to get in some good surfing in the morning.

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