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FINDING PARADISE

The unspoiled beauty of the Cook Islands is in no small part due to their remoteness.  But that doesn't mean they're isolated from the rest of the world.   With a bit of careful planning, they are accessible from wherever you live.  All flights are to the capital island, Rarotonga.  If you want to visit the other islands, click here for information on internal travel by land, sea and air.

This page is for guidance only.   Airlines change their schedules regularly so it's not feasible to give full details of all the flight timings, routings and options.   You are strongly advised to check with your chosen airline for up to date information.

FROM AUSTRALIA
DIRECT:   Air New Zealand operate a direct flight from Sydney to Rarotonga.  It departs from Sydney at 9:15 pm on Saturday, crossing the international dateline and arriving in Rarotonga at 7:05 am on the same day. The return flight leaves on Friday afternoon at 5:30 pm arriving in Sydney at 8:05 pm on Saturday.   The journey time is just under 6 hours outbound and 7 hours 35 minutes in bound.  Go to the airline's                   to find out more.

INDIRECT: Virgin Australia operate varioius flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which connect through Auckland.   The best advice is to look at their website.


FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD
The best advice for those wanting to visit the islands from anywhere else in the world is to contact your travel agent or favourite airline.   If you're planning a round the world trip with the Cook Islands on your itinerary,  one option is the Star Alliance which includes Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, Lufthansa and Asiana Airlines.   RTW tickets offer substantial savings over what you would pay if you booked each flight separately.  Another option I've used is Virgin Atlantic to LA and then connecting to the weekly Air New Zealand flight.

So...that gets rid of any excuses for not visiting!!!


FROM THE USA AND CANADA 
Air New Zealand has a direct flight from Los Angeles to Rarotonga every Saturday departing at 0645, arriving in Raro at 0645 on the Sunday. It takes 10 hours 15 minutes for the journey.    The return service is just before midnight on Fridays, arriving back in LAX at 1115 am on Saturday. after a journey of 9 hours 25 minutes. 


FROM TAHITI 
Direct flights operate every Tuesday and Saturday between Papeete and Rarotonga.   They're a joint venture between the national carriers, Air Tahiti and Air Rarotonga.    Air Tahiti turbo prop ATR-72s, seating up to 66 people,  make the two and three quarter hour journey between the two islands.
FROM NEW ZEALAND
The islands are most easily reached from New Zealand. 




The "How To Get There" Guide
SOME OTHER PAGES YOU MAY FIND USEFUL
TRAVEL ESSENTIALS   WHERE TO STAY    INTER-ISLAND TRAVEL 
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FROM FIJI 
Plans for a new weekly flight from Nadi in Fiji  have been scrapped.  The tourism department hope they'll be revived, but there are no immediate plans. 

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Rarotong's new airport exterior
Virgin Australia plane in flight
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It takes just under 4 hours outbound and just over four and a half hours on the return leg if you depart from Auckland. And services operate 7 days a week. Remember also that you'll "gain" a day on the outward journey as you cross the international dateline.  But of course, you "lose" that day again when you go back.   Some flights into Raro are also timed to link up to Air Rarotonga internal services to Aitutaki.

Air New Zealand also operate connecting flights from Wellington (6 hrs 25 mins), Christchurch (6 hrs 50 mins) and Queenstown (7 hrs 5mins).