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Cook Islands

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Oceania : Polynesia : Cook Islands
Flag
Image:cw-flag.png
Quick Facts
CapitalAvaruaAvarua
Governmentself-governing parliamentary democracy
CurrencyNew Zealand dollar (NZD)
Areatotal: 240 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 240 sq km
Population20,811 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageEnglish (official), Maori
ReligionChristian (majority of populace are members of the Cook Islands Christian Church)

The Cook Islands are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand, located in Polynesia, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. It is an archipelago that consists of 15 islands spread out over 2.2 million sq. km of ocean.

The Cook Islands are located in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, between French Polynesia (Society Islands) to the east and Tonga to the west.

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cook islands Travel Guide :

Cook Islands

Regions

Image:cw-map.png
Map of Cook Islands
  • Southern Cook Islands
    • AitutakiAitutaki
    • AtiuAtiu
    • MangaiaMangaia
    • ManuaeManuae
    • MaukeMauke
    • MitiaroMitiaro
    • Palmerston IslandPalmerston Island
    • RarotongaRarotonga (capital)
    • TakuteaTakutea
  • Northern Cook Islands
    • ManihikiManihiki
    • NassauNassau
    • PenrhynPenrhyn Island (Tongareva or Mangarongaro)
    • PukapukaPukapuka
    • RakahangaRakahanga
    • SuwarrowSuwarrow (also called Suvorov or Suvarov)
Cook Islands

Cities

  • AvaruaAvarua - Capital
  • AvatiuAvatiu a port
Cook Islands

Other destinations

Cook Islands

Understand

Geographic coordinates 
21 14 S, 159 46 W

Named after Captain Cook, who sighted them in 1770, the islands became a British protectorate in 1888. By 1900, administrative control was transferred to New Zealand; in 1965 residents chose self-government in free association with New Zealand. In effect, New Zealand handles defense, foreign affairs (including passports), and currency; otherwise the islands are self-governing. This includes immigration, which is strictly controlled--even for New Zealanders. The emigration of skilled workers to New Zealand and government deficits are continuing problems.

Coastline 
120 km
Cook Islands

Climate

tropical; moderated by trade winds

Natural hazards 
Tropical cyclones (Southern hemisphere equivalent of hurricanes or typhoons) (November to March - During the Southern Hemishere Summer)
Cook Islands

Terrain

low coral atolls in north; volcanic, hilly islands in south

Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Te Manga 652 m
Geography - note 
the northern Cook Islands are seven low-lying, sparsely populated, coral atolls; the southern Cook Islands consist of eight elevated, fertile, volcanic isles where most of the populace lives
Cook Islands

People

Population 
20,811 (July 2002 est.)
Nationality 
noun: Cook Islander(s)
adjective: Cook Islander
Ethnic groups 
Polynesian (full blood) 81.3%, Polynesian and European 7.7%, Polynesian and non-European 7.7%, European 2.4%, other 0.9%
Religions 
Christian (majority of populace are members of the Cook Islands Christian Church)
Cook Islands

Holidays

Independence 
none (became self-governing in free association with New Zealand on 4 August 1965 and has the right at any time to move to full independence by unilateral action)
National holiday 
Constitution Day, first Monday in August (1965)
Constitution 
4 August 1965
Cook Islands

Get in

Cook Islands

On arrival

You must have a reservation for accommodations pre-arranged, or risk being sent back on the next flight out. Though immigration and customs may be a little less strict about this than in the past and let you reserve at the airport by phone, if nothing is available you will be sent back. Camping on the beach is not allowed.

Cook Islands

By plane

Air service is available from Auckland & Christchurch (New Zealand), Fiji, Tahiti and Los Angeles (via Tahiti). The only international airlines at present are Air New Zealand and twice-weekly Pacific Blue. Air New Zealand has code share arraignments with all other Star Alliance members including United Airlines and Rarotonga features as a stopover with several Round The World fares.

Cook Islands

By boat

Rarotonga and Aitutaki are regular stops for cruises operating from Tahiti. Other cruise companies also stop by occassionaly.

Cook Islands

Get around

Cook Islands

By plane

Domestic inter-island service is provided by Air Rarotonga 1 (http://www.airraro.com). Although you can book flights through Air Zealand, it is usually cheaper to do so directly with Air Rarotonga. This has become much easier in the past few years, now that they offer online booking through their web site http://www.airraro.com. Unless you're a member of Air New Zealand's "Airpoints Dollars" program, you won't receive any airline miles for Air Rarotonga -- and then only if you book with Air New Zealand directly. Star Alliance mileage (outside of Air New Zealand) is not available.

Airports 
9 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2002)
Cook Islands

By boat

The Intrepid travleller can visit all inhabited islands by Interisland Freighters. Due to lack of accommodation and political issues one needs to depart with the same boat.

The uninhabited islands of Takutea and Suwarrow and also Palmerston can be visited with a research vessel stationed at Rarotonga

Cook Islands

By car

Highways 
total: 320 km (1992)
Cook Islands

By bus

Cook Islands

Talk

Languages 
English (official), Cook Islands Maori
Cook Islands

Buy

Cook Islands

Economy

Currency 
New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Currency code 
NZD
Industries 
fruit processing, tourism, fishing
Exports - non edible commodities 
copra, pearls and pearl shells; clothing
Economy - overview 
Like many other South Pacific island nations, the Cook Islands' economic development is hindered by the isolation of the country from foreign markets, the limited size of domestic markets, lack of natural resources, periodic devastation from natural disasters, and inadequate infrastructure. Agriculture provides the economic base with major exports made up of copra and citrus fruit. Manufacturing activities are limited to fruit processing, clothing, and handicrafts. Trade deficits are offset by remittances from emigrants and by foreign aid, overwhelmingly from New Zealand. In the 1980s and 1990s, the country lived beyond its means, maintaining a bloated public service and accumulating a large foreign debt. Subsequent reforms, including the sale of state assets, the strengthening of economic management, the encouragement of tourism, and a debt restructuring agreement, have rekindled investment and growth.
Cook Islands

Costs

Cook Islands

Eat

Agriculture - products 
citrus, pineapples, tomatoes, beans, pawpaws, bananas, yams, taro, coffee; pigs, poultry, (Exports): papayas, fresh and canned citrus fruit, coffee; fish;
Cook Islands

Drink

Cook Islands

Sleep

Cook Islands

Learn

Cook Islands

Work

Cook Islands

Stay safe

Legal system 
based on New Zealand law and English common law
Cook Islands

Stay healthy

Cook Islands

Respect

Cook Islands

Contact

Telephones - main lines in use 
5,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
3000-5000 (2005)
Telephone system 
general assessment: NA
domestic: the individual islands are connected by a combination of satellite earth stations, microwave systems, and VHF and HF radiotelephone; within the islands, service is provided by small exchanges connected to subscribers by open wire, cable, and fiber-optic cable
international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 1, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios 
14,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
2 (plus eight low-power repeaters) (1997)
Televisions 
4,000 (1997)
Internet country code 
.ck
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
1 (2005)

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