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Onefoot Island in the Cook Islands

When is the best time to visit the Cook Islands?

The climate in the Cook Islands is tropical and generally agreeable, with steady humidity levels and temperatures. But, Rarotonga’s richly green mountainous heart attests to the fact that rainfall is possible all year round on the Cooks.

April to November are the driest months, while December to March is the ‘damp’ season, when there’s a greater chance of cloudy days and the occasional storm. In reality, this means it’s likely to rain hard for a couple of hours and then stop — so travel isn’t impossible at this time of year, and you’d be very unlucky to have rain for days on end.

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Great Barrier Reef

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For me, the best window for travel to the Cook Islands is the start of September. Not only do you have some of the most balmy (but not unbearably hot) weather, you also avoid coinciding with Australian and New Zealand school breaks and have a chance of seeing migrating whales.

Rupert, New Zealand & Cook Islands Specialist

Cook Islands Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Aitutaki 30°C 245mm 30°C 237mm 30°C 212mm 30°C 219mm 28°C 181mm 28°C 93mm 27°C 80mm 27°C 90mm 27°C 90mm 28°C 123mm 29°C 162mm 29°C 227mm
Rarotonga 28°C 249mm 28°C 241mm 28°C 216mm 27°C 299mm 25°C 211mm 24°C 144mm 24°C 126mm 24°C 165mm 25°C 163mm 25°C 128mm 26°C 190mm 27°C 286mm

Month-by-month guide to traveling in the Cook Islands

Lagoon cruise, Aitutaki

Visiting the Cook Islands in January - February

The middle of the Cook Islands’ summer, these months are not only the hottest but also the most prone to heavy rainfall, although continuous days of solid rain are rare. There’s also a (low) risk of cyclones.

Why travel with Audley?

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring the Cook Islands