Cook Islands

Catamaran Yacht Charter destination Pacific Ocean

Overview about the Cook Islands

In General

The 15 islands of the Cook group spread over ore than 1500 miles north to south and 800 miles east to west with an overall land area of less than 100 square miles. The total population is about 20 000 of which more than 50 % live on the main island of Rarotonga.

Visitors go to the two main islands Rarotonga and Aitutaki. The other 13 islands are very remote and you will find peaceful village life. The islands of the Cooks can be divided into a northern group with 6 islands and about 12 % of the population and a southern group with 9 islands and 88 % of the population.

Climate

The climate is in Aug./Sept. in the time when Neverland will be sailing there the best of the year with long hours of sunshine, with SE trade winds and minimal rainfall. The temperatures will be between 20 and 25 C.

Tourism

The tourism industry accounts for about half of the gross national product and ¼ of the people are employed here. Most visitors spend their vacation in one of the resorts on Rarotonga and Aitutaki on packaged holidays. You will benefit from the infrastructure but there is also enough room for enjoying a peaceful cruising life.

Other industries

The islands get financial aid from New Zealand. The man industry is tourism pearl farming which employs 700 people and produce 200 kg of black south sea pearls fishing and licence fees from foreign fishing companies.

The people

85 % are Maoris. Only they are allowed to own land. The chief class system is still influential.

Food and drinks

On the main island there are good restaurants and bars. On the remote islands you will enjoy your sundowners and dinner in the cockpit of Neverland anchoring in a lagoon in front of a south sea village.

Airplanes

Rarotonga has an international airport with flight connections to New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji and Los Angeles.

Sailing in the Cook Islands

Yachts are always welcome on the Cook Islands and the more remote the island is the more enthusiastic is the welcome. There are limited provisions in the Cook Islands, especially outside Rarotonga, no repair facilities, no marine supplies but basic provisioning with fruit, fish and vegetables. Most interesting atolls for a yacht are Rarotonge, Aitutaki and Palmerstone.


Sailing with Neverland in the Cook Islands

Neverland will visit the Cook Islands in August and September 2005 on her round the world sailing cruise. She will stay there for several weeks and will be available for charter during that time. On a 2 weeks cruise in the Southern group she will visit Rarotonga (link), Aitutaki (link), Palmerstone (link) and some other coral atolls with a total cruising mileage of 600 to 800 miles.

On your cruise with Neverland through the Cook Islands you can

- Experience the peaceful village life
- Meet the locals
- Scuba dive or snorkel
- Visit a pearl farm
- High sea fishing
- Hiking up to the needles
- Stroll on remote motus
- Bicycling around some small islands
- Enjoy south sea beach life
- Swim in the crystal clear lagoon
- Play golf on the 2 courses

Make your reservation for two weeks cruise and give us some information about your plans and your group and we will plan the best vacation possible for you in the Cook Islands.


Rarotonga

The main island and capital of the Cook Islands is Rarotonga with 11 000 inhabitants and the centre of the touristy industry with great tourist resorts and plenty of opportunities for eating out and entertainment.

A reef is circling the island with a wider lagoon to the south of the island. The main village on Rarotonga is Avaru with 5000 people. Two roads circle the island, an older inner road and a new coastal road. By bicycle you will be able to circle the island within one day. The inner road is the oldest one in Polynesia with about 1000 years. Cycling around the island will bring you to all important locations and good viewpoints because the life of the island is between the two roads.

There is a lot of sports and recreation available like scuba diving, sailing, deep sea fishing, kayak tours, tours with glass bottom boats, horseback riding tours and golfing or a half day leaded hiking tour.

Aitutaki

140 miles north of Rarotonga is the second most visited island, which is called on of the loveliest island in the Pacific. Neverland will leave Rarotonga in the afternoon and after a cruise of about 18 hours enjoyable sailing we will arrive in the morning of the next day and anchor in the lagoon in front of the village of Arutonga.

Aitutaki is an atoll by 10 times 10 miles with 15 small islets or motus with post card white sand beaches and aquamarine water. 2400 people live on the main island whereas the other islets are uninhabited.

Snorkelling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing in the lagoon and even a round of golf is what you should do on Aitutaki or rent a mountain bike or sail on a traditional outrigger sailing canoe in a reef tour.

Aitu

Aitu is a good place for a one-day stop on the cruise back to Rarotonga if the weather is good with the regular trade wind. Aitu is a 2 times 2 miles big island with a small surrounding reef in a plateau island and quite opposite to the other Cook Islands. The 1000 inhabitants do not live on the waterfront. The people live on a plateau in the middle of the islands.

The best on Aitu is hiking around the island, stroll on the beaches and snorkel in the sinkholes on the south coast. With low tide you will swim in these sink holes like in a huge natural aquarium.
And if you kike we can spend one evening in a bush beer school drinking self made beer in a coconut shell cup a listen to the guitar or ukulele.

Palmerstone

250 miles NW of Aitutaki Palmerstone is a very special atoll for yachties. For Neverland it will be a 30 hours cruise. Palmerstone has ever been a meeting place for yachties because people of Palmerstone are known to be very friendly to yachtsmen and the atoll offers good anchoring. The atoll of Palmerstone is 10 miles wide at its widest point and consists of 35 tine islets. It is said that the pass onto Palmerstone atoll is very narrow.

Palmerstone was uninhabited until William Masters arrived in 1863 with 3 wives. When he died he had 21 children. Today thousands of his descendants live around the Cook Islands. Because of this history the language is English.

People in Palmerstone live a very secluded life. There are very seldom visitors. Therefore everybody on this island is very excited if a new yacht arrives.

A special event on this atoll where many islanders take part is the fishing with a huge circular net called a rau, which is made of coconut fronds. People beat the surface of the water with their hands or stick and drive the fish into the nets.

Suwarow

Suwarow atoll is a national park and a yacht needs permission to enter. A stay of 4 days is normally granted. The atoll has a safe lagoon and a nice and welcoming village. But the distance from Rarotanga is about 600 miles. Neverland will only go for this atoll in 3 weeks cruise or if you would not mind sailing a lot.