A List of All of the Airports in the Cook Islands
As you probably are already aware, the Cook Islands is made up of 15 islands scattered sporadically across the South Pacific. Flights are just about your only manageable way to get between the islands but you can only fly to the islands that have an airport or airstrip. Which begs the question, what are the airports in the Cook Islands and where can you fly to? Find out in this complete list of the airports in the Cook Islands!
How Many Airports are in the Cook Islands?
There are 9 airports in the Cook Islands: one international airport, two paved runways, seven flattened coral runways and three islands with simply an airstrip and no airport building.
Keep on reading for more about the airports of the Cook Islands. Alternatively, check out more fun facts in the 21 Fun Facts About Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Rarotonga International Airport (RAR)
Rarotonga International Airport (RAR) is the only international airport in the Cook Islands. It is located in the Avarua District on the northern coast of Rarotonga, approximately a three-minute drive from town. Check out more distances from the airport in How Long Does it Take to Travel Around Rarotonga?
International Flights at Rarotonga Airport
Rarotonga Airport has a frequent international flight schedule with New Zealand, Australia and French Polynesia where flights land at Rarotonga Airport and return to their destination the same day. Check out the airlines that run direct flights to Rarotonga Airport in Which Airlines Fly Directly to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?
Domestic Flights at Rarotonga Airport
Rarotonga Airport is the main hub for interisland travel in the Cook Islands. If you need to get to the outer islands of the Cook Islands, then you are likely to need to take it from Rarotonga Airport. There is only one domestic airline servicing these islands, which you can learn more about in our complete guide to Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.
Facilities at Rarotonga Airport
Rarotonga Airport is the airport in the Cook Islands with the most services, yet is small and easy to navigate. The facilities at Rarotonga Airport include:
- Food and beverage vending machines and cafes
- Duty-free shopping
- Car park
- Airport shuttle, taxi and accommodation transfers
- Baggage Storage and lockers
- Air Rarotonga office
- Air New Zealand office
We go into much more detail on these services in our guide to the Cook Islands Arrival Airport: Which Airport to Fly into the Cook Islands.
Aitutaki Airport (AIT)
Aitutaki Airport (AIT) is the airport that receives the second-most amount of traffic in the Cook Islands. Serviced by the Cook Islands’ sole domestic airline, it has codeshare flights with international airlines making for an easy connection at Rarotonga Airport.
The airport receives several daily return flights from Rarotonga Airport, while there is also a weekly flight between Aitutaki Airport and Atiu Airport (Enua Airport) in the high season.
Facilities at Aitutaki Airport
Outside of Rarotonga, Aitutaki Airport is the airport with the most facilities, which include:
- Cafe – Aquila Airport Cafe is located inside the airport selling drinks and snacks
- WiFi – Available if you have purchased a WiFi voucher from Rarotonga Airport or a WiFi voucher with Vodafone Cook Islands – see How to Get WiFi in Rarotonga
- Private reception areas for Pacific Resort and Aitutaki Lagoon Resort guests.
Airport transfers are usually pre-arranged with accommodation providers before flights arrive on the island. Learn more about airport transfers in the 8 Best Airport Transfers in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands. Plus, learn more about getting to Aitutaki in the Aitutaki Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Aitutaki.
Airports on the Outer Cook Islands
The airports on the outer islands of the Cook Islands are as basic as they come, made from coral runways with no facilities other than a basic shelter for check-in (and not even that on Manihiki, Penrhyn or Pukapuka). There’s no ATM, no cafe, nothing; so come prepared.
The islands of Mangaia, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke and Manihiki all have scheduled flights. Flights to the other islands are either available when the demand is there or via charter flights. Learn about how to fly to these airports in our complete guide to Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.
The airports of the outer islands of the Cook Islands include:
- Atiu Airport/Enua Airport (AIU)
- Mangaia Airport (MGS)
- Mitiaro Airport/Nukuroa Airport (MOI)
- Mauke Airport (MUK)
- Manihiki Island Airport (MHX)
- Tongareva Airport/Penrhyn Airport (PYE)
- Pukapuka Island Airfield
Note that accommodation providers offer complimentary airport transfers, so be sure to arrange your accommodation before arriving on these islands. There are no other transport methods available.
More About Airports in the Cook Islands
That’s it for our guide and list of all of the airports in the Cook Islands. Now that you know where you can fly to in the Cook Islands, find out how using the guides below:
- Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights
- How to Hire a Plane in the Cook Islands: A Guide to Plane Charters
- 10 Things You Need to Know About Flying in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
Finally, if you’re more interested in flying to the Cook Islands, check out Getting Here: How to Get to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands? and Which Airlines Fly Directly to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?.