Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com
Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

How Long Does it Take to Travel Around the Cook Islands?

Whether you’re searching for how long it takes to travel on each of the islands in the Cook Islands or how long it takes to travel between each of the Cook Islands, this guide to the Cook Islands’ travel times and distances will tackle both! Find out how long it takes to travel around the Cook Islands in this guide.

What are the Cook Islands? Oh no, maybe you should start with our Cook Islands Travel Guide – it’s got everything you need.

How to Get Around the Cook Islands

Interisland travel in the Cook Islands is extremely limited with just one domestic airline travelling to only the islands with an airstrip, while the infrequent cargo ships make up the rest of the interisland movement. As for exploring the islands themselves, most have options for vehicle rentals, while Rarotonga has the added benefit of a public bus.

Find out more about how to travel around the Cook Islands in our Cook Islands Transport Guide: 15 Best Ways to Get Around the Cook Islands.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism

Travel Times On/From Rarotonga

Rarotonga is the main island of the Cook Islands and the island where most visitors arrive in the country – see What are the Flight Times to Rarotonga? for how long it takes to get there.

You can travel around the island via rental car, rental scooter, public bus, taxi, bicycle and more. Check out the Rarotonga Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Rarotonga for all of the transport options.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Rarotonga?

It takes approximately 45-50 minutes to drive around Rarotonga’s main road, Ara Tapu, which is 32 km (20 miles) long.

Driving Times from Avarua to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Nikao Beach/Airport – 3 km / 1.9 mi / 5 mins
  • Arorangi (Edgewater) – 7 km / 4.3 mi / 10 mins
  • Arorangi (Castaway) – 9 km / 5.6 mi / 13 mins
  • Aroa Beach – 11.9 km / 7.4 mi / 17 mins
  • Wigmore’s Waterfall – 15.6 km / 9.7 mi / 25 mins
  • Titikaveka – 12 km / 7.5 mi / 17 mins
  • Muri – 9.5 km / 5.9 mi / 13 mins.

Driving Times from Muri to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Avarua – 9.5 km / 5.9 mi / 13 mins
  • Titikaveka – 2.5 km / 1.5 mi / 3 mins
  • Wigmore’s Waterfall – 9 km / 5.6 mi / 15 mins
  • Aroa Beach – 9.8 km / 6 mi / 13 mins
  • Arorangi (Castaway) – 12.5 km / 7.8 mi / 17 mins
  • Arorangi (Edgewater) – 14.5 km / 9 mi / 20 mins
  • Nikao Beach/Airport – 12.5 km / 7.8 mi / 18 mins.

See driving times from more destinations listed in Rarotonga Travel Times & Distances: How Long to Travel Rarotonga? Plus, see these destinations as cycling times in The Cycling Times & Distances in Rarotonga.

Flight Times from Rarotonga to:

Learn more about travelling from Rarotonga by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Boat Times from Rarotonga to:

Find out more about travelling by boat in Cook Islands Cargo Ship Guide: How to Use the Ferry for Interisland Travel.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Travel Times On/From Aitutaki

Aitutaki is the second-most visited island in the Cook Islands, mostly travelled to via domestic flight from Rarotonga. Car rental, scooter rental, bicycle hire and a taxi service are some of the ways to explore the island, while water taxis and lagoon cruises will take you to the outer motu (islets) on the lagoon.

Find out more about your transport options in the Aitutaki Transport Guide: 10 Ways to Get to (& Around) Aitutaki.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Aitutaki?

It takes approximately 40-45 minutes to drive around Aitutaki, including Aitutaki’s main road (closest to the coast) and from Ootu Beach and back, which is 25km (15.5 miles) in total.

Driving Times from Ootu Beach to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Sunset Coast (Maunga Pu trailhead) – 4.6 km / 2.9 mi / 7 mins
  • Amuri (north) – 6.8 km / 4.2 mi / 10 mins
  • Arutanga – 8.5 km / 5.3 mi / 13 mins
  • Tautu (Avatea Cafe) – 10.3 km / 6.4 mi / 17 mins.

Driving Times from Arutanga to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Amuri (north) – 1.6km / 1 mi / 2 mins
  • Sunset Coast (Maunga Pu trailhead) – 3.8 km / 2.4 mi / 6 mins
  • Tautu (Avatea Cafe) – 2.7 km / 1.7 mi / 4 mins
  • Ootu Beach – 8.5 km / 5.3 mi / 13 mins.

See more driving times and destinations listed in Aitutaki Travel Times & Distances: How Long to Travel Aitutaki? Plus, see these destinations as cycling times in The Cycling Times & Distances in the Cook Islands.

Flight Times from Aitutaki to:

Learn more about travelling around the Cook Islands by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Water Taxi Times from Ootu Beach to:

  • Any island – 15 minutes.

Check out our guide to Water Taxis in Aitutaki & the Cook Islands: How to Use, Cost & More to learn more.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© Taniera - Cook Islands Tourism

Travel Times On/From Atiu

Atiu is the third-most visited island in the Cook Islands, primarily reached by domestic flight from Rarotonga. Car and scooter rental can be arranged with Atiu Villas or Super Brown in town, while bicycle rental is also available. There is no other transport available on Atiu – learn more in the Atiu Transport Guide: 7 Ways to Get to (& Around) Atiu.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Atiu?

It takes approximately 35-40 minutes to drive around Atiu. This is 20 km (12 mi) on the outer road.

Driving Times from Atiu Villas to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Town/Villages (Super Brown) – 1.5 km / 0.9 mi / 3 mins
  • Matai Beach – 2.1km / 1.3mi / 4 mins
  • Oneroa Beach – 4.5 km / 2.8 mi / 9 mins
  • Taunganui Harbour – 4.9 km / 3 mi / 9 mins
  • Konakonako Landing – 6.3 km / 3.9 mi / 11 mins
  • Taungaroro Beach – 5.1km / 3.3mi / 11 mins.

See these destinations as cycling times in The Cycling Times & Distances in the Cook Islands.

Flight Times from Atiu to:

  • Rarotonga – 45 minutes
  • Aitutaki – 40 minutes.

Learn more about travelling around the Cook Islands by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© Taniera - Cook Islands Tourism

Travel Times On/From Mangaia

Mangaia is the southernmost and oldest island in the Cook Islands. Aside from island tours, car and scooter rentals are available with the accommodation providers on the island. Note, however, that the coast road around the island is the road in the best condition. Some of the roads that cut through the island are very rough.

Learn more about getting around in the Mangaia Transport Guide: 6 Ways to Get to (& Around) Mangaia.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Mangaia?

It takes approximately 30-35 minutes to drive around Mangaia. This is 24 km (15 mi) on the outer road.

Driving Times from Oneroa to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Mangaia Villas – 1.9 km / 1.2 mi / 3 mins
  • Tamarua Village – 7.5 km / 4.7 mi / 9 mins
  • Ivirua Village – 10 km / 6 mi / 11 mins
  • Ara’oa Beach – 6.3 km / 3.9 mi / 7 mins
  • Lake Tiriara – 4.6 km / 2.9 mi / 10 mins.

Flight Times from Mangaia to:

  • Rarotonga – 45 minutes.

Learn more about travelling around the Cook Islands by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© Claire Wilson - Cook Islands Tourism

Travel Times On/From Mauke

Mauke is an uplifted coral atoll close to the islands of Mitiaro and Atiu. Transport around the island is arranged with accommodations providers, which comes in the form of rental cars and bicycles. Find out more about getting around the island, as well as travelling there, in the Mauke Transport Guide: 7 Ways to Get to (& Around) Mauke.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Mauke?

It takes approximately 30-35 minutes to drive around Mauke. This is 16 km (10 mi) on the outer road.

Driving Times from Ri’s Retreat to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Tiare Cottages – 3 km / 1.9 mi / 6 mins
  • Divided Church (Ngatiarua/Areora) – 3 km / 1.9 mi / 6 mins
  • Kimiangatau – 2.2 km / 1.4 mi / 4 mins
  • Arapaea Beach – 3.3 km / 2 mi / 7 mins
  • Anaiti Cove (Kea’s Grave) – 4.7 km / 2.9 mi / 9 mins
  • Te Oneroa Beach – 7.2 km / 4.5 mi / 15 mins.

See these destinations as cycling times in The Cycling Times & Distances in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Flight Times from Mauke to:

  • Rarotonga – 50 minutes
  • Mitiaro – 20 minutes.

Learn more about travelling around the Cook Islands by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© Cook Islands Tourism

Travel Times On/From Mitiaro

Mitiaro is accessible by flight from Rarotonga or from Mauke. The tiny uplifted coral atoll can be travelled by rental car or scooter organised with your accommodation provider. Most of the roads are flattened coral and are easy to drive. Find out more about getting around in the Mitiaro Transport Guide: 6 Ways to Get to (& Around) Mitiaro.

How Long Does it Take to Drive Around Mitiaro?

It takes approximately 30 minutes to drive around Mitiaro. This is 17 km (10.5 mi) on the outer road.

Driving Times from Mangarei to:

(Kilometres / Miles / Minutes)

  • Akapa Beach – 1 km / 0.6 mi / 2 mins
  • Divided Church (Ngatiarua/Areora) – 3 km / 1.9 mi / 6 mins
  • Te Unu Beach – 4.5 km / 4.8 mi / 9 mins
  • Parava Beach – 6.8 km / 4.8 mi / 14 mins
  • Te Rotonui Lake – 7.5 km / 4.7 mi / 17 mins.

Flight Times from Mitiaro to:

  • Rarotonga – 50 minutes
  • Mauke – 20 minutes.

Learn more about travelling around the Cook Islands by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Cook Islands Travel Times: How Long to Travel Around the Islands?© Tayla Beddoes - Cook Islands Tourism

Travel Times to the Northern Group

The far-flung Northern Group of the Cook Islands is only visited by the most intrepid or those with the deepest pockets. Your transport on any of these islands is organised by your accommodation host, whether it’s a scooter or a boat ride around the lagoon. Learn more about transport in these islands in our Northern Cook Islands Transport: 9 Ways to Get There & Around.

For sailing times between the islands, check out How Long Does it Take to Sail to Rarotonga & the Cook Islands?

Flight Times to the Northern Group

  • Rarotonga – Manihiki – 3h20mins
  • Rarotonga Pukapuka – 4h30mins via charter propeller plane, charter 2h30mins by jet
  • RarotongaPenrhyn – 4h30mins via charter propeller plane, charter 2h30mins by jet.

Learn more about travelling around the Cook Islands by plane in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.

Cargo Ship Sailing Times to the Northern Group

  • One of any Northern Group islands – 3-4 days
  • All of the Northern Group – 10-12 days.

See Cook Islands Cargo Ship Guide: How to Use the Ferry for Interisland Travel for more information on catching a cargo ship to the Northern Group.

More About the Cook Islands Travel Times and How Long it Takes to Travel Around the Cook Islands

That’s it for our guide to the Cook Islands’ travel times and distances. Now that you know how long it takes to travel around the Cook Islands, see more travel times in the following articles:

Finally, plan the rest of your Cook Islands adventure using The Best Cook Islands Travel Guide and the 30 Tips for Travelling in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as the Cook Islands. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Raro’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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