What is the Weather Like in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands in April?
With April being in the Cook Islands’ tropical wet season, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “April Showers”. Nevertheless, April is the last season of the wet season, starting to transition into a drier climate that appeals to most sun-seeking holidaymakers. In fact, many would argue that this shoulder season is one of the best times to visit the Cook Islands.
For those still wanting a quiet time to visit Rarotonga and the Cook Islands, where accommodations and attractions have much fewer tourists, April is a great time to do it. As for typical temperatures, rainfall and more, check out the guide below to the Rarotonga and Cook Islands weather in April!
Before we jump into this weather guide for April, be sure to bookmark Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather, Seasons & Climate, as well as The Best Time to Visit Rarotonga & the Cook Islands for more advice.
5 Tips for Visiting the Cook Islands in April
- April falls into the tourist low season in the Cook Islands, so look out for good deals on flights and accommodation
- April is usually hot and humid so look for accommodation with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, etc. and, remember, there are plenty of water activities to help cool you down
- Wear high-factor (and reef-safe) sunscreen to protect against the high UV levels
- Mosquitoes are more active during the wet season, so be sure to pack insect repellent and check out the 10 Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites in the Cook Islands
- The Cook Islands celebrates Good Friday and Easter Monday (often falling in April but sometimes in May) as a public holiday. Most businesses will close on that day as the Cook Islands is a very religious country. Around April 25, the Cook Islands also celebrates ANZAC Day as a public holiday. It is best to plan a self-guided tour and have a meal in your accommodation rather than in town for those days.
Typical Temperatures in April
Rarotonga and the Cook Islands start their transition from summer to winter during April, with temperatures starting to drop (steadily) and the humidity lifting.
Temperatures in April can still reach a maximum of 28°C / 82°F on average, while the lowest temperatures are around 22°C / 69°F at night.
Temperatures Across the Cook Islands
- Rarotonga – The average maximum temperature is 28°C / 82°F and the minimum average temperature is 22°C / 69°F
- Aitutaki – The average maximum temperature is 29°C / 84°F and the minimum average temperature is 23°C / 73°F
- Mangaia – The average maximum temperature is 28°C / 82°F and the minimum average temperature is 22°C / 72°F
- Mitiaro – The average maximum temperature is 29°C / 84°F and the minimum average temperature is 23°C / 73°F
- Manihiki (North) – The average maximum temperature is 31°C / 89°F and the minimum average temperature is 25°C / 77°F
- Penrhyn (North) – The average maximum temperature is 31°C / 89°F and the minimum average temperature is 25°C / 77°F.
Sea Temperature in April
The Cook Islands has warm sea temperatures all year round, making it ideal for water sports. Sea temperatures in April are at an average of 27°C / 81°F.
Hours of Sun in April
With that change of season, days start to get ever so slightly shorter in April. Daylight hours are at an average of 12 hours, while the sunshine hours are often around 5.5 hours. All in all, expect to still get a good amount of sun for a Cook Islands getaway in April.
UV Levels During April
While UV levels are not as high as in previous months, they are still around 10+ UV index around midday. With this in mind, be sure to lather up the sunscreen during April in the Cook Islands. For advice on what sunscreen to wear, that’s safe for you and the reefs, see The Best Sunscreens for the Cook Islands + Sun Protection Tips.
Sunrise and Sunset During April
April has daylight hours lasting about 12 hours a day in the Cook Islands.
- Sunrise: 6.47 am at the beginning of April and 6.56 am at the end of April
- Sunset: 6.39 pm at the beginning of April and 6.16 pm at the end of April.
Rainfall in April
Still officially in the wet season, April typically experiences its fair share of rain, especially on Rarotonga, which is the island with the most rainfall during April in the Cook Islands. Rainfall patterns tend to be short and heavy, often followed quickly by sunshine, so be prepared for both when you’re out and about! If you were hoping to avoid the rain as much as possible, we recommend travelling to one of the outer islands.
The Cook Islands receives an average of 231 mm / 9.1″ of rainfall in the month of April, with around 13 days out of April experiencing rain.
Average Rainfall Across the Cook Islands
- Rarotonga – The average rainfall in March is 231 mm / 9.1″
- Aitutaki – The average rainfall in March is 216 mm / 8.5″
- Mangaia – The average rainfall in March is 125 mm / 8.9″
- Mitiaro – The average rainfall in March is 165 mm / 6.5″
- Manihiki (North) – The average rainfall in March is 183 mm / 7.2″
- Penrhyn (North) – The average rainfall in March is 180 mm / 7.1″.
Tropical Storms in April
The South Pacific cyclone season starts in November and ends in April, making April a month with a slight risk of tropical storms but the risk is nowhere as likely as in the previous months of December, January, February and March.
Historically, the Cook Islands was affected by a tropical cyclone in April 1850 and 1926. There has been no cyclone in recent history that has severely impacted the Cook Islands during April.
If you want to completely avoid the risk of cyclones in the Cook Islands, it’s best to travel in the dry season. For those planning to travel during April, it’s still a good idea to be aware of what to do in a cyclone by following our guide, Cyclone Safety in the Cook Islands.
Best Places to Visit in the Cook Islands in April
With the weather getting more appealing for sun-seeking holidaymakers and backpackers, some of the Cook Islands’ outer remote islands with glorious resorts, villas and lodges are a great option. Catch them during the quiet season before the tourist crowds arrive for the summer.
Aitutaki – Swap a rainy Rarotonga holiday for the drier holiday hotspot, Aitutaki. The island and 15 islets around an azure lagoon are well-equipped with stunning resorts and accommodations, while there are plenty of adventures to take between lagoon cruises, island sightseeing and taking your own kayak or SUP adventure around the lagoon. Learn more about what to do in Aitutaki in the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki.
Atiu – A short flight from Aitutaki, Atiu is an eco-lovers paradise with tropical birds, vast limestone caves, and a fascinating warrior history. There is also a little bit of a coffee-making obsession on the island that you can sample for yourself. The climate is similar to Aitutaki in April. Discover more experiences on the coral atoll in the 20 Best Things to Do on Atiu.
Mangaia – The southernmost island of the Cook Islands is fast becoming a popular island to visit thanks to its amazing deep caves, coral cliffs and historic maraes, burial chambres and churches. What’s more, it’s one of the islands with the least rainfall in the Cooks, making it ideal to visit in April. See what Mangaia is all about in the 15 Best Things to Do in Mangaia.
April Packing List for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
Be prepared for the Cook Islands in April by packing these few seasonal essentials:
- High-factor sunscreen (that’s reef-safe and water-resistant)
- Insect repellent
- Light rain jacket
- Light clothing layer (cotton or linen preferably so it is super light)
- Light long-sleeved tops (to cover from sun and mosquitoes)
- Light pants/trousers (to cover the knees when appropriate – church service or to protect from mosquitoes, for example)
- Closed walking shoes
- Sarong (pāreu – they are available to purchase on Rarotonga if you don’t have your own)
Get more ideas on what to pack with our guide, What to Pack for Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: Cook Islands Packing List.
More About the Weather in Rarotonga and Cook Islands in April
That’s it for our complete guide to the weather and climate in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands in April. Check out the following articles for more weather advice:
- Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather, Seasons & Climate + Cook Islands Weather by Month
- The Best Time to Visit Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: A Month by Month Guide
- Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather in February
- Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather in March
- Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather in May
Finally, enjoy a comprehensive guide to planning a trip to the Cook Islands in The Best Cook Islands Travel Guide.