What is the Weather Like in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands in October?
Who wouldn’t want to visit the Cook Islands in October? With comfortable warm temperatures, a refreshing island breeze and mostly dry days, October is often considered one of the best months to visit Rarotonga and the Cook Islands. Not only is the weather typically ideal for a tropical holiday without the threat of rain or high humidity, but October is also one of the tourist shoulder seasons in the Cook Islands. You’ll find the islands less crowded than in the previous months, as well as accommodation and flight prices being a lot more favourable. So pack the sunglasses, hop on a plane and land in the sunny Cook Islands during October for the ultimate island getaway! Check out the Rarotonga and Cook Islands weather in October information guide below.
Before we jump into this weather guide for October, be sure to bookmark Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather, Seasons & Climate and The Best Time to Visit the Cook Islands for more advice.
7 Tips for Visiting the Cook Islands in October
- In October, it’s the tourist shoulder season. As such, you will have more flexibility when it comes to booking your trip last minute. We recommend booking your trip one to two weeks in advance (at the least)
- Also due to the tourist season starting to quieten down, look out for cheaper airfares and accommodation rates
- On October 26, the Cook Islands celebrates Gospel Day, a national public holiday. Note that some businesses are closed on this day
- The UV levels are back at their maximum in the Cook Islands in October, so be sunscreen-ready at all times
- The whale watching season is coming to an end so travel early in the month if seeing whales is on your bucket list
- Pack a light jacket or a sweater for the cooler nights and for windy boat trips
- The rainfall starts to increase toward the end of October, so time your trip earlier if you want to avoid it.
Typical Temperatures in October
It’s the final month of winter in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands, where it’s still cool enough on the islands of Rarotonga and Mangaia but temperatures start to creep up especially in the Northern Group.
Maximum average temperatures are usually around 26°C / 79°F, while the minimum average is around 20°C / 67°F. The latter is usually experienced at night.
Temperatures Across the Cook Islands
- Rarotonga – The average maximum temperature is 26°C / 79°F and the minimum average temperature is 20°C / 67°F
- Aitutaki – The average maximum temperature is 28°C / 82°F and the minimum average temperature is 22°C / 72°F
- Mangaia – The average maximum temperature is 26°C / 79°F and the minimum average temperature is 20°C / 68°F
- Mitiaro – The average maximum temperature is 27°C / 81°F and the minimum average temperature is 21°C / 70°F
- Manihiki (North) – The average maximum temperature is 31°C / 88°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F
- Penrhyn (North) – The average maximum temperature is 31°C / 88°F and the minimum average temperature is 24°C / 75°F.
Sea Temperature in October
The Cook Islands has warm sea temperatures throughout the year but October sea temperatures average at 25°C / 77°F.
Hours of Sun in October
As Rarotonga and the Cook Islands transition from the winter season to the summer season, the days start to get longer. The average hours of daylight in October is 13 hours, while there are typically 5 hours of bright sunshine each day.
UV Levels During October
October’s UV levels creep back up to extremes, making it essential to protect yourself from the sun. The UV level in October is typically 11+ UV index around midday. Be sure to wear sunscreen and follow our advice in The Best Sunscreens for the Cook Islands + Sun Protection Tips.
Sunrise and Sunset During October
October has daylight hours lasting about 13 hours a day in the Cook Islands.
- Sunrise: 6.20 am at the beginning of October and 5.56 am at the end of October
- Sunset: 6.38 pm at the beginning of October and 6.49 pm at the end of October.
Learn about the local time zone in What is the Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Time Zone?
Rainfall in October
The wet season might be looming but the Cook Islands experiences only a few rain days in October – an average of 5 rain days throughout the month! As ever, the Northern Group gets more rain than the Southern Group, but the Southern Group aren’t far behind.
The Cook Islands receives an average of 121 mm / 4.8″ of rainfall in the month of October, with around 5 days out of October experiencing rain.
Average Rainfall Across the Cook Islands
- Rarotonga – The average rainfall in October is 121 mm / 4.8″
- Aitutaki – The average rainfall in October is 124 mm / 4.9″
- Mangaia – The average rainfall in October is 130 mm / 5.1″
- Mitiaro – The average rainfall in October is 102 mm / 4″
- Manihiki (North) – The average rainfall in October is 183 mm / 7.2″
- Penrhyn (North) – The average rainfall in October is 143 mm / 5.6″.
Tropical Storms in October
The South Pacific cyclone season starts in November and ends in April, making October a month that is unlikely to have tropical storms. Cyclone Martin (1997), however, formed at the end of October and dissipated in early November causing significant damage to the Northern Cook Islands and 28 deaths across the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. It was considered one of the worst cyclones to affect the South Pacific in the 20th Century.
Although no other cyclones have impacted the Cook Islands in October since then, it’s still a good idea to be aware of cyclone alerts. Learn more about how to prepare in our guide, Cyclone Safety in the Cook Islands.
Best Places to Visit in the Cook Islands in October
Any part of the Cook Islands is stunning to visit during this warm, dry and pretty quiet time of the year. While we list all of the Cook Islands in What are the 15 Islands in the Cook Islands? for inspiration, a few places worth checking out in the Cook Islands during October include:
Rarotonga – Not only is the Cook Islands’ most popular island to visit a little quieter in October, but it is just about the only time in the year where the island doesn’t experience more rainfall than the rest of the Southern Group! Find out more about what Rarotonga is all about in the 50 Best Things to Do on Rarotonga.
Aitutaki – For similar reasons as visiting Rarotonga, Aitutaki is worth visiting in October due to its usual popularity but getting to experience the island during the shoulder season. Learn more about what to do in Aitutaki in the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki.
Atiu – Quiet at any time of the year, you’re more likely to get an accommodation spot at this eco-lovers paradise during the quieter month of October. See tropical birds, explore vast limestone caves, and discover the fascinating history of the island’s warriors. Check out more experiences on the coral atoll in the 20 Best Things to Do on Atiu.
Again, any of the islands are decent to visit during October, so we recommend researching more on the subject using A Guide to the Best Islands of the Cook Islands.
October Packing List for Rarotonga and the Cook Islands
Be prepared for the Cook Islands in October by packing these few seasonal essentials:
- Light clothing layers for the day (cotton or linen preferably so it is super light)
- Light long-sleeved tops/jacket (to take the edge off those slightly cooler nights or to keep warm after boat trips)
- Light pants/trousers (to cover the knees when appropriate – church service or to protect from mosquitoes when hiking, for example)
- Closed walking shoes
- Sarong (pāreu – you can buy in the Cook Islands – it’s a good way to cover up when exploring the towns after swimming)
- Insect repellent
- High-factor sunscreen (that’s reef-safe and water-resistant).
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 October
That’s it for our complete guide to the weather and climate in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands in October. 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 August
- Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather in September
- Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather in November
Finally, enjoy a comprehensive guide to planning a trip to the Cook Islands in The Best Cook Islands Travel Guide.