Where are the Cook Islands and Rarotonga?
Discovering the Cook Islands has to start somewhere and their location is as good as any… So where are the Cook Islands located? The Cook Islands is a country in the Oceania continent. It’s located in the South Pacific Ocean, about 3,000 km (1,864 miles) northeast of New Zealand and huddled among other South Pacific nations, such as Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and French Polynesia.
The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands scattered across 2,200,000 km2 (850,000 sq mi) of ocean and split into two island groups. We’ll go through all that and more in this quick guide answering the question, where are the Cook Islands located?
Quick Facts About the Cook Islands
Where are the Cook Islands on the World Map?
The Cook Islands are located on the Oceania continent in the Southern Hemisphere. The country is situated in the South Pacific Ocean about 3,000 km (1,864 miles) northeast of New Zealand and 5,000 km (3,107 miles) east of Australia. The Cook Islands’ main island, Rarotonga, is about 3,000 km (1,864 miles) from Auckland, New Zealand.
The South Pacific Islands Near the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are also situated between other South Pacific Islands, with Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Niue to the west and French Polynesia to the east. For instance, Rarotonga is around 2,305 km (1,432 miles) east of Suva, Fiji and 1,155 km (718 miles) west of Tahiti, French Polynesia.
How Big are the Cook Islands?
The Cook Islands covers a land area of approximately 240 km2 (93 sq mi) and some 2,200,000 km2 (850,000 sq mi) of ocean.
There are 15 islands that make up the Cook Islands (see What are the 15 Islands in the Cook Islands?) with Rarotonga being the largest of the Cook Islands at around 67 km2 (42 sq mi) and the smallest is Takutea at 1.22 km2 (0.76 sq mi).
Learn more about the biggest islands in our list, The 5 Largest Islands in the Cook Islands.
Geography of the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are made up of 15 islands split into two groups, the Northern Group and the Southern Group. There is quite a distance between these two island groups, for instance, Rarotonga in the south is approximately 950 km (590 miles) from Suwarrow in the Northern Group. The islands of the Southern Group, such as Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu and Mangaia are much more visited than any islands in the north.
Where is Rarotonga Located?
The largest and most visited island in the Cook Islands is Rarotonga, home to the nation’s capital, Avarua. Rarotonga is located in the Southern Group of the Cook Islands, approximately 265 km (164 miles) from Aitutaki, another popular holiday destination in the Cook Islands. The closest island to Rarotonga is Mangaia some 200km (124 miles) southeast.
Find out more about visiting Rarotonga in The Complete Travel Guide to Rarotonga.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Location of the Cook Islands
Finally, here’s the answer to some of the most popular questions on the internet about the location of the Cook Islands.
Where are the Cook Islands from Australia?
The Cook Islands are approximately 5,000 km (3,107 miles) east of Sydney, Australia.
Are the Cook Islands Near Hawaii?
The Cook Islands are approximately 2,850 km (1,770 miles) south of Hawaii.
Are the Cook Islands a Part of the USA?
No, the Cook Islands are not a part of the USA. They are a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand. Learn what it means in Who Owns the Cook Islands? The Political Status of the Cook Islands.
More About Where are the Cook Islands Located
That’s it for our guide on where are the Cook Islands located but by no means the end of our interesting facts about the Cooks. In fact, we have more articles for your reading pleasure:
- Who are the People of the Cook Islands?
- 20 Fun Facts About Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- A Brief History of Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
And if you’re planning a trip to the Cook Islands, don’t miss our 30 Tips for Travelling in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.