Cook Islands flights

Fly from Australia to the Cook Islands without a glitch with this guide to flights.

Go from big city to uninhabited beaches in just over six hours on a flight from Sydney to the Cook Islands.

Here’s everything you need to know about flying between the two destinations, including advice on airlines and tips on airport transfers.

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Cook Islands flight FAQs

  • Who flies to the Cook Islands? Air New Zealand flies direct from Sydney to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. The flight lasts just over six hours. Virgin Australia, and Qantas also run flights, but with stops in Auckland. Air Rarotonga offers onward flights from Rarotonga to Aitutaki.
  • What are the closest airports to the Cook Islands? Rarotonga International Airport is the Cook Islands’ main airport. It’s located less than 3km from the downtown area on the north coast.
  • What airport transfer options are available? There are taxi ranks directly outside the arrivals hall at Rarotonga Airport. Most of the taxis that wait there have been pre-booked, but they can usually call around to get you another car. The cost of a fare to nearby Avarua is about NZD15 and the fare to somewhere like Muri Beach on the opposite side of the island is about NZD40. A number of coach transfers wait to meet international flights at Rarotonga Airport, too. Companies include Raro Tours, Tiare Transport and Natura Holidays. Alternatively, you can book a shuttle service through a company like Viator. Or you can hire a car. Avis Rentals and Polynesian Rentals each operate a reception desk in the arrivals area.

Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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