The best time to visit the Cook Islands is in May and June.
This is the best time of the year for visiting this tropical paradise because the weather is the sunniest and the number of tourists and prices haven’t peaked yet before the high season.
If you are planning a trip to the Cook Islands read our thorough guide for more tips on when is the best time to travel to the Cook Islands.
- About the Cook Islands
- Climate in the Cook Islands
- High and low seasons in the Cook Islands
- Best time to go to the Cook Islands – Conclusion
About the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is a small island country in the South Pacific Ocean, in the region of Oceania called Polynesia.
The country is made up of 15 islands and atolls that are spread over an area of 240 square kilometers.
There are two main islands, Rarotonga and Aitutaki, which are home to most of the population. Rarotonga is home to the capital of the Cook Islands, Avarua.
The Cook Islands are a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. They have their own laws and customs and have the right to enter into international treaties.
The Cook Islands is a popular tourist destination due to its warm climate, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters.
Climate in the Cook Islands
Typically for an island located in the South Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands have a Tropical Climate.
That means that the weather throughout the year is warm, and humid, and has two seasons, the Wet Season and the Dry Season.
The Wet Season (also called the Rainy Season or the Typhoon Season) starts in November and lasts till April. It’s time when it’s constantly raining and the temperatures are the highest, hence there is high humidity.
The Dry Season (also called the Cool Season) lasts from May to October and is characterized by clear blue skies, a lot of sunlight, and less humidity.
Wet season in the Cook Islands
In the Cook Islands, the wet season is from November to April.
It’s characterized by a lot of rain and strong winds. It is also the time when cyclones are most likely to occur in this region of the world.
The average rainfall during the wet season is about 220 millimeters (8.7 inches).
The wet season is also the hottest time of the year. The temperatures range between 27°C-29°C (80.6°F-84.2°F).
|Wet Season (November to April) – Main characteristics|
|Rains every day|
|Tropical typhoons and cyclones|
Dry season in the Cook Islands
The dry season in the Cook Islands typically lasts from May to October.
During the dry season, the weather is warm but not humid due to low rainfall levels.
The average rainfall during the wet season in the Cook Islands is about 130 millimeters (5.1 inches).
The temperatures during the dry season are a bit cooler than in the wet season and range between 25°C-26°C (77°F-78.8°F).
|Dry Season (May to October) – Main characteristics|
|Sunny and clear blue skies|
|No typhoons and cyclones|
|A lot of tourists|
Average temperature in the Cook Islands by month
The Cook Islands offer warm temperatures all year round. The temperatures are the highest in the wet season and a bit cooler in the dry season.
You can see the discrepancy in temperature between the dry and the wet seasons in the Cook Islands in the chart below:
Average rainfall in the Cook Islands by month
The difference in the amount of rainfall between the wet and the dry season in the Cook Islands is considerable.
The month when it rains the most during the wet season is March. The month with the lowest amount of rainfall is July.
You can see the amount of rainfall by month in the Cook Islands in the chart below:
Best time to visit the Cook Islands for the best weather
To sum up, the best time to visit Cook Islands weather-wise is during the dry season, from May to October.
During this period the skies are clear with a lot of sunshine. It’s warm, but not too humid. You also won’t be surprised by a cyclone or a typhoon.
If you are looking to maximize the sunshine, then the best time to visit the Cook Islands is between June and August, when the rainfall is the lowest in the whole year.
High and low seasons in the Cook Islands
If you want to enjoy the tropical paradise away from other tourists or perhaps you are on a tight budget, you may be interested to know when are the peak and off-peak seasons.
Below, we explain when the peak and off-peak seasons in the Cook Islands are so that you can plan your trip accordingly.
Peak season in the Cook Islands
The peak season in the Cook Islands is from July to September and in December.
Between July and September, the weather is at its best. This is also the time when people in most of the northern hemisphere countries have summer holidays and Australians and New Zealanders have a winter break.
December is also a busy time in the Cook Islands because a lot of islanders come back home for the festive season.
During peak season in the Cook Islands, you can expect more tourists and higher prices of food, accommodation, and flights due to high demand.
According to the latest edition of International Tourism Highlights, approximately 172,000 tourists visited the Cook Islands in 2019.
Off-peak season in the Cook Islands
The low season in the Cook Islands is typically when the weather is bad, which is from November to April, minus December.
You will not see many tourists during this time because this is when the weather is unpleasant. It rains a lot, it’s very humid and there is a possibility of cyclones.
During these months the cost of hospitality will also be lower, so you may consider visiting the Cook Islands during these months if you are on a tight budget.
Shoulder seasons in the Cook Islands
The shoulder months in the Cook Islands are May, June, and October.
In May and June, the weather is already nicer, after the rainy season, but the tourists have not started coming in droves yet.
October offers nice weather still, but the number of tourists is already lower.
Best time to visit the Cook Islands for fewer tourists
If you want to avoid tourists at all costs, then you should come to the Cook Islands during the wet season from November to April (excluding December when islanders are coming back home for the end-of-year celebrations).
Note, that the reason why there are no tourists during this time, is that the wet season offers very bad weather, with constant rain, strong winds, high humidity, and cyclones.
If you want to enjoy at the same time fewer tourists and good, sunny weather, then you should go to the Cook Islands during the shoulder months, in May, June, or October.
Best time to go to the Cook Islands – Conclusion
To summarize, the best time to visit the Cook Islands depends on what your needs, expectations, and budget are.
The best time to come over to Cook Islands weather-wise is in the dry season, from May to October (with the most sun from June to August).
If important for you is to avoid crowds, or if you are on a low budget, then you will find the lowest number of tourists during the wet season, from November to April, excluding December.
If you are looking for the optimal combination of good weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices, then the best time to visit the Cook Islands is in May and June.