cook islands aitutaki coconut on beach istk

Best Time to Visit the Cook Islands

Enjoying a tropical climate, the Cook Islands are a year round destination. Like most South Pacific islands, it can rain any month, usually in short-lived downpours, but the highest rainfall occurs between November and March. It’s slightly cooler from June to August, but even the 30-degree-plus highs of the hottest months (January to March) are tempered by ocean breezes.

When to visit Cook Islands… at a glance

May to October

cook islands tropical beach couple cit
  • Dry season
  • Slightly cooler and less humid
  • Can be busy Jun-Aug

November to April

cook islands azure sea and island istock
  • Rainy season
  • Hot and humid, with afternoon thunderstorms
  • Can be busy over Christmas holidays

Cook Islands in winter (May-October)

Average daily highs drop a few degrees during the winter months, but it’s still warm and extremely pleasant. June to August can be a busy time in the Cook Islands, when New Zealanders and Australians escape the winter down under, so be sure to book early.

What is the sea temperature in the Cook Islands?
Put simply: idyllic. Sea temperatures fluctuate from a low of around 25°C to a high of around 28-29°C – perfect if you’re contemplating a spot of snorkelling or diving.

Cook Islands in summer (November-April)

Although December to March is regarded as the rainy season in the Cook Islands, you’d be unlucky to have rain for days on end. Generally, the heat and humidity build during the day, culminating with heavy rain in the afternoon – and sometimes followed by a sunny evening. Visit in summer if you don’t mind it hot and sticky.

Cook Islands weather

Temperature Being tropical, there’s not much variation in temperature in the Cook Islands. The winter months (May-October) are slightly cooler with daytime highs of around 26oC and night time lows of 20oC. During summer, expect the days to reach around 30oC and the nights to go down to about 23oC. Ocean breezes help take the edge off high heat and humidity.

Rainfall The highest rainfall is during the summer (November to April) with December and January each receiving around 250mm in total. However, it usually falls in short, tropical downpours, bringing relief to high humidity.

Important dates

  • July/August: Te Maeva Nui – cultural celebration marking self-rule
  • November: Vaka Eiva – outrigger canoe festival and competitions