The Cook Islands are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand. The fifteen small islands in this South Pacific Ocean country have a total land area of 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi), but the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1.8 million square kilometres (0.7 million sq mi) of ocean.

The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, north-east of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and Fiji. There are fifteen major islands, spread over 2.2 million square kilometres of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern Cook Islands, and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls.

The islands were formed by volcanic activity; the northern group is older and consists of six atolls (sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth).

The climate is generally warm (not too hot). The rainy season (and cyclone season) is from December to March. April to November are the winter months and the SE trade winds prevail - sudden squalls from various directions can occur during this period.

On arrival (at a port of entry) the skipper must present the following:
All passports
A clearance certificate from the last port
A detailed crew list
Ship's papers and details of the yacht.
The vessel will undergo a quarantine and health inspection.

Prior permission must be obtained from Customs and Immigration to visit any islands in the group that are not listed as ports of entry. When visiting these "other" islands you must report to the local Administrator, if present, on arrival.

Special permission must be obtained BEFORE visiting Suwarrow National Park.
Cruising yachts are not allowed to remain in the Cook Islands during the cyclone season (December to March), and transiting yachts may not even be allowed to overnight in a port during this period.

For further local maritime information contact: The Harbour Master, Ports Authority, PO Box 84, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Ph:+682 28814, Fax:+682 21191.

The Cook Islands on the World Cruising Wiki - HERE