- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General Travel Advice
Irish citizens do not require a visa to enter the Cook Islands for visits of less than 31 days. If you are staying for longer than 31 days you may need a visa.
A valid passport is required for travel to the Cook Islands. Irish passports should have a minimum validity of six months after intended date of arrival. Entry is normally refused if you have a passport which is damaged or has pages missing. Passport cards cannot be used.
For more information on entering the Cook Islands, please see the Additional Information tab.
Visitors to the Cook Islands are advised to follow the guidance of national and local authorities and stay fully informed of what's going on by monitoring local news and social media.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Cook Islands by dialling 999 (police), 998 (ambulance), or 996 (fire service).
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Get comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your planned activities.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
In countries where Ireland does not have an Embassy:
As there is no Irish Embassy in the Cook Islands, we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in New Zealand.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Crime in the Cook Islands is low but petty crime can occur.
We advise you to take basic precautions while travelling to the Cook Islands:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places.
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
Public gatherings and demonstrations may take place from time to time.
We recommend that you stay clear of demonstrations, and should follow the advice of the local authorities.
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is no longer illegal following a change to the law, effective 1 June 2023. Despite this, public displays of affection may be considered offensive.
Driving is on the left. You should avoid driving at night out of built-up areas. Vehicle safety regulations are not consistently enforced. Beware of pedestrians and animals on the roads.
Nature and Climate
The Cook Islands is located in a seismically active zone, which can lead to tsunamis, even if an earthquake has taken place a significant distance away. You should follow any instructions issued by the local authorities in respect of tsunami threats.
Tropical storms and Cyclones
In the Cook Islands, strong winds are expected from the beginning of November to the end of April, some of which can reach cyclone strength. During this time, intense rainfall and subsequent floods and landslides are to be expected.
The climate is tropical. The rainy season extends from November to April and the hot dry seasons occur from May to October.
Swimming, snorkelling and diving are common activities. Take local advice before swimming as fatal accidents can occur at popular beaches.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country. We advise you to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you travel.
Medical facilities in the Cook Islands are limited. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to New Zealand is likely to be the only option for treatment. Make sure your insurance policy includes provision for medical evacuation and covers you for all eventualities.
There is a risk of mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue. You should take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
Ciguatera is an illness caused by eating fish containing certain toxins. It can cause nausea, vomiting, and tingling fingers or toes and sometimes serious illness. There is no way to tell whether fish has been contaminated, but reef fish tend to concentrate the toxins more than others. Deep water fish like tuna, mahi mahi or wahoo are better options.
Boiling water and only drinking bottled water is strongly recommended.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
Tourists do not need a visa for visits of up to 31 days. You must have an onward or return ticket and a valid visa for the next country you’re travelling to and proof of accommodation during your stay in the Cook Islands. If you’re staying longer than 31 days in The Cook Islands you may need a visa or entry on arrival permit.
Extensions may be granted on a monthly basis for up to 5 months. For extensions, you will need to apply at least 2 weeks before your permit expires.
If you plan to join a tourist boat, yacht or other sea-going vessel to travel beyond the Cook Islands, you must apply for permission to enter via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI).
If you are visiting the Cook Islands via New Zealand, in most cases transit passengers must hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or transit ETA before travel. These are applied for via the official mobile app or on the New Zealand Immigration website.
If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +64 4 4712252. If you call outside normal working hours, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer.
You may also wish to call the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin directly at 00353-1-4082000.
Level 10, Technology One House
86 Victoria Street
Embassy of Ireland, Wellington
PO Box 11498
Tel: + 64 4 4712252
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.