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Cook Islands vs Hawaii

North Island, New...
4 posts
Cook Islands vs Hawaii

Which of these should I go to for about 10-14 days?

I've been to Samoa and New Caledonia and I'm looking for a new place to go to where I can relax but also have a lot of activities like museums, waterfalls, culture, birdwatching, snorkelling and natural beauty.

If I went to the Cooks I would go to Rarotonga and Aitutaki and if I went to Hawaii I would go to Kauai and Oahu.

Which is cheaper? Cooks seem to have cheaper accomodation.

Which has better beaches and scenery?

5 replies to this topic
Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
328 posts
220 reviews
1. Re: Cook Islands vs Hawaii

A vote for the Cook Islands from me. But make sure not to miss out on Aitutaki.

The reason for my choice? I hate crowds, and I hate tipping cultures.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
18,390 posts
130 reviews
2. Re: Cook Islands vs Hawaii

Kia Orana KiwiTraveller,

Flying from Auckland, the Cook Islands should work out cheaper. We have 3 airlines flying in with Air NZ providing the most flights, followed by Virgin and Jetstar.

Rarotonga has bird watching (land and sea birds), inland walks and hikes, good snorkelling, plenty of cultural interaction, museums, dining and shopping, and far less population than you would envisage on Hawaii.

Having said that I enjoy Hawaii for its busyness and huge variety of everything! So different to NZ.

Have a look at what both destinations offer. The Cook Islands Tourism website is a good resource - https://cookislands.travel/

Kia manuia

Destination Expert
for Norfolk Island, Noosaville, Rarotonga
Level Contributor
6,539 posts
304 reviews
3. Re: Cook Islands vs Hawaii

Hi KiwiTraveller

There's a lot of competition between airlines now between Auckland and Honolulu so it would pay to check airfares - especially specials - as you may find not as much difference as you might imagine.

But, once you arrive, I think you'd find the Cooks much cheaper than Hawaii, not least because you'd be using the NZ$ and so not have any exchange rates to worry about. It's also a shorter flight - I don't like flying, so to me that's an advantage.

So for those reasons, I'd probably opt for the Cooks although in Hawaii you'd have far more choices available and some spectacular scenery.

Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
61 posts
4. Re: Cook Islands vs Hawaii

The Cooks Islands would be way cheaper than Hawaii. We find that things costs about the same in both places in terms of the number of dollars you pay if that makes sense. But with the exchange rate on the US dollar you end out paying what is like 40% more in the US for a meal than you would in the Cook Islands. Same for most other things like accommodations too and Hawaii has less budget accommodations I would say. The scenery on Kauai is pretty spectacular but really I have not seen anything more amazing than flying into Autitaki and the lagoon there.

North Island, New...
4 posts
5. Re: Cook Islands vs Hawaii

Kia orana, thanks a lot for the useful replies

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