Cook Islands

Where can I find facts and information about the Cook Islands, like Rarotonga?

Image: _MG_7811 by Christina Spicuzza on Flickr

Entry last updated: 13/09/21


The Cook Islands is a country in the Pacific Ocean made up of 15 different islands. Rarotonga is the largest of the 15 islands. The capital Avarua is found on the island of Rarotonga. The Cook Islands have a population of about 20,000 people. A large number of Cook Islanders live in New Zealand or in other countries around the world.

Facts and Pictures

There are some excellent places online to look for facts and information about the history, peoples and culture of the Cook Islands.


This is a trusted news website and a great place to find factual and current information.

  • Use the search box and enter your keyword 'Cook Islands' into the search box.
  • Select the result that says Cook Islands territory profile.
  • You will find some brief facts about the Cook Islands, as well as some key dates. This result can be expanded to give a full timeline of the Cook Islands.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, e.g [topic word]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

National Geographic

National Geographic is well known for its monthly magazine. The National Geographic website has a good amount of images and videos of countries from around the world.

  • Enter 'Cook Islands' into the search box.
  • Choose Photography to view photos and pictures of the Cook Islands.
  • Try I Heart My Island: Rarotonga or # Cook_Islands for some different information and images of the Cook Islands.
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Daily Life

This section has information about how the Cook Island people live their lives. While some parts of their daily life is the same as New Zealand, some areas will be different from how you live.

Britannica School

Britannica is one of the EPIC resources used by schools. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. Britannica allows you to choose a reading level for your needs.

  • Choose the Secondary level and put in your keyword 'Cook Islands'.
  • This will bring up the Cook Islands entry which covers the geography, plants and animals, people and culture, economy, and history of the Cook Islands.
  • Try the Images & Videos and Related tabs to find more information.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

Encyclopedia of Earth

The Encyclopedia of Earth focuses on the natural environment with a good contents list at the beginning of each article as well as sources where the information came from.

  • Enter the keyword 'Cook Islands'
  • The page on Cook Islands has a great deal of information.
  • As well some background information, there are several maps of the Cook Islands including individual islands, world maps and satellite views.


This is an interactive learning website which has been designed especially for young students.

  • Enter the keywords 'Cook Islands' into the search box.
  • In the results you can find out about digital legends based on traditional stories, such as Tinirau and Ina.

New Zealand and the Cook Islands

New Zealand and the Cook Islands have been connected for a long time. Both countries affect each other in many different ways. There is a large population of Cook Island people who call New Zealand home.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Although this is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa, you will also find useful information relating to the Cook Islands. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

You can choose from a number of topics here, and remember to look at the External links and sources for other suggested resources.

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

This site will help with understanding about New Zealand's relationship with the Cook Islands.

  • Select 'Countries and Regions'.
  • Select 'Pacific Islands' on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Select the Cook Islands.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

Ministry for Pacific Peoples

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples works to promote success for Pacific Peoples. This website is a great resource to look at for information about Cook Islanders and New Zealand.

  • Enter the keyword 'Cook Islands' in the search box.
  • The article called Cook Island Language Week is a good place to start learning about the language and culture of the Cook Islands.


These books will give you more information about the Cook Islands, its people, and the language of the Cook Islands:

Legends of the Cook Islands by Shona Hopkins.

Cook Islands by Taria Kingstone.

Cook Islands Heroes by David Riley.

Cook Islands Maori for Kids by Jahri Jah Jah.

SCIS no: 1860776

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