Capital - Avarua
Population - 21,388
Area - 240 km²
Density - 89.12 inhabitants per km²
Currency - NZD
Official language – Rarotongan, English
The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and American Samoa. There are 15 major islands spread over 2.2 million km² of ocean, divided into two distinct groups: the Southern and the Northern Cook Islands of coral atolls. The Cook Islands are one of the best kept secrets of the South Pacific – a place where the stunning white sand beaches and bountiful coral reefs are as unspoiled as its lively Polynesian culture. Rarotonga is the largest and the most populous of the Cook Islands; the island is known for its rugged high mountains, lush valley floors and beautiful beaches. Regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the Pacific, Aitutaki is known throughout the world for its spectacular turquoise blue lagoon dotted with sand bars, coral ridges and 21 uninhabited motu (lagoon islets), is colourful and full of life. Atui is the third largest and third most visited of the Cook Islands. The island is also known as the Land of the Birds. More species live there than on any of the other islands, and they include some of the world's rarest.