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Cook Islands

All about Cook Islands Fun Earth Science Facts for Kids - Image of a Beach in Cook Islands
All about Cook Islands Fun Earth Science Facts for Kids - Image of a Beach in Cook Islands

The Cook Islands, named after explorer James Cook, are a group of 15 islands in the South Pacific Ocean between Fiji and French Polynesia. The Cook Islands are divided into two groups – the North islands and the South islands. The North islands are made of low-lying coral atolls. Grasses and palm trees grow here.

The South islands, formed from volcanoes, have rich, fertile soil and rainforests. The Cook Islands have a wet rainy season from December to March, followed by a dry season. Tropical storms are common.

The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is made up of 15 islands and has a population of around 17,500 people. The islands are known for their beautiful beaches, clear turquoise waters, and vibrant marine life.

Tourism is a major industry in the Cook Islands, with visitors coming to enjoy the stunning natural landscapes and experience the unique Polynesian culture. The Cook Islands has a parliamentary democracy and is in free association with New Zealand, which provides defense and foreign affairs support.

Cook Islands Facts for Kids

  • The Cook Islands are in the Pacific Ocean.
  • They’re named after explorer James Cook.
  • The islands are self-governing.
  • English and Maori are spoken there.
  • There are 15 islands in total.
  • The capital is Avarua.
  • They’re known for their white beaches.
  • They use the New Zealand dollar.
  • One popular sport is rugby league.
  • The islands have a tropical climate.


Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands are a part of Polynesia, which is a cluster of islands scattered across the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, comprising 15 islands, was named in honor of British explorer Captain James Cook, who set foot on the islands in the 18th century. Renowned for their picturesque sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and rich Polynesian heritage, the Cook Islands offer a perfect tropical haven.

The natives, known as Cook Islanders, converse in English and Cook Islands Maori, a Polynesian dialect, reflecting their cultural diversity. Life on these islands is deeply rooted in traditional Polynesian music, dance, and art, with locals often organizing festivals to pay homage to their unique culture.

Pacific Ocean

Named after the renowned explorer Captain James Cook, the Cook Islands are a picturesque collection of 15 islands nestled in the South Pacific Ocean, spanning a vast 850,000 square miles of oceanic expanse. These islands are bifurcated into two principal groups, the Northern Group, and the Southern Group, with Rarotonga being the primary island.

Rarotonga is encircled by a lagoon that stretches out to the reef for several hundred yards, unveiling a breathtaking spectacle of marine life and striking coral formations. Despite their geographic location in the Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands maintain a political affiliation with New Zealand.

The islands are celebrated for their lively Polynesian culture, hospitable inhabitants, and splendid beaches. Beyond their small size, the Cook Islands boast a dense biodiversity, home to numerous unique species of flora and fauna.


Rarotonga, the largest and most densely populated island in the Cook Islands, serves as a central hub rich in culture, adventure, and breathtaking natural beauty that offers a range of fun and educational activities for children. Its magical lagoon, vibrant coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life, and lush green mountains create a perfect setting for learning and exploration.

Children can immerse themselves in Rarotonga’s traditional Polynesian culture, which manifests vividly through local music, dance, and art, integral aspects of local festivals and events. The island’s intriguing history is unveiled through its ancient marae, sacred places, and traditional villages.

Beyond cultural experiences, kids can engage in a variety of activities such as visiting markets, hiking in the rainforest, or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, making Rarotonga a dynamic destination despite its small size.


Aitutaki Island, part of the Cook Islands, is an idyllic paradise, offering not only breathtaking natural beauty but also rich cultural experiences for children.

This ‘almost’ atoll, encircled by a lagoon and coral reefs, offers children an unparalleled opportunity to explore marine life amidst the island’s signature turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Its status as one of the oldest inhabited islands in the Cook Islands lends a unique historical and cultural richness, with well-preserved traditional Polynesian music, dance, and art.

The tropical allure is further enhanced by the abundance of local fruits such as coconuts, bananas, and papayas, which children would find delightful. Aitutaki’s welcoming locals and safe environment ensure a blend of fun and educational experiences, making it a perfect destination for children to learn about Pacific culture and geography.

South Pacific

Located halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, the Cook Islands, an enchanting chain of 15 islands in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean, are a haven of natural beauty and rich Polynesian culture. The islands, renowned for their gleaming blue lagoons, lush landscapes, and vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, captivate children keen on exploring nature’s wonders.

The islands’ charm is further enhanced by the traditional music, dances, and legends of their rich Polynesian heritage. This unique fusion of natural grandeur and cultural richness makes the Cook Islands a mesmerizing and educational destination for children.

Maori culture

The Cook Islands, nestled in the South Pacific Ocean, is a treasure trove of cultural richness heavily influenced by Maori traditions. Children learning about this region will find that the indigenous Maori people, who have inhabited these islands for over a millennium, have significantly shaped its cultural dynamics and historical narrative.

The local tongue, Cook Islands Maori or Rarotongan, is widely used in conjunction with English. Traditional Maori art forms such as carving, weaving, and dance are not only preserved but are also celebrated in the present day. The Cook Islands’ vibrant drum dances, in particular, have gained global recognition. Moreover, the islanders continue to respect and practice ancient Polynesian navigation techniques, utilizing the stars, winds, and waves for maritime exploration, much like their forebears.

Island nations

The Cook Islands, a captivating island nation situated in the South Pacific Ocean, offers an intriguing study for children. This distinctive country is composed of 15 charming and beautiful small islands, each with its unique appeal.

Named after the renowned explorer Captain James Cook who visited in the 1770s, the Cook Islands are celebrated for their pristine waters, diverse marine life, and picturesque landscapes, providing a haven for nature enthusiasts. The local population, referred to as Cook Islanders, are hospitable and converse in both English and Cook Islands Maori.

The islands emanate a rich and vibrant culture, where traditional music, dance, and arts are integral to daily life. Despite its size, the Cook Islands maintain self-governance, yet are in free association with New Zealand, which offers assistance in defense and foreign affairs.


Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands are a favored vacation spot for families, owing to their breathtaking natural beauty and the array of activities available for children. The islands offer young tourists the chance to engage with the unique marine life by snorkeling through the distinctive coral reefs or immerse themselves in the local Polynesian culture through traditional music and dance performances.

They can also relish the simple pleasure of building sandcastles on immaculate beaches. The Cook Islands are a sanctuary for a diverse range of wildlife, including vibrantly colored tropical birds and butterflies, which can be observed on guided nature treks. The welcoming and secure atmosphere provided by the warm, friendly locals makes the Cook Islands an enjoyable and enlightening vacation destination for children.

Coral reefs

The Cook Islands, nestled in the South Pacific, are famed for their breathtaking coral reefs that are integral to the marine ecosystem. As a vibrant habitat, these reefs harbor a diverse array of marine creatures such as vivid fish, sea turtles, and different mollusk species. In addition, they function as a natural shield, safeguarding the islands against storms and erosion by absorbing wave energy.

They provide an extraordinary real-world lab for children interested in marine biology, offering them a chance to explore biodiversity, learn about conservation, and understand the criticality of preserving natural resources for the benefit of future generations.


Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, the Cook Islands are celebrated for their breathtaking beaches, which make an ideal playground for children. Encircled by shimmering turquoise waters and pristine white sand, the islands offer an optimal setting for activities such as building sandcastles.

The calm, shallow lagoons that envelop the islands ensure a safe environment for children to swim and snorkel. Among these beaches, Muri Beach on Rarotonga stands out, offering fun-filled water sports such as paddleboarding and kayaking for children. Moreover, the beaches serve as a habitat for diverse marine life, presenting a thrilling learning experience for children to explore different species in their natural surroundings.

Fun Earth Science for Kids All about Cook Islands - Explorer James Cook image
Fun Earth Science for Kids All about Cook Islands – Explorer James Cook image

Fun Facts about Cook Islands for Kids

  • About 18,000 people live on the Cook Islands.
  • Avarua is the capital of Cook Islands.
  • The Cook Islands include about 92 square miles of land.
  • The official language on the Cook Islands is English, but many people speak Maori.
  • The currency used on Cook Islands is the New Zealand Dollar.
  • The Cook Islands are self-governing, but are associated with New Zealand.
  • Most people on the island are Christian.
  • Many people keep family pets: pigs, goats and dogs.
  • The islands are the second largest black pearl producer in the world.
  •  Rarotonga has the vast majority of the population of all the 15 islands. Over 13,000 people live here.
  • Rugby is the most popular sport followed by cricket and soccer.
  • At 658 m Te Manga is the highest mountain in Cook Islands.

Cook Islands Vocabulary

  1. Explorer: someone who ventures to new places
  2. Atoll: an island formed of coral
  3. Fertile: healthy, capable of producing crops or life
  4. Self-governing: make own laws

Learn More All about Cook Islands

Watch this awesome Cook Islands video for kids:

A video introduction all about Cook Islands, the country’s sceneries and culture.

Cook Islands Q&A

Question: What are the major industries on the Cook Islands?

Answer: Tourism is important. Many people come to explore the beautiful beaches here. Additionally, the oceans are a source of not only fish, but black pearls. Farmers grow coconuts, papayas and other tropical fruit.

Map of Cook Islands

Here’s a map of the country of Cook Islands and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Cook Islands! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Cook Islands, as though you are actually there!


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