Map of Cook Islands | Cook Islands Flag Facts | Reasons to visit the Cook Islands
Pacific is beaming with magnificent islands. Spot any country, and its beauty will amaze you like heaven. Today, we are taking you to the Cook Islands, a place full of attractive beaches, lovely lagoons, cheerful harbour, and many more attractions forming a complete fun package for couples, individuals, and families. The Cook Islands are the best choice to enjoy a relaxing sunbath far away from dull city life. In this blog, we are going to explore some general features about this country such as its location, population, languages, flag, and must-visit hotspots. Stay with us to enjoy this free mind trip!
Map of Cook Islands
Where are the Cook Islands located on a world map?
Cook Islands location on the world map is in open waters of the South Pacific being northwest to New Zealand. The country sits in between Australia to its far west and South America in the far east. Nearby nations are Tonga in the west, Jarvis Island to the north, American Samoa on the northwest and the Pitcairn Islands to lower east. The Cook Islands is an independent country although it has free association with New Zealand where New Zealand regulates Cook Island’s defence and foreign policy.
Cook Islands Population
At present, Cook Islanders constitute a population of 17,568 individuals as indicated by data gathered by the United Nations. With such a small population, Cooks Island is placed at 223rd on the world countries population list and makes 0.00023% of the global population. The land area stretches across 240 square kilometers with a population density of 73 people per square kilometer. The yearly change percentage has increased from -0.73% in 2010 to -0.03% in 2020. About three fourth of its total population resides in urban areas, of which 13,373 people live in Avarua, the Cook Islands capital.
A vast portion of the population is of mixed Polynesian ancestry. Cook Islands history mentions that in the early 19th century intermarriages among locals and outsiders were in fashion. As a result, today the majority of the population is of mixed lineage from Polynesian, Chinese, European, and African heritage.
The majority of the population are Christians, where protestants represent 62.8% of the total population, rest include Catholics at about 17%, Mormon 4.4%, and other religions such as Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists around 8%. Approximately 7.8% of people do not follow any religion.
Cook Islands Official Languages
English and Cook Islands Maori are two official languages here, and apart from these two, there are several other languages that the communities of various islands use in their conversations. These include Pukapuka and Penrhynese.
Cook Islands Maori further has about six dialects. These are Aitutaki, Ātiu, Mangaia, Manihiki, Rarotonga, and Tongareva (Penrhyn). Of these, Rarotonga is the standard dialect that is spoken in the Cook Islands as well as the Cooks communities living in New Zealand. According to an estimate, there are about 27,000 people who use this dialect over the globe.
Cook Islands Flag
Simple, historic, and meaningful, it has a blue flag with the union jack in the corner. The flag’s proportion is 1:2 consisting of a royal blue field with a ring of fifteen white stars at the hoist. This flag is quite similar to the flags of island countries that were once under British rule.
On and off, there have been many changes to the national flag. The present design is not very old and dates only to 1979. However, there have been about six flags before it. The very first flag was a horizontal tri-stripe of red, white, and red with three blue stars in the middle.
In 1892, the country came under the United Kingdom’s protectorate, and a new flag was created. It featured a union jack over the previous design which was later redesigned by addition of coconut tree on the union sign. Coming to 1901, the country was affiliated with New Zealand. From 1901 to 1973, New Zealand’s national flag was used. In 1974, Cook Islands became independent and thus developed a new flag. It was the result of a national competition in which about 120 entries were submitted. This flag included a green field with fifteen gold stars. It received many changes in subsequent years until the present flag design came up in 1979 and continues to date.
Cook Islands Flag Meaning
The union jack represents the free association with New Zealand, and a run through the colonial history of these islands. The blue field is for the vast oceanic waters of Pacific. The 15 white stars are metaphors for its fifteen islands, Tongareva, Rakahanga, Manihiki, Pukapuka, Nassau, Suwarrow, Palmerston, Aitutaki, Manuae, Takutea, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke, Rarotonga and Mangaia.
What is the Cook Islands famous for?
You will find here an immense opportunity for all kinds of water sports, including kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, etc. There are 15 islands, that means if you have a fortnight for the Cook Island holidays, you can select a new Island for each day. The country is not so big which makes it an ideal size to enjoy your vacations. Although it is considered mostly a honeymoon spot, individual travellers also visit here.
- Cook Islands travel is best for couples. There are numerous romantic spots, and Cook Islands resorts along the beach side make it a perfect romantic trip.
- Cook Islands best beaches with cosy sand and lush green trees offer an incredible experience to quench your wanderlust. Some hotspots are Aitutaki Lagoon, Titikaveka Beach, Muri Lagoon, Ootu Beach, Black Rock Beach, Aroa Beach, Tumai Beach, and others.
- Make sure you visit the Island of Rarotonga and your visit is incomplete if you do not enjoy the local feast and dinner with the natives. The food is of variety and taste. Some mouth-watering cuisines include Ika Mata and Umukai. Not just the food but the cooking is also unique. They cover the food in banana leaves and cook over hot stones.