Stop at the Cook Islands

Spending 12 hours on a flight from the U.S. to New Zealand can be intimidating. A stopover on the idyllic Cook Islands is the perfect answer to a long flight and a wonderful way to relax and recoup from jet lag.

For no additional airfare costs on Air New Zealand, travelers can fly straight into Rarotonga for a few days’ respite before continuing on to Auckland. The plane will land lagoon-side, allowing guests to step off and immediately begin their vacation. Rarotonga is the ultimate island resort destination, with luxe hotels, inspired cuisine, shopping, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the South Pacific. Stopping here is a breeze in every way – not only is it easy to fly in and out, it’s also easy to navigate the island, allowing for maximum relaxation time on the beach.

Continuing on from Rarotonga to Aitutaki is a no-brainer. Just 45 minutes away, Aitutaki has consistently been hailed the most beautiful island in the world and is a favorite destination of Kit here at Esplanade. White sandy beaches stretch for miles, accompanied by a laid-back atmosphere, cold drinks, and crystal blue water stretching to the horizon. Whether traveling with a partner, family, or a group of friends, spending time on beautiful Aitutaki is the perfect start to vacation.

So rather than worry about surviving a long haul flight – add on a stopover at the Cook Islands and experience all the South Pacific has to offer!

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We traveled to New Zealand this year for a great adventure exploring the country. This trip was 4 years in the making due to the Covid pandemic. We booked in 2019 with Esplanade and they planned a fantastic trip. The Esplanade team worked with us seamlessly over the years as we booked and Covid cancelled our trip at least 3 times. When we finally were able to travel in 2023, they had everything perfect. We were really expecting a lot of confusion due to the multiple bookings and cancellations, but Esplanade had everything perfect at every turn. The accommodations, excursions, transfers, etc. were all planned even better than we could have imagined. We highly recommend Esplanade Travel and will be using them again on our next adventure.

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