South Pacific Islands holiday: Cook Islands and French Polynesia

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    Wade through the bright blue waters surrounding One Foot Island | Travel Nation
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    Taste local wine on Waiheke Island, New Zealand | Travel Nation

    Taste local wine on Waiheke Island

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    Mopeds are a great way to get around the island

    Mopeds are a great way to get around the main island

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    Get a glimpse of local culture on the Cook Islands | Travel Nation

    Get a glimpse of local culture

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    Soak up the tropical scenery in French Polynesia | Travel Nation

    Soak up the tropical scenery in French Polynesia

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    Snorkel through crystal clear waters in French Polynesia | Travel Nation

    Snorkel through crystal clear waters

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    Moorea soars out of the ocean
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    See the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon sunshine | Travel Nation

    See the Golden Gate Bridge in the afternoon sunshine

Tailor-made holidays

Duration(in days): 27

From: UK

To: UK



Inc. International flights (Per person, based on 2 sharing)

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See more ideas for: Cook Islands | French Polynesia | New Zealand | USA

    Combine bustling cities with relaxing beaches on this South Pacific Islands holiday to the Cook Islands and French Polynesia with stopovers in Auckland & San Francisco. Starting in Auckland, you’ll explore the haven of vineyards, olive groves & beaches of Waiheke Island before jetting off to the Cook Islands, where the swaying palm trees of Rarotonga and the blue lagoon in Aitutaki beckon. Head over to French Polynesia to dive for black pearls in Tahiti and snorkel amongst clouds of colourful fish in Moorea, before finishing in the exciting city of San Francisco where you can feast on noodles in Chinatown. This holiday ticks off pristine beaches, sunny climes and delicious food – what more could you want!          

    This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

    This holiday includes

    • International flights
    • All transfers
    • All accommodation in New Zealand, Cook Islands, French Polynesia & the USA
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Meals as mentioned below



    • Wine tasting on Waiheke Island
    • Understand more about the Polynesian culture by attending an 'island night' in Rarotonga
    • Cruise over the crystal-clear waters of Aitutaki Lagoon
    • Kick back and relax on the beaches of French Polynesia
    • Snorkel amongst colourful fish in stunning Moorea
    • Explore the Mission District in San Francisco


    Itinerary in brief:

    • 3 nights Auckland
    • 4 nights Rarotonga
    • 3 nights Aitutaki
    • 1 night Rarotonga
    • 3 nights Tahiti
    • 4 nights Moorea
    • 3 nights San Francisco

    Day 1: Depart UK

    Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

    Included: International flight

    Day 2: On board flight

    Day 3: Arrive Auckland, ferry to Waiheke

    On arrival in Auckland you will be met and driven to the ferry terminal, for the short boat journey over to Waiheke Island. Here you’ll make your own way to your hotel, checking in for 3 nights.

    Included: Ferry, transfer & 3* hotel

    Day 4-5: Waiheke Island

    You’ll have two full days to relax and explore the beautiful Waiheke Island. This tranquil spot is just off the coast of Auckland but feels worlds away from the big city living. Quaint villages, pretty vineyards and rugged beaches can be found around every corner and you’ll be able to fill your time with a mix of relaxation and adventure.

    On Day 3, we’ve included a private wine tour, taking you around three local vineyards for tasting and learning about this scenic island as you drive over the rolling hills. Enjoy lunch and a glass of wine with sea views to die for. The rest of the time is yours to do as much or as little as you like.

    Included: Private wine tour, 3* hotel

    Day 6: Fly to the Cook Islands

    Take one last walk along the beachfront before heading back to the ferry terminal for the boat back to Auckland. You’ll be met at the harbour and driven back to the airport in time for your flight to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

    Included: International flight   

    Day 7: Arrive Cook Islands

    You will be greeted at the airport with a flower lei and driven to your hotel by shared transfer.

    On arrival at your accommodation, check in for a 4-night stay.

    Included: Hotel, transfer             

    Days 8 - 10: Rarotonga

    It’s time to truly relax and set your clock to the laid back 'island time'!

    If you want to see what local life is like on the island, head to the main town of Avaru, where there is a market every Saturday. On Sunday mornings you'll find most of the Islanders will be in church, and you're always welcome to join them at their Sunday service for another glimpse of every day local life here. Why not hire a small car, moped or even a bicycle to do some exploring? There are plenty of lovely beaches to explore – some better for swimming, others snorkelling. If you fancy a bit more action, you can go kite surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or open water diving.

    Included: Hotel, breakfast          

    Day 11: Fly to Aitutaki

    After breakfast, you will be taken by shared transfer back to Rarotonga Airport for the short and scenic 45-minute flight to Aitutaki. On arrival, you will be met and driven to your accommodation, where you’ll check-in for a 3-night stay.

    Included: Internal flight, transfer, hotel, breakfast          

    Days 12 & 13: Aitutaki        

    We have included a cruise on the beautiful Aitutaki Lagoon. Float above the turquoise waters spotting turtles, then head to some amazing snorkelling sites for an up-close experience in the water. A BBQ lunch is provided and you'll get to visit One Foot Island, a stunning uninhabited island popular with wedding couples looking for a romantic and private ceremony.

    The rest of your time in Aitutaki will be spent relaxing and enjoying the endless white beaches of the island.

    Included: Hotel, Vaka cruise, breakfast

    Day 14: Return to Rarotonga

    After checking out, you will be taken to the airport by shared transfer for your flight back to Rarotonga where you’ll spend a final night in the Cook Islands – make sure you pick up any last-minute souvenirs you have got your eye on!

    Included: Internal flight, hotel, breakfast

    Day 15: Fly to French Polynesia

    Spend your morning relaxing before being taken by shared transfer to the airport for your flight to Tahiti. On arrival into Papeete Airport, you will be met and greeted with a flower lei before being taken by shared transfer to your pension where you will check in for a 3-night stay.

    Included: Breakfast, hotel, transfers, international flight

    Days 16 & 17: Tahiti

    You have 2 full days now to enjoy the island of Tahiti. Spend your days unwinding by the pool, or swimming or snorkelling at the nearby beach. If you’re keen to explore the island then why not join a whale watching tour, book a canyoning trip to the Lavatubes or hike one of the several volcanoes that offer amazing views and cooling waterfalls to enjoy after your walk.   

    Included: Hotel, breakfast          

    Day 18: Ferry to Moorea

    After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be collected and taken to the Pier for your boat launch to Moorea, a ferry journey which takes around 30 minutes. On arrival, you’ll be met and taken to your hotel where you will check in for a 4-night stay.   

    Included: Hotel, breakfast, transfers, ferry          

    Days 19 - 21: Moorea

    Spend 3 days relaxing on the heart-shaped island of Moorea, admiring beautiful sunrises and experiencing complete relaxation. The island itself can be cycled round in a few hours. Head to the north-west coast for some swimming and snorkelling, or you could take a quad bike or 4WD safari tour to lookout points over the island and its lagoon and bays.       

    Included: Hotel, breakfast          

    Day 22: Fly to San Francisco

    You will be collected from your hotel today and taken by shared transfer to the ferry terminal for your return ferry to Tahiti. On arrival, you will be met and taken to the airport in time to catch your overnight flight to San Francisco.

    Included: International flight, transfer, ferry, breakfast

    Day 23: Arrive San Francisco

    On arrival, make your way to your San Francisco accommodation. Check in, unpack and refresh; the next 4 days will be an experience to remember. Take the rest of the day at your leisure; stroll the streets or dine on the wharf as the sun sets.

    Included: Hotel

    Days 24 & 25: San Francisco

    Your first day is yours to explore the city. San Francisco is known for its cool and quirky vibe and iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. Wander through Union Square and grab a coffee whilst people-watching, visit Fishermans Wharf and make sure to take a walk to China Town to enjoy dim sum – it’s the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the best place to grab a delicious dinner!

    On your second day, you’ll join your day tour of the city. Loop your way around the winding streets and pathways of San Fran, exploring the natural and architectural beauty of this laidback city. Later in the day head to Pier 33 and board your ferry to Alcatraz Island. Enjoy the 45-minute audio tour that escorts you past the halls and cell blocks of the prison. Real inmates from Alcatraz’s glory days whisper rumours and stories into your ear as you stroll down the historic halls. Peering through the barred windows back to the city on the bay will have you questioning what life was really like for these inmates.

    Included: Hotel, city tour with Alcatraz

    Day 26: Depart San Francisco

    It is time to head for the airport in time for your flight home.

    Included: International flight   

    Day 27: Arrive UK    

    The Cook Islands are a great year-round destination with temperatures ranging between 18c and 28c in the winter (October to May) and 21c to 29c in the summer (November to April). The Cooks has a pleasantly even climate year-round with no real weather excesses, although it can rain often thanks to its high inland mountains. The best time of year to visit is around September/October when you will find warm temperatures and low humidity, also March/April when the weather is generally fine and sunny.

    The best time to visit French Polynesia is the dry winter period between May and October when the weather is cooler and rainfall is much less. From November to April temperatures rise as the summer rainy season begins bringing humid, cloudy weather and lots of rain. During this time, it is not uncommon to experience brief, violent storms or torrential rains lasting a few days at a time. Peak season is July and August, Christmas and Easter school holidays meaning prices at this time will be at a premium.

    This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.           

    What's included
    • International flights
    • Return airport transfers
    • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    Not included
    • Any meals not mentioned
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips & gratuities