Cook Islands - History, Geography, Sports, and 13 Fascinating Facts

The Cook Islands are located in the South Pacific ocean. They are some of the world’s most beautiful sites to see. The Cook Islands consists of 15 islands, and the population roughly reaches up to 20,000. These small Islands have their government and are also in free association with New Zealand. The Island’s total area is roughly 240 sq kilometers. They have friendly ties with New Zealand, and the country is also responsible for defending the small nation of Cook Island. They have the responsibility of defending these Islands, but recently the Cook Islands have tried to become independent and have an independent foreign policy.

The Cook Islands are a famous tourist spot where thousands of visitors travel to have the time of their life. The locals are friendly people, as around 86 percent of the population speaks English. So, travelers do not have any problem while visiting this country. They also have their local language called Cook Islands Māori. The language is also spoken in New Zealand and some other neighboring countries. The Cook Islanders are also granted the nationality of New Zealand. So, this means that they can easily move to the country and live there. There are more Cook Islanders in New Zealand than on these Islands. The country’s main source of earning is tourism, and the country is always trying methods to improve tourism in the country.

Cooks Islands are still under the rule of Queen Elizabeth II. Although her influence in the country is very little, the head of the state is still selected by the queen and called the Queen’s Representative. It is a title given to the viceregal of Cook Island according to the country’s constitution. Cook Island became a self-governance country on 4th August 1965, and the people of the country have been selecting their prime minister ever since. In 1992 the United Nations also recognized the Cook Islands as an independent nation. The country uses New Zealand dollars as their main currency; Cook Island dollars were circulating in the past, but now it uses New Zealand dollars.

History

Cook Islands History is not more than 1000 years old. The first settles in the Cook Islands entered the area in 1000 AD. The Polynesian people were the first to settle on these Islands. Polynesian people lived on these Islands for over 500 years until their first interaction with the Europeans. The Europeans came on this Island in 1595 AD. A Spanish Navigator located the Island and first sighted the Island of Pukapuka. He named the island Saint Bernard. The first landing of Europeans on the Islands was in 1606 when captain Pedro Fernandes sat foot on the island of Rakahanga and called it the land of beautiful people.

The name Cook Islands was given to the area after a British navigator Captain James Cook. He visited islands two times; first, he visited in 1773 and later came in 1777. British gave it the name of Hervey Islands but later in a Russian Naval chart, and the name Cook Islands was first published.  

English missionaries arrived on the Island in the 1800s, and Christianity spread in the area as bushfire. The Cook Islands have been a famous stop for Whale hunters. Ships would stop on the Islands before moving back to their home countries. In October. 1900 the area was petitioned as British territory, and the people of the Islands signed a treaty with the British to save themselves from the French. Islands were given an independent status in 1965 after the Islands government signed a constitution.

Geography

Islands are located near New Zealand. The islands are located on the northeast side of the country. The 15 islands of the Cook Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean between French Polynesian and American Samoa Islands. The 15 islands are spread over a huge area, but the total habitable land is 240 sq km. The Cook Islands are divided into two distinct groups. Southern Cook Island and Northern Cook Islands. These two groups are two chains of islands that make up the whole area. The Cook Islands are the result of Volcanic activity.

Rarotonga Island houses most of the population of the country. Some islands do not have a population, like Tema Reef, Suwarrow, Manual, Takutea, and Winslow Reef. The Tema and Winslow reed are both submerged underwater. The total population of the island is estimated to be around 20,000.

Sports

Cooks Island is a small nation, yet the people are invested in all activities. As it was a part of the British empire, cricket is in their hearts. Cricket is one of the most famous games in the Islands, but the favorite game of the people living in the country is Football. They play several types of Football, Like Rugby and soccer. Netball is also one of the most famous games in the country. They have also competed in the Netball world cup. Several other games are also played in Cook Island, but these three are the top famous games of Islands.

13 Fascinating Facts

1
The Cook Islands are named after the British explorer who discovered the islands. The name of the Islands have been converted many times, but the British, in honor of Captain James Cook, named them the Cook Islands.
2
The Islands are full of clear water beaches, which are highly adored by divers and tourists worldwide.
3
The Cook Islands are almost 3000 miles away from Australia, and it takes almost seven hours to reach the islands from Australia.
4
Almost 80% percent of the population of Cook Islands lives in Rarotonga Island. The Island has an area of 67 sq km, but it is still not the most densely populated area of the Cook Islands.
5
The Cook Islands have their international airport. The airport is located on the most populated island of all 15. The international airport of Cook Islands is located on Rarotonga.
6
The most densely populated Island of all 15 Cook Islands is Pukapuka. The Island has an area of only one sq km, but the total population living on this island is 444. This is one of the smallest yet most densely populated islands. The island also has historical significance.
7
First habitants of the Cook Islands settled on these islands 1000 years ago. The study suggests that the first settlement on these islands were back in 1000 AD. The people of Tahiti island moved to these parts of the Pacific Ocean and settled here.
8
Most population in the Cook Islands is Christianity. The English missionary spread Christianity, and now almost all the population is Christian.
9
Cook Islanders have two nationalities by birth. Cook Islanders are also given the nationality of New Zealand as it is a free association with New Zealand.
10
Cook Islanders are true Polynesians as they settled from Haiti island to Cook Islands around 1000 AD, and they have been here ever since. Foreigners didn't enter these premises until the 1600s.
11
Shorts and tank tops are the most frequently worn outfits of the Cook Islands as the temperature never goes below 24 C.
12
New Zealand dollars are used as currency in Rarotonga, but outside Rarotonga, US dollars are used as a medium of exchange.
13
Tourism is the biggest earning method for people and the government. Thousands of tourists visit islands every year, and locals earn by providing them services.

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