The Southern Cook Islands are a loose group of mostly volcanic, hilly islands and a few coral atolls.
- Rarotonga - most visited island and location of the capital
- Aitutaki - the second major destination, with developed facilities.
- Atiu - an inhabited coffee-growing island, with birdlife, beaches and caves, offers opportunity to access Takutea'
- Mangaia - the most southern of the islands, inhabited, accessible by air, with accommodation.
- Mauke - inhabited, with some accommodation, three flights a week.
- Mitiaro - inhabited, with some accommodation, three flights a week.
- Palmerston Island - tiny island, small population, interesting history, no air access.
- Manuae - an uninhabited coral atoll, no air access, no accommodation.
Air Rarotonga offers scheduled services between the islands. Barges service the inhabited islands, but do not operate to a schedule. Charter flights are available.
There are no major hazards in the Cook Islands. There are no poisonous wild or marine life in the Cook Islands other than sharks in the far northern island groups. Crime is rare but does occur most likely in the form of petty theft. Police are contactable on the emergency number 999.