Cook Islands - Money & Costs
Money & Costs in Cook IslandsCurrency: New Zealand Dollar
You can travel comfortably in the Cooks, staying at the top-end lodges and eating at the best restaurants, for US$200 to $300 a day or more, depending on whether you hit more than two or three islands or stock up on tivaevae quilts. Moderate travel will run closer to US$100 to $150 a day, though you can get by for less if you pick your accommodation with care and do a little self-catering. Budget travellers can squeak by for well under US$50 a day if they stick to inexpensive accommodation and restaurants.
You get about 4% more for travellers' cheques than for cash. There aren't many place you can change cash - Avarua, Aitutaki and a few hotels. You're better off changing all your money on Rarotonga rather than hoping to do it on the outer islands.
There's a value added tax of 12.5%. Tipping isn't a custom in the islands, and haggling over prices is considered extremely rude.