IT HELPS that the island is shaped like a squashed baked bean, with the only major road a ring that runs around the coast.
Any scooter-straddling tourists who happen to miss a stop can just keep going and half an hour later find it again.
But with Cook Islands about to host a Pacific-wide summit of world leaders - with a celebrity appearance by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - the tiny nation of barely 12,000 people is gearing for a new challenge: traffic.
Not a hire car has been left idle on the main island Rarotonga so the 15 leaders, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and their minders can be swept back and forth.
Generous locals have even surrendered their vehicles ahead of the week-long Pacific Islands Forum. People have been warned to get out of the way whenever a diplomatic convoy led by a flashing police bike rounds one of the island's four bends.
But there are limits.
The Americans had wanted 10 large SUVs to transport Mrs Clinton's entourage across the island during their 24-hour stay. That left the forum's logistics co-ordinator, Jaewynn McKay, somewhat flabbergasted.
''I said to them, 'have you seen any of those here'?'' she told The Age.

It's not only cars. The forum clashes with the peak tourist season, making accommodation the biggest headache.
About 600 officials, media and politicians are attending, not only Pacific countries, but delegations from 60 countries, including far-flung Kosovo.
The problem is doubly complicated by the decision to decamp leaders, officials and media tomorrow and fly them to the distant island of Aitutaki, to get a photo against what is regularly dubbed the most beautiful lagoon in the world.
But the attention is worth it to promote Cook Islands and help the economy. ''Where we can, we've tried to keep everything local,'' said Ms McKay.