Located 55 kilometres south of Pukapuka, the samll island of Nassau is covered with palms and is..Penrhyn - Tongareva Information
The northern most island of the Cook Islands, Penrhyn is located 1365 kilometres from Rarotonga and..Pukapuka Information
Frisbie's 'Island of Desire', isolated insular and renowned for its unusual social customs..Rakahanga Information
Situated 25 miles northeast of neighboring Manihiki, Rakahanga is an atoll with a picturesque..Suwarrow Information
Suwarrow was for many years the home of a New Zealand hermit, Tom Neale, who wrote of his life in a..See all locations in Northern Group
At the heart of our pearl industry, Manihiki is a large atoll with a deep lagoon and sits atop an underwater mountain rising 4000 metres above the ocean floor. The land mass measures just 5.4 kilometres long with a 4 kilometre-wide lagoon laced with 40 tiny motu( islets) which are strung along the reef.
Regarded for its outstanding natural beauty, the lagoon houses the farms for our world-acclaimed and much sort after cultured black pearls. This beautiful atoll is the cultured black pearl capital of the Cook Islands, producing pearls that become centrepieces for fine jewellery worn by women and men worldwide.
Lying 1160 kilometers north of Rarotonga, Polynesians are beleived to have lived on Manihiki since 1500AD, although it was not discovered by Europeans until 1822, when it was sighted bt the US ship Good Hope and named Humphrey Island.
Tauhunu, on the western coast is renowned for its pearl carvers and for the Fare Ariki - one of the old houses still standing after Hurricane Martin struck in Novemeber 1997.
Manihiki is one of two islands in the Cooks Group that produces pearls the other being Penrhyn.
These treasures from the ocean are produced only in the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, and are sought after throughout the world. Much of the population on the island is involved in pearl production in some form or another. Tours can be arranged to the farms to learn aobut the cultivation process, and to watch the seeding of oyster sheels for future pearl harvest.
Every dawn is the start of a busy day on the lagoon, cleaning and caring for the black-lipped oyster, diving or collecting spats (infant oysters). Locals use small outboard boats to travel between villages, or to their pearl farms set up on small coral outcrops. However, time is still found to make brilliant finely woven rito specially prepared coconut fibre hats, fans and shell adornments.
The lagoon prvides excellent swimming and snorkelling with plenty of coulourful tropical fish to view. Diving is a major attraction and off-shore diving is amoung the region's best ( vistors must obtain a permit at the village of Tauhunu). There is good game fishing in the open waters beyond the reef.
Manihiki is the most accessible of the Northern Group islands, with air services from Rarotonga. But note that the flight time is approximately 4 hours and Air Rarotonga advises that flights are dependant on bookings.
If you are considering exploring Manihiki and the Northern group we advise that you allow for a further two weeks stay in the case of weather delays or flight schedules changing. That you bring supplies to last for the time of your stay and two weeks further and that you prepare for an experience that is like no other, complete and total seclusion in paradise on earth.