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More than Aitu and Raro?

F A
Petoskey, Michigan
12 posts
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More than Aitu and Raro?

I am planning for a trip to the Cooks in July. I was attracted by the reports of sparse kitch and development (we loved Eleuthera for those that know the Bahamas for that reason).

I've read a lot about Raro and Aitu and it seems Aitu definitely fits our laid back style more - but I'm curious, what's going on in the other islands? I'd love a brief description of some of the other parts of the Cooks.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

Kia Orana F A, welcome to the forum.

As yet I haven't ventured to any of the Northern group islands, so can only share something about the other Southern group.

Visited Mangaia late last year. Awesome island! Reputed to be the oldest island in the Pacific. Very unlike Rarotonga (of course), Aitutaki or Atiu even. Extremely clean, large like Raro, 3 remote villages, very unspoilt, small population approx 400, welcoming and proud people, beautiful landscape of high coral cliffs, coastal plain, pretty rock-pools, interior plantations and small volcanic hills. Big network of interior roading - excellent for hiking. Newish s/c villas, remote cabins, & guesthouses. My colleague and I stayed at Babe's near Oneroa. Small Friday market, & grocery stores in main village on west. 3 weekly return air services from Raro.

Mitiaro - gorgeous, and very different to other islands again. Happy people and most hospitable, lovely crystal clear cave-pools, large lake, gentle-laid back vibe, nice sandy beach, coastal road that rings the island, charming villages. Twice weekly air service from Raro. Around 300 residents.

Mauke - the garden island. Has some similarities to Mitiaro and Atiu ( having shared tribal heritage). People on this island have always been enterprising and creative - like Mangaians. Pretty coves, inland caves and freshwater pools, famous dual-architecture Ziona church, mix of guest-house and s/c cottages, good island for easy walking and exploring. At times Air Rarotonga will fly from Mitiaro to Mauku, or vice-versa. Flights are several times a week from Raro. About 450 residents.

Although Palmerston is considered part of the Northern group, it sits nearer Aitutaki than the northern islands. No airstrip, can only arrive there by inter-island cargo boat or yacht. 50 persons total population.

Enjoy your stay on Atiu. I really like that island, being so different from Raro and Aitutaki, but also because of its plantlife and birds. Awesome history, and geography too.

Kia manuia.

Canada/Australia
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2. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

F A,

Welcome to the forum. When you say Aitu, I assumed you were asking about Aitutaki? I think others may mistake that for Atiu a completely different island. Most don't shorten Aitutaki.

I think you will love Aitutaki.

F A
Petoskey, Michigan
12 posts
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3. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

@Frangipani Thank you for the amazingly detailed response! I'd love to see everything!

@Donna Yes, I meant Aitutaki. I'm guessing accommodations are harder to come by (and more expensive) on the other islands?

Rarotonga, Cook...
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4. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

Great info on this website: www.ck Lots of information on each of the outer islands as well as accommodation

England
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5. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

Have a look at my independent guide to all of the islands - www.cookislands.org.uk. Not only will it give you details about Aitutaki, it might also give you ideas about the other islands. Atiu is even less uspoiled than Aitutaki, but the latter wins hands down with its lagoon.

Hobart, Australia
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6. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

F A I would suggest you go and buy a Cook Island Lonely Planet Guide or borrow one from your library - lots of great information including the history of the islands

Regards

Suzi

Edited: 17 January 2014, 09:48
Rarotonga, Cook...
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7. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

Hi again, F A,

I haven't found the outer islands - aside from Aitutaki to be more expensive for accommodation. Quite the reverse in fact. Aitutaki, like Rarotonga, can command high prices for moderate priced and higher end accommodation; since that's what mainstream tourists are prepared to pay.

People who venture to the other outer islands - Atiu - Mangaia etc seek a different type of experience, being more eco-minded and adventurous. Having said that, the accommodation my colleague and I enjoyed on Mangaia was high quality, at exceptionally good value. I'd return to that captivating island in a heart-beat. Very unspoilt, and rich in history and aesthetics!

Have a look at this site for information about the various islands - http://www.ck

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9. Re: More than Aitu and Raro?

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