5 Reasons Why Atiu Is the Destination for You
A destination not known by many but an island with a very strong identity and rich in culture scratches the surface when you describe Atiu. Full of adventure waiting for those who are ready to experience off the beaten track.
A quick 40-minute plane ride from Rarotonga felt like as soon as we were up past the clouds it was already time to descend. A very small airport awaits you, guaranteeing you will take a total 15 steps and you have picked up your bag, on the back of the ute and off to your home away from home. I decided that Atiu Villas was going to be my home and what a brilliant choice that was. Quiet, Peaceful and Homely, a place where you can do absolutely nothing or fill your day with tennis, swimming and bird watching. The Villas are a ‘one-stop shop’
Let me share just five reasons why Atiu is the destination for you and once you finish reading you will be saying “When’s the next flight to Atiu?”
- Reason 1:
As you wander around the island on your transport of choice; electric ute, bike, scooter or on foot, the island is covered in a thick tropical jungle, the seaside offers huge viewing platforms made from makatea (raised coral). Dotted around the island are pockets of white sand beaches, you are guaranteed to enjoy a few of these picturesque spots all to yourself. Sit, read, think and breathe in clean, fresh Atiuan air.
- Reason 2:
Passionate, young and willing to share knowledge passed down from his Grandmother. Joshua Jim’s personal story is something special but he chooses to share the story of his ancestors. From delving into the history of Atiu, lighting of the Tuitui (Traditional Natural Candle), a Tapa cloth demonstration to finally eating local delicacies from an earth oven. The Punarea Culture tour is engrossing and offers everlasting memories.
- Reason 3:
George Mateariki; the man, the myth, a Legend in Atiu that is a very well-known figure throughout the Cook Islands. Also known as ‘Birdman George’ he chooses to share his love and expertise of many rare birds on his Eco and Bird Tour. Not only will you sight gorgeous birds such as Kopeka, Kakerori and Rimatara Lorikeet just to name a few but he also visits ancient trails, showcases the many uses of plants and like in most Cook Islands traditions – Kai kai(Food)! If you close your eyes whilst he calls the birds, you would truly think it was the birds chatting to each other!
- Reason 4:
Whether you love coffee or not, this tour is a must. One of the many things that Atiu is famous for…Arabic coffee! With over 20 years of experience, the ever so charismatic Mata Arai explains what coffee means to her, how she produces some of the best coffee in the Pacific and of course a taste test to round up the day! For all the coffee lovers, hope you packed light because I think a few bags of beans will be coming home with you..
- Reason 5:
If you came for adventure, this is where it begins! As you trek through Makatea (raised coral) and tropical jungle not knowing when the Anatakitaki cave is about to hit you, the best thing to do is focus on one foot in front of each other. As you trek through, you just wish that the cave walls could share their stories. Each cave feels different, especially when you get to trek in the dark and for a moment be still and listen to the Kopeka birds. To try and explain how stunning these caves are is quite difficult but they are truly natural wonders.
- This is only the start, there is so much more depth and adventure that awaits you in the eco-paradise of Enuamanu. Are you ready to venture to a place not a lot of people have experienced?
- Meitaki Ranuinui (Thank you very much in Atiu.)