Other Islands

For the truly adventurous in spirit, the undeveloped outer islands have a remote, unspoiled appeal for the explorer, author and artist in all of us. Six sister islands are in the rest of the southern group and six more lie to the north. Some are accessible by local flights, all are accessible by boat. Off the beaten track and spread over 2 million square km of the South Pacific Ocean, their uniqueness and timelessness are their own reward.

mitiaro - 001 mitiaro - 003 mitiaro - 004 mitiaro - 006 mitiaro - 005 mangaia - 001 mangaia - 002 mangaia - 003 mangaia - 004 mangaia - 005


Manuae is about 100 km south-east of Aitutaki, when the weather allows, Manuae’s stunningly beautiful lagoon can be viewed from the air when flying from Aitutaki to Atiu. It is an uninhabited nature reserve and an important seabird and turtle breeding ground.

A Aerial view of Manuae Manuae-Aerial

Takutea Seabirds thrive on this pristine little uninhabited island that is just a few miles off the north-east coast of Atiu. This wildlife sanctuary is administered by a trust. Permission for visits is needed from the Trust Chairman and High Chief Rongomatane Ariki.

Wild surf  Takutea Takutea Frigate Bird 2 Takutea Red Bass _ Angamea in Takutea


Manihiki is an atoll made up of a cluster of 40 tiny coral islets which form a ring around a huge, clear deep blue lagoon. A true escape from the modern world, time here stands still, untouched by the trappings of tourism. The pearl farming centre of the Cook Islands, legendary black pearl farms built by local families on coral outcrops are scattered across the turquoise lagoon.

A Motu Murihiti  Manihiki A Manihiki - tiny motus 2 A Clear water and kaua  Manihiki 2 A Manihiki arial showing Tauhunu and Tukao A Manihiki - Kaua 3

Penrhyn is the northernmost island of the Cook Islands group. Its most spectacular feature is the immense enclosed blue water lagoon that covers 233 square kilometres, one of the largest in the South Pacific. There are two settlements on islets at opposite ends of the lagoon: Omoka and Tetautua.

A Omoka  Penrhyn A Remains of American WW2 aircraft  Penrhyn Primitive lagoonside _are_  Penrhyn tongareva-web-2 A Lagoonside living at Temata  Penrhyn

The stunningly beautiful two main islands and seven islets surround the Rakahanga lagoon, which is picturesque and unspoiled. Access is only available by inter-island boat from its sister island Manihiki, situated 42 km to the south-east.

CICC Church  Rakahanga A Rakahanga road   graves A Rakahanga drying pandanus

One of the most beautiful untouched and secluded places in the Pacific, Pukapuka’s remoteness has also helped to keep the wonderful traditions and culture of its people largely unchanged for centuries. It is 1150 km from Rarotonga but accessible by air. Pukapuka is one of the two official languages of the Cook Islands.

Motu Kotawa and lagoon waters  Pukapuka_0 A Pukapuka SDA Church A Rito hats and congregation  SDA Church Pukapuka Motu Kotawa and lagoon waters  Pukapuka A Main Street  Pukapuka A On the beach at Wale  Pukapuka

Often described as the Eden of the Cook Islands, Nassau is home to about 70 people. It lies 83 km to the south of Pukapuka. Measuring just one square kilometre, it is the only island in the northern Cook Islands without a lagoon. Access is gained by inter-island boat from Pukapuka.


The Suwarrow National Park is the first National Park in the Cook Islands. It is uninhabited and an untouched breeding area for turtles, seabirds and crabs. Caretakers live on the island during the cyclone off-season from April to November, when cruising yachts often visit whilst transiting the South Pacific.

A Entrance to Suwarrow Lagoon _ Anchorage Island A Frigate bird with chicks  Suwarrow A Tom Neale memorial  Suwarrow A Bird Island  Suwarrow 2 A Birds flying at Bird Island  Suwarrow 2 A Entrance to Suwarrow Lagoon _ Anchorage Island

Palmerston is stunningly beautiful, yet remote Palmerston was made famous by Englishman William Marsters who settled there in 1863 with his three wives. About 60 descendants live on the island which has six lovely motus and a large blue lagoon 11 km wide. Palmerston hosts the occasional cruise ship and cruising yacht.

Main Street  Palmerston palmerston_church palmerston-web A Traditional thatched house   Palmerston Beach scene  Palmerston