Over eight million years old and the third largest island in the group. This island is an ecologist’s dream – and a magnet for the adventurer. A volcanic mass which has over the centuries risen up out of the sea to be surrounded by a raised coral limestone reef named makatea. Its utter peace and harmony with nature certainly belay the island’s reputation of having harboured some of the fiercest warriors of the Southern Cooks, who constantly laid siege on their smaller neighbours in Mitiaro and Mauke.
Sandy beaches here are few but perfect. Tucked like little secrets into the coast. Unspoiled and lush with dense rainforest and an unexpected central plateau according to legend when the Polynesians landed on Atiu’s white crested shores, birds and insects were its only life.
As one of the three southern group islands known as Nga-Pu-Toru, Atui attracts the spirit of the explorer. With no nightclubs, virtually no township, around 400 people and a couple of cafes along with precious little traffic – this is a true escape. Life is pretty much the same as it was some 25 years ago and offers therefore a really genuine insight into island living with its five small villages of Tengatangi, Areora, Ngatiarua, Mapumai and Teenui nestled in the centre. Gardens thrive on its rich soil and on certain days the soft aroma of organically grown coffee beans roasting wafts past from plantations that produce some of the best Arabica coffee in the Pacific.
Ancora tutta da scoprire
E' ricoperta da una fitta foresta pluviale, dove vivono rare specie di uccelli e dove si trovano magnifiche caverne calcaree. Le sue coste coralline cadono a picco nell'oceano, vengono chiamate makatea e nascondono piccole calette con spiaggia bianchissima. Appartata e privata, qui trovare una spiaggia disabitata è all'ordine del giorno, così come lo era nel lontano 1777 quando Captain Cook approdò sull'isola. Non mancate l'appuntamento serale al Tumunu, il bar immerso nella giungla dove si può degustare una particolare birra locale, qui gli ospitali abitanti adorano passare qualche ora in compagnia dei visitatori ed intrattenerli con musica e canti.