Manihiki

Travel Guide
Manihiki showing tranquil scenes and landscape views

Take a solitary journey to one of the most remote of the Cook Islands and learn about the art of black pearl farming.

Escape to the exotic tropical wilderness of Manihiki, one of the most remote Cook Islands. Transportation and accommodation in these northern atolls is limited. Enjoy a glimpse into life in one of the world’s most remote tropical locations. Swim in quiet waters, learn to fish traditionally and visit a pearl farm.

Manihiki is located on the top of an underwater mountain that rises 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) from the ocean floor. It is part of a string of 40 small atolls, approximately 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) from Rarotonga.

This tropical wilderness is worlds away from the fast pace of modern life. Walk barefoot on untouched sandy beaches, lounge under swaying palm trees, float in the blue-green lagoon or travel across the cluster of islets. Scuba dive on the reef or snorkel in the lagoon to see a magnificent display of tropical marine life. Learn to fish the traditional way using nets made from coconut palm fronds or take a night fishing tour to find maroro flying fish. Enjoy gourmet food, including karori, pearl shell oysters cooked in coconut cream.

The Cook Islands are renowned for rare black Pacific Ocean pearls. Manihiki is the industry’s epicenter. The 2.5-mile-wide (4-kilometer) lagoon supports several pearl farms. Most islanders who live here work within the industry. Join a farm stay and discover the skills and traditions of growing these rare treasures. Harvesting black pearls in the wild requires skills of sailing and free diving to world-record depths.

Polynesian myths and legends abound here. Learn about the mythical folk hero, Maui, who fished the Manihiki atoll from the sea. Take a tour of the village of Tauhunu to see traditional houses. In local stores, find hand-made arts and crafts: hats, bags and mats weaved from coconut palm fronds as well as pearl shell jewelry and necklaces.

Manihiki is remote. Cargo ships land here, but the 4-hour flight from Rarotonga is the more reliable option. Bring good walking shoes for the uneven, jagged terrain. Check the limits for per person luggage allowance before you pack your bags. Storage facilities are available at Rarotonga’s airport if needed.

Sanctuary Rarotonga-On the beach - Adults Only
Sanctuary Rarotonga-On the beach - Adults Only
4 out of 5
Aroa Beach & Marine Reserve, Rarotonga
The price is NZ$222 per night from 20 Feb. to 21 Feb.
Located in Tapere of Rutaki, this beachfront resort is in the historical district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Aroa Beach and Wigmore's Waterfall. Rarotonga Golf ...
3.8/5 Good! (316 reviews)
"Location, staff, service, food, cocktails - brilliant. I would go back again any time."

Reviewed on 30 Aug. 2021

Sanctuary Rarotonga-On the beach - Adults Only
The Edgewater Resort and Spa
The Edgewater Resort and Spa
3.5 out of 5
Avarua, Rarotonga
The price is NZ$270 per night from 30 Jan. to 31 Jan.
Nestled on the beach, this Arorangi resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Black Rock and Rarotonga Golf Club. Puaikura Beach and Aroa Beach are also within 3 miles ...
3.8/5 Good! (897 reviews)
"The Edgewater hotel was a very nice place to stay."

Reviewed on 12 Aug. 2021

The Edgewater Resort and Spa
Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort - Adults Only
Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort - Adults Only
4.5 out of 5
Aitutaki Lagoon, Motu Akitua, Aitutaki
The price is NZ$599 per night from 1 Feb. to 2 Feb.
Nestled on the beach, this Aitutaki resort is 1.8 mi (3 km) from Aitutaki Golf Club and 3.1 mi (5 km) from Maungapu.
4.3/5 Excellent! (237 reviews)
"Staff are amazing for what they have. So peaceful and relaxing on the island. The best place I’ve been to in a long long time"

Reviewed on 8 Jul. 2021

Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort - Adults Only
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Muri Lagoon View Bungalows
Muri Lagoon View Bungalows
3.5 out of 5
Aroko Drive, Hillside, Rarotonga
The price is NZ$163 per night from 28 Jan. to 29 Jan.
Located in Takitumu District, this cottage is steps away from Avana Lagoon and Muri Beach. Muri Lagoon and Te Vara Nui Village are also within 10 minutes.
4/5 Very Good! (44 reviews)
"The property was OK but nothing special. It was far away from the beach and you had to walk down a dirt road. It was made to look much closer on the promotion. We had trouble with the hot water supply and it can do with better kitchen ware and cooking utensils. Sara, who looked after us was lovely ..."

Reviewed on 18 Jul. 2021

Muri Lagoon View Bungalows
Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
5 out of 5
Avarua, PO Box 790 , Rarotonga
Nestled on the beach, this Tapere of Titikaveka villa is just steps away from Tikioki Beach and Muri Beach. Muri Lagoon and Matutu Brewing Company are also within ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (36 reviews)
Privacy and Comfort at the Te Manava Villas
"Really great location on outskirts of Muri beach. Private Villas with individual pool and courtyard and access to the beach. Free kayaks and snorkelling gear available. Fully equipped kitchen so can cater for selves if wish. Comfortable accomodation. Very friendly and helpful staff- thanks Kate!"

Reviewed on 21 Aug. 2021

Te Manava Luxury Villas & Spa
Kia Orana Villas and Spa
Kia Orana Villas and Spa
3.5 out of 5
2 Ariki Road, Atupa, Rarotonga
Located in Avarua, this villa is within 2 mi (3 km) of Punanga Nui Market, Cook Island Christian Church (CICC) and Cook Islands Library and Museum. Beachcomber ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (47 reviews)
Tropical Paradise
"Cant say enough about the Kia Orana Villas. Met by the General Manager, Sane, as we stepped out of the car, and who also farewelled us as we departed. Lucky to stay for 19 nights so we became family. Fantastic staff all round who shared their lives and families with us. Felt like home, not a hotel. ..."

Reviewed on 6 Sep. 2021

Kia Orana Villas and Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.