Mitiaro and Mauke: at the heart of the Polynesian soul

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Mauke and Mitiaro are located in the middle of the South Pacific: havens of peace barely inhabited, but nevertheless able to welcome travelers with open arms! These two islands are those with the wildest soul of the southern islands. They are certainly isolated but not inaccessible: domestic flights from Rarotonga allow you to go from dream to reality.

Mauke: 18 km² of nature

Mauke is one of the best kept secrets of the archipelago: only 300 inhabitants for an area of ​​just over 18 km². It’s nicknamed “The Garden Island” for its verdant landscape, filled with fragrant wildflowers and tropical fruit trees. According to legend, Chief Uke gave Mauke the name Akatokamanava, “the place where my heart rests”, after a long journey from Avaiki.

Mauke offers some of the most beautiful caves in the South Pacific: Vai Ou and Vai Tunamea, as well as Vai Tango, are among the most famous. What to bring back in your suitcases from this end of the world? Akari Pi: a coconut oil infused with the Pi plant (Talinum Lababo), a local product commonly used to soothe wounds and irritations as well as for traditional massages.

Mitiaro, a unique experience

Slightly larger (23 km²), Mitiaro is small, unspoilt and welcoming. It has 200 inhabitants, a significant percentage of whom open their homes to visitors, offering the only type of accommodation available on the island.

Limestone caves, white sand beaches, fossilized coral formations and coconut trees form the landscape tableau in which four small villages slip discreetly: Atai, Auta, Mangarei and Takaue, where the inhabitants of the island live to the rhythm of the bell of the Betala church. Nearby is the current Queen of Mitiaro, Teikamata Ariki Mii O’Bryan, affectionately known as Mama Mii.

Mitiaro is also home to the Cook Islands’ only known sulfur cave, Vai Marere, whose entrance widens into a stalactite-covered cavern.
The central plateau is flat and marshy and the freshwater lakes provide a unique perspective on this small island. Among them, Roto Nui, a large lake that occupies half of the island, and smaller Roto Iti, constitute a large part of the island.

Catherine Mills Avatar