Wonders of Cook Islands
The diverse Cook Islands represent a true spirit of southern seas – on many of these islands people still are living slow paced and tasty lives amidst beautiful scenery. As always, there is the other side of the coin: frequent warfare in the past, terrible hurricanes, and worries about rising sea level. Islands are associated with New Zealand – but nevertheless they represent an independent nation.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 23 wonders of Cook Islands
Large cave chamber with numerous stalactites. At the bottom of the cave is a deep blue pool. Water here reportedly has curative powers due to high sulfur content.
Large cave chamber with a pool in it, one of the most beautiful sights in Cook Islands. Water falls in the pool from stalactites like a rain.
Te Rua Manga (The Needle)
An impressive rock spire on the top of the hill. The top is 413 m above sea level. This formation is seen almost from any location in Rarotonga island.
Approximately 1 km long cave with beautiful stalactites, stalagmites. Several sinkholes open to the cave. In this cave is nesting the rare and endemic Atiu Swiftlet (Aerodramus sawtelli).
Impressive cave system with 8 chambers, last two are underwater and extend under the reef.
Submerged cave. It has a vertical opening with 10 m tall walls.
Wigmore’s Waterfall (Papua Waterfall)
The only waterfall of significant size in Cook Islands. Water is sliding down along a steep cliff, height – approximately 15 m.
Mauke Island Banyan Tree
An enormous banyan tree. The crown of this tree takes some 6,000 m². Stem of the tree consists of countless aerial roots creating phantasmagoric landscape.
Seven palms in Avarua
Unique group of seven coconut palms growing in a perfect circle, all grown up from a single seed.
Aitutaki banyan tree tunnel
Giant banyan tree with asphalted two-way road going through its countless aerial roots. Road goes 53 m under the canopy of this tree.
Fossil dog of Pukapuka
Here were found remnants of a dog who died around 300 BC. This dog was neither a Polynesian dog nor an Australian dingo. There are no finds of similar-sized dogs elsewhere in Pacific and southeast Asia and it is discussed whether this is an aberration. This find testifies also that the island was inhabited earlier than other islands of the region.
Well preserved marae where the seafarers received the blessings for success of their missions. Human sacrifices were given to gods here as well.
Beautiful, more than 791 m long cave with stalactites and stalagmites, flowstone formations, cascades and curtains. Ancient burial cave with at least 7 skeletons in it. Contains also a cultural layer left by Polynesian settlement – this cultural layer contains bones of birds that are extinct now.
335 m long cave with high cultural importance to Tonga’iti tribe. It was used as refuge during the wars and contains stone-faced platforms – marae and place for playing tupe disk game. In the far end of cave are two burials.
Te Pare Fort
Remnants of the only fort in the Cook Islands. It was built during the wars between Atiu and Mitiaro. Remain 3 – 10 m tall walls of coral slabs. Fort has also a refuge cave for women and children.
Rimarau Burial Cave
Cave with ancient burials, hundreds of human bones.
830 m long cave with four ancient burials.
587 m long burial cave of Totongaiti tribe, contains at least 31 skeletons. Some of deceased lie in canoes – they were buried here before Europeans came.
Te Ana O Rakanui
Ancient burial cave and former homestead of Rakanui family. Large cave consisting of many corridors and chambers.
Te Poaki O Rae
One of several marae – ceremonial platforms on the island, with enormous upright stones installed. Te Poaki O Rae marae is the only cleared marae. It has up to 2.8 m tall standing stones, its area is 1.6 ha.
Ancient, approximately 29 km long ancient road, located inwards from the present road. Until the middle of the20th century road, for the most part, was paved with basalt and coral slabs well fitted together, in villages there was curbing as well. The road served as the central element in the spiritual, administrative, and economical life of the island. Possibly built as early as around 1050 AD.
The most sacred marae in Rarotonga was developed roughly in 1250 AD. Not much is visible above the soil. Includes also koutu – a meeting ground. It is not allowed to step on a marae – it is still sacred.
Treasures of Suwarrow
There have been several finds of treasure on this little island, and part of these treasures have been lost again and still are hidden on this island. In the 1870ies there were found remnants of, presumably, European-built structure of mysterious origin. Here was found also a skeleton: it was holding an iron bolt.
Tahiti is one of the Society Islands which, with the Gambiers, the Tuamotus, the Australs, and the Marquesas, make up French Polynesia. This archipelago spread out over several million square miles of the south-central Pacific is a mixture of high volcanic islands and low coral atolls. Moorea, the landmass you can see in the distance from Papeete, is 12 miles away. It’s a lovely 82-square-mile triangular-shaped island of sharp peaks, deep valleys, beaches, and bays. The 6,000 people who live there are dependent on pineapple, vanilla, and tourists.
Third Edition of this popular Cook Islands Guidebook, containing updated information on all populated islands of the Cook Island chain. The 3rd edition is the initial e-book edition, enabling readers with Wi-Fi connections to access Web sites and e-mail addresses by clicking on the text of the book. The guide includes complete lodging and restaurant information as well as guides to the various tours and island night performances.