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Manihiki & Rakahanga - Home of the Cook Island Black Pearl


The Northern atolls of Manihiki and Rakahanga are separated by 42 kilometres of sea, with Rakahanga lying a few points west of due north from Manihiki. Although they are sister atolls in close proximity to one another, there are significant geographical differences between the two islands.

Manihiki is larger and roughly triangular in shape, Rakahanga is neatly rectangular. Manihiki has the larger population, but Rakahanga has more fertile soil, producing puraka - a coarse dry species of taro - breadfruit, pawpaw and bananas.

Lustrous black pearls

Manihiki, in contrast, produces copra, but little in the way of food crops. Today, the pearl farming industry occupies almost every working age person on the atoll.

The lagoon is dotted with seeding houses precariously perched on coral heads, providing the platform for the diving, cleaning and harvesting of pearl oysters.

Lustrous black pearls, produced in the deep lagoon waters of Manihiki find their way as finished jewellery, into the fashion houses of the world.

Activities and Accommodation

Located 1.200 kilometers northwest of Rarotonga Manihiki is a very remote and rarely visited place which adds to its appeal to those who wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern civilisation. Despite its isolation there are quality accommodation options on Manihiki and visitors are greated enthusiastically.

Visitors to Manihiki will enjoy swimming in the warm and crystal water of its Lagoon,. Further activities inlcude visits to Black Pearl Farms both above and below the surface, snorkelling, diving, Lagoon and Deep Sea Fishing, visits to nearby Rakahanga and being part of a close knit community hundreds of miles from the next outpost of civilisation.

Further Reading

Below we have collected some Links and Media for your further reading.

Manihiki Lagoon Villas - Bungalows fronting stunning Manihiki Lagoon

Cook Islands Tourism

Google Earth Placemark - Manihiki - you can open this placemark in Google Earth and see Manihiki from above.


Manihiki, as seen from the Air
Aerial view of Manihiki
Manihiki Lagoon
Manihiki lagoon scenery
Kite Surfing Manihiki
Kitesurfing on Manihiki's vast Lagoon
Rakahanga from the air
Rakahanga as seen from the Air
Manihiki Main Road
Atoll Tranquility
Manihiki Lagoon Villas
Lagoon side accommodation

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