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Air Rarotonga - Manihiki - Lustrous South Seas Black Pearls

Manihiki & Rakahanga - Sisters in the Sun

The twin 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 in close proximity to one another, there are significant geographical differences between these 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. In contrast, Manihiki produces copra, but little in the way of food crops. Aside from subsistence activities, pearl farming occupies most working age people on the atoll.

Things to do

Visitors to Manihiki will enjoy swimming in the warm and crystal water of its lagoon. Other activities include visits to black pearl farms both above and below the surface, snorkelling, diving, lagoon and deep sea fishing; a visit to nearby Rakahanga; and the experience of life in a close knit community hundreds of kilometres from the next outpost of civilisation.

Scheduled flights operate from Rarotonga each fortnight and a stopover at the island is included in the Northern Atolls Experience.

Find out more about the other islands of the Cook Islands