Three ‘high’ islands islands known as Nga-pu-toru (the three roots), Atiu, Mitiaro and Mauke, are clustered in a triangle approximately 45 kilometres apart.
Like the other raised atolls, Mitiaro has a close reef, no large beaches, a ring of makatea - fossilised coral - and a centre of more fertile land. At just 200, its population is one of the smallest in the Cook Islands.
Itiki is like caviar to the Isands inhabitants. Eels always return to the sea to spawn, so it can be assumed that the itiki of Mitiaro find their way to the surrounding sea through subterranean channels. Not even an eel could navigate the razor-sharp rock of the makatea without grievous injury to itself.
Mitiaro eels, like eels everywhere, move in mysterious ways. But whatever the route they take, the itiki elvers return eventually to the twin lakes of Mitiaro to fatten and be harvested for consumption.
Several flights per week from Rarotonga and small guest lodges make visits to Mitiaro possible for visitors.