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Air Rarotonga - Northern Atolls Experience - Islands of Desire

For Serious Island Collectors

A rare opportunity to join the few World travellers who visit some of the most remote atolls on Earth.

Penrhyn, Manihiki and legendary Pukapuka can now be visited on this three night excursion.

  • Day 1
  • Rarotonga to Penrhyn (Tongareva)
  • Flight duration - 4hrs
Penrhyn Village Omoka

It's a four hour flight from Rarotonga - including a quick fuel stop at Aitutaki - to reach the World War 2 airstrip at Tongareva, the northern-most of the Cook Islands.

American serviceman were based on the atoll in the early 1940s and built a large runway to create an Eastern ferry route between Hawaii and the South Pacific, away from the hostilities further West.

At times during the War, a number of large US naval vessels moored in the large deep lagoon. Military aircraft transited almost daily and the remains of a crashed B17 bomber in the undergrowth beside the runway remain as evidence of this bygone era.

A tragic encounter with 'black birders' (South American slave traders) in the early 1800s, the pearl shell trade, and World War 2 have all played a part in shaping Tongareva as it is today.

This remote outpost remains home to approximately 200 islanders who spend their days fishing, collecting natural golden Pearls or weaving exquisite hats and fans from rito - dried coconut frond.

You will overnight here staying in a guest house or residential home.

  • Day 2
  • Penrhyn to Manihiki
  • Flight duration - approx. 1hr
Pearl Farming

A flight of a little over one hour flight takes you to Manihiki Atoll, the home of the Cook Islands black pearl industry.

Here, the lagoon is dotted with small structures perched on coral heads serving as platforms for the seeding of oysters, that will, after nearly two years, yield a lustrous south seas black pearl.

You will overnight here. Staying at a guest house or on a black pearl farm where you will be fascinated by atoll lifestyle, and the dedication and effort required to produce the queen of gems.

  • Day 3
  • Manihiki to Pukapuka
  • Flight duration - 1.5hr
Pukapuka Village Omoka

A one and a half hour flight from Manihiki. Pukapuka's airport is located on the southern motu, about one hours boat ride across the spectacular lagoon to the main settlement at Wale.

This is a fascinating island and community, not the least because of the romantic writings of Robert Dean Frisbie.

A strong community organisation and visionary environmental management practices have sustained these people for centuries.

You will overnight here staying in a guest house or residential home.

  • Day 4
  • Pukapuka to Rarotonga
  • Flight duration - 4hrs
Rarotonga International Airport

In clear conditions, passengers are treated to spectacular views en-route of Suwarrow (where hermit Tom Neale lived his solitary existence), Nassau and Tema Reef.

Arrival at Rarotonga International Airport.

 

 

 

 

Included in this package

  • All flights
  • All meals
  • Guest house/lodge accommodation
  • Crew commentary
  • Visiting three of the Pacific's most remote atolls
  • 'Once in a lifetime' travel experience