A visit to the Cook Islands
is not complete without experiencing Atiu, the group's third largest island. Known as Enuamanu, the Island of the Birds, this friendly island of one-time fearsome warriors still has wild undisturbed tropical jungle and secluded beaches awaiting discovery. There are many activities to enjoy on Atiu, from historic sites to nature and cave tours. Visit Ora Varu (Captain Cook’s Landing), relax at one of Atiu’s secluded coves, learn about the stories of Atiu's warrior ancestors, savour a cup of the locally produced coffee, and discover the birdlife on a guided tour of the native rainforest. There are ancient bush trails to follow, but be sure to use a guide if you go exploring in the caves or the makatea.
Beyond Atiu's central plateau is the jungle-clad makatea – cliffs of fossilised coral which encircle the island. Like most of the makatea islands of the Southern Group
, Atiu’s coral limestone is riddled with caves containing spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Anataketake Cave is one of Atiu's highlights and well worth touring. Thousands of native Atiu swiftlets (kopeka) nest in the cave using sonar, like bats to navigate in the dark.
Many visitors to Atiu enjoy the experience of partaking in the ritual of the Tumanu. Tumanu means the trunk of the coconut tree and, in days gone by, men would brew a local form of beer by fermenting local fruits in a hollowed coconut trunk. This would create a strong tasting brew more commonly known as bush beer. If you are interested, ask at your accommodation. Flying time to Atiu is 45 minutes with daily flights (except Sunday) from Rarotonga
North-east of Rarotonga
April to November; average temperature 20ºC - 26ºC. Wet Season
December to March; average temperature 22ºC - 28ºC.
10 hours behind GMT
Kopeka Cave, Burial Caves, Beaches, Snorkelling, Island Tours, Crafts.