The Northern Cook Islands

The Northern Cook Islands seem like a far, far away part of the world that is so exotic and rarely ever visited. People do though, and I’m very envious of those who are lucky enough to see them from their yachts as they sail past, which seems like the perfect way to visit each and every one of them!
Here’s the rundown on each of the islands and atolls in the northern Cookies:

ManihikiThis is the atoll where all black pearls come from, and one of only two places in the world where they naturally occur and are cultivated (the other place being Tahiti). They range anywhere in price from $5 – thousands of dollars, depending on their colour, lustre, size, surface quality and shape. I’ve seen job ads in the paper for pearl divers to live on Manihiki, how’s that for a cool job!? If you wonder like me how they get black in the first place, check this article out!

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The Island of Pearls

Nassau: A little tiny miniscule dot on the map (and only if you zoom in!) and the one true island without an atoll in the Cooks.

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Teeny, tiny Nassau

Penrhyn Island: The largest and most northerly island that is known for the beautifully intricate woven hats, baskets, fans, mats etc. made by the people there. With such a huge lagoon, it’s also quite the deep sea fishing atoll as well!

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What an entrance!

Pukapuka: Said to be where the most beautiful Polynesians live, so I must go there to confirm this! They speak Pukapukan on this island, which is more similar to the Samoan language (makes sense when you look on a map). We’ve met a lovely woman from Hawaii named Amelia Borofsky who spent some time on Pukapuka and wrote an article for the paper that I really enjoyed: ‘Pukapuka sits closer to God’. I don’t think I could describe life up there any better!

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Home to the most beautiful Polynesians…

Rakahanga: Another isolated atoll that is difficult to get to, and is known as the sister atoll to Manihiki. This is one of the low-lying northern islands most threatened by climate change and rising sea levels.

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Atoll-tally amazing shape designed by nature!

Suwarrow (Suvarov): The famous uninhabited island that was home for several years to Tom Neale, the kiwi author of An Island to Oneself; a touching and down to earth autobiography about the time he spent alone on Suvarov. My husband is determined to get us to Suvarov, even for a few short days, having been inspired by Tom Neale and the allure of being alone on an island. Hopefully an upcoming post will be all about this deserted island paradise once we get the chance to visit!

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An Island to yourself…

*All photos taken from online – click on each photo for the source!

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3 thoughts on “The Northern Cook Islands

  1. Pingback: Insane to Purse Seine? | Paradise Revealed

  2. Pingback: Diving in the Cook Islands - Underwater Herald

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