Manihiki: This 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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
*All photos taken from online – click on each photo for the source!