Pathfinder pics: exploring the Prepare dinner Islands


Lonely Planet Pathfinder Jessica Palmer of just lately spent three weeks exploring the Prepare dinner Islands together with her younger household, feeling the sand between their toes and absorbing the wild, windswept environment.

I got down to discover not solely the 2 most visited islands within the Cooks – Rarotonga and Aitutaki, but in addition two of essentially the most simply accessible however lesser-known islands, Atiu and Ma’uke. In my unending quest to seek out the right seashore, I used to be significantly concerned with exploring and evaluating the coastlines throughout the completely different islands.

Alongside the best way, I used to be fascinated by the geography, intrigued by the plush and completely wild island landscapes, and welcomed by strangers all over the place I went. Listed below are a few of my highlights.

Fossilised coral coastlines

The island of Atiu’s shoreline couldn’t be extra completely different to its extra visited counterparts if it tried. The distinction is within the geographical panorama. While Rarotonga is characterised by a lush, inexperienced mountainous centre, Atiu is pretty flat, and boasts a fossilised coral cliff (makatea) shoreline as its distinguishing function. Hidden inside this rugged shoreline are between 20-30 unspoiled sandy bays, identical to this one, which might be simply accessible by scooter and utterly abandoned.

Fashionable-day shipwreck

The MV Te Kou Maru II, a former cargo vessel, turned wrecked on the shoreline of Ma’uke in 2010. Regardless of issues over the rusting steel adversely affecting the marine life, the ship nonetheless stays to this present day. Discovering this wreck was a bucket checklist merchandise for me, so it was fairly thrilling to identify its hulking body by the coconut bushes and overgrown greenery when driving alongside the circle island monitor.

Hermit crabs galore

The one factor that doesn’t change throughout the Prepare dinner Islands’ coastlines are the hermit crabs. We noticed this one on the island of Aitutaki, which appears to be house to significantly giant ones. They differ in measurement from teeny-tiny, to sufficiently big to learn the Lonely Planet information! Racing them is fashionable with youngsters right here (together with mine), and we shortly realized that the larger the hermit crab, the slower he’s!

Uncrowded tropical goals

The primary island of Rarotonga (the place the worldwide flights land) has a a lot gentler shoreline than the islands characterised by makatea cliffs. There are many idyllic seashores that aren’t fronted by resorts, and with no buildings allowed to be taller than the most important coconut tree, there are splendid views of the island’s lush, inexperienced, mountainous panorama, irrespective of which stretch of white sand you select to sprawl your self on for the day.

The humbling pressure of nature

In contrast to Rarotonga and Aitutaki, the islands of Atiu and Ma’uke have reef breaks pretty near shore. It’s a humbling expertise sitting within the calm waters on the shoreline, when lower than 50 metres away the pressure of the ocean crashes in opposition to the island’s reef. I hovered our drone 30 metres above the sting of the reef to take this shot. A wave had simply curled over and crashed with momentous pressure. It was nearly to recede again, exposing the coral but once more in preparation for its subsequent assault. Mom Nature actually has a method of bringing us again to actuality generally!

Ma’uke harbour

The harbour on the island of Ma’uke is now formally my favorite harbour on this planet! This small harbour has a concrete wall positioned right into a deep pure break within the reef. This creates a sheltered passage for the incoming and outgoing boats. The harbour varieties a sort of pure aquarium, and is a well-liked swimming spot with the native youngsters after college and on weekends. I can personally affirm that leaping off the concrete wall into the deep water is simply as enjoyable for adults!

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