Getting there & away
Inter-island cargo ships sail to 'Atiu.
The all-weather harbour at Taunganui is far too small to accept ships, so, instead, passengers and freight are ceremoniously unloaded onto aluminium barges while the ship stands offshore.
'Boat day' is an island event and worth witnessing if you happen to be here at that time.
Air Rarotonga (in town 33888, airport 33201; www.airraro.com; Mapumai; office 7am-3pm Mon-Fri, open until later for late flights) flies between Rarotonga and 'Atiu, Monday to Saturday. Return fares cost from NZ$270.
The Rarotonga-Aitutaki-'Atiu Island Hopper Pass (NZ$400) allows you to add on a flight to 'Atiu from Aitutaki for only a little more than the standard Rarotonga-Aitutaki fare - the only catch is there's just one Aitutaki-'Atiu flight a week (currently on a Tuesday). Your flight back to Rarotonga is included in the price.