Vai Nauri

Top choice in The Cook Islands

A real highlight in this region is the deep sparkling-blue Vai Nauri, Mitiaro’s natural swimming pool. Local women used to hold gatherings known as terevai at Vai Nauri and at nearby Vai Tamaroa, where they met to swim and sing the bawdy songs of their ancestors. With Mitiaro’s declining population, the terevai tradition is now largely limited to holiday periods like Christmas and New Year when islanders return to Mitiaro from their homes in Australia and New Zealand.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Cook Islands attractions

3. Marae Takero


The marae of Mitiaro are largely consumed by jungle, but you are still able to see the stone seat of the ariki and several graves at Marae Takero, located…

4. Te Pare Fort

1.65 MILES

The remains of Te Pare Fort, set deep in the makatea, are Mitiaro’s most impressive ancient ruins. The fort was built as a defence against ‘Atiuan raiders…

5. Vai Marere

1.74 MILES

The Cook Islands’ only sulphur pool is Vai Marere, a 10-minute walk from Mangarei village on the Takaue road. From the main road it’s barely visible and…

6. Cook Islands Christian Church

2.21 MILES

The white-painted CICC is a fine sight, with its blue trim, stained-glass windows and parquet ceiling decorated with black-and-white stars. The Sunday…

7. Anatakitaki

28.02 MILES

Eerie Anatakitaki is ‘Atiu’s most spectacular cave, a multichambered cavern surrounded by banyan roots and thick jungle. It’s also home to the rare kopeka…

8. Takauroa Beach

28.39 MILES

You can swim in the three lovely sinkholes west of Takauroa Beach only at low tide. Between Takauroa Beach and Matai Landing, the falling tide empties…