What MakesManihikiin the Cook Islands, the Jewel of the Pacific?

Not forgetting its smaller neighbor Rakahanga

finding Your Pearl Destiny

everything you need to know about the Sparkling Jewel Manihiki, Cook islands

Manihiki in Cook Island has a long history of black pearl farming. Although the industry has shrunk significantly over the past two decades, it still produces over 20,000 black pearls per annum.

Manihiki is another of the Cook Islands atolls with a spectacular blue lagoon. The lagoon is dotted with pearl farms, that are built on coral islets, and surrounded by many Motus, resembling a string of pearls.

Here's a Free Handy Manihiki Infographic For You

Our Manihiki & Rakahanga infographic contains essential information for you to plan your visit.

We have prepared detailed infographics for each one of the Cook Islands islands. Visit the pages of the islands for their respective infographics.

Click below to download your high resolution infographic of Manihiki & Rakahanga.

Basic Info and Stats About Manihiki in the Cook Islands



Manihiki forms part of the Cook Islands Northern Island Group.


Getting There

Manihiki is 1.160 km / 720 mi north of Rarotonga. Air Rarotonga offers one weekly flight to the atoll. The flight time is about 4,5 hours. One can also travel to Manihiki by an older Ferry type boat that takes 5 days but does not have a regular schedule.


Size Of Manihiki

Manihiki has a lagoon area of 20 km2 / 12 mi2. The total land area is 5,4 km2 / 3,4 mi2.



Manhiki is a coral atoll right at the top of a 4.000m / 13.123 ft high underwater mountain.

It is also the namesake for the "Manihiki Plateau", an elevated area with a size of somewhat 600.000 km2 / 372.822 mi2 large. It was formed by vigorous tectonic and volcanic activities over 125 million years ago and considered to be a continent.

It has two large Motus, known as Tokerau (West) and Ngake (North and East, with the Airstrip). Manihiki also has 40 smaller Motus around the outskirts of the lagoon. At 75m deep, Manhiki’s lagoon is one of the deepest in the Cook Islands.


Inhabitants & Tourist Numbers

Manihiki is home to 212 people.

About 50 tourists visit Manihiki annually.

Manihiki Offers Visitors the Basic Essentials to enjoy an Island Adventure



A sandy airstrip and small airport hut greet you on your arrival. The tiny airport only opens when the small propeller plane arrives and departs.
There are also plans to extend the airstrip to allow larger plans to touch ground on the atoll.



Manihiki has no public transport system or vehicles for hire. Your host will loan you a scooter to explore the main island.



Lagoon trips and fishing expeditions, in the lagoon and ocean, are arranged through your host.

Manihiki pearl island



The Manihiki Lagoon Villas is a guesthouse for up to 6 people.


Shopping & dining

Manihiki has no shops, restaurants, or pubs.



Manihiki has no ATMs. Therefore, take enough cash with you.



Medical care available.

Unforgettable Experiences You Should Have When in Manihiki

Explore The Black Pearl Blue Lagoon

Enjoy calming white beaches. The small Motus, in particular, offers a wide variety of tropical scenery variations.

Snorkel in the turquoise-blue aquarium or go spearfishing with the locals. Take a dip in the natural rockpools of northern Tokerau. Manihiki’s unspoiled nature, low population, and tourist numbers are the makings for a truly peaceful experience.

Vist the Pearl Farms

A visit of the pearl farms offers a unique opportunity to learn more and partake in pearl farming. Dotted around the Manihiki lagoon are working pearl farms. The farms are built on stilts on small coral plateaus.

The farms have a working and living area. The living area includes bedrooms, a kitchen, and an outdoor bathroom. During both the fertilizing and harvesting seasons, the pearl farmers live at their pearl farms.

Take Boat Trip To Rakahanga

Weather permitting, one can take on the adventure of crossing the Pacific to Rakahanga on a 3-hour open boat ride. Rakahanga is about 42 km / 26 mi from Manihiki.

Manihiki pearl farm
Manihik sunset
Manihiki chill
Manihiki working pearl farm
Manihiki Accomodation
Manihiki sunrise

This is why Rakahanga Is the Sealife Paradise

Rakahanga is a remote paradise island close to Manihiki in the Cook Islands. Rakahanga is an atoll with a pristine lagoon, lush green Motus, densely populated with coconut palm trees, and laid back inhabitants.

If you love turtles, mesmerized by coconut crabs, and abundant sea life, then Rakahanga is the place for you. With just a handful of inhabitants, the sense of community will permeate every aspect of island adventure.

  • Rakahanga forms part of the Northern Island Group and falls under the jurisdiction of Manhiki.
  • Its land area is 4 km2/ 2,5 mi It is situated only 42km / 26 mi southeast of Manihiki and 1248 km / 775 mi northwest of Rarotonga.
  • Rakahanga has two large and seven small Motus.
  • Rakahanga is home to 83 inhabitants. It receives close to zero tourists.
  • Getting There: Rakahanga can be reached by boat only. Supply ships from Rarotonga bring essentials and also passengers. Local crafts and recently a small ferry boat is crossing between Rakahanga and Manhiki.
  • Mobility: No public transport system. Everything is within walking distance along the coral main road leading from the village Nivano.
  • Accommodation: There are no tourist accommodations, but homestays can be arranged.
Manihiki birds

Like what you've learnt about Manihiki and Rakahanga so far?

The Cook Islands Travel Guide is jam packed with details of Manihiki and Rakahanga. Contact information. Detailed maps with geocodes and much more.

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