What Makes
in the Cook Islands
an Island of Beautiful Contrasts?

A wild coast, highlands, subterranean &freshwater lakes.

everything you need to know about the Bewilderingly exotic Mitiaro in the Cook islands

Mitiaro is known for its endemic eel called “Itiki”. He lives in the two inland freshwater lakes that are unique to the Cook Islands.

Freshwater pools in subterranean caves offer an excellent refreshing swim break from the tropical climate.

Many beaches lie side by side only to be separated by Makatea. This creates a charming private beach. Not that one requires privacy with no one around!

Here's a Free Handy Mitiaro Infographic For You

Our 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.

Basic Info and Stats About Mitiaro in the Cook Islands



Mitiaro is part of the Southern Cook Islands Group.


Getting There

It is 263 kilometers / 163 miles northeast of Rarotonga and reachable from the main island with a regular 50 minutes flight. It takes you 20 minutes to fly in from Mauke.


Size Of Mitiaro

22,3 kilometers2 / 8,6 miles2.



Mitiaro is a volcanic island estimated to be 8 million years old.

It has a central volcanic plateau made of fossilized corals known as the Makatea and a stunning rough coastal line with high cliffs.

Many sandy beaches and crystal clear pools invite you to take some chill time.

Together with its sister islands Mauke and Atiu, it is known as the “Three Roots”, three cornerstones remaining from a long-ago sunken mega volcano.


Inhabitants & Tourist Numbers

The population of a mere 155 people.

Only a handful of tourists visit the island each year.

Mitiaro Offers the Bare Essentials in Its Infrastructure



A sandy airstrip and small airport hut greet you on your arrival. The tiny airport only opens when the small passenger plane arrives and departs.



There is no public transport system. Your host arranges vehicles to explore the island.



Your host also organizes tours. However, you can do a lot on your own. For example, the subterranean caves are easy to find.

Mitiaro Storm



The locals offer homestays. Typically in Kikau Huts, which are coconut palm leaf-covered huts in the garden, specifically built for guests. But these days, you also find solid guesthouses.


Shopping & dining

The island has one shop selling the basics. But there are no restaurants and only one open-air pub. Your host caters for you.



There no ATMs. So bring enough cash.



Medical care is available.


Things You Must Do When In Mitiaro in the Cook Islands

1 Swimming In Crystal Clear Water In Subterranean Caves

Several caves are easy to find. Usually, you have them all to yourself. Just walk in and dive into the cool fresh waters.

These caves have a calm atmosphere with loads of untouched stalactites and stalagmites.

And no tourists at all, maybe a few locals on a Sunday. No queues. No tickets. Just a unique experience to have any time.

2 Have Beaches & Pools Completely To Yourself

All around the island you come across white sandy cove beaches, especially scattered along the east coast.

3 Explore the Two Large Freshwater Lakes

More precisely, Roto Nui (Big Lake) and Roto Iti (Small Lake).

Lakes on a South Pacific island are rare, and the island has two of them. They are home to the Itiki - an endemic eel - and the Ava - a scarce milkfish - which are also used for cooking local dishes.

Jump on a boat with a local and cruise the lake.

Mitiaro beach2
Mitiaro makatea
mitiaro lake
Mitiaro plantation
Mitiaro harbour
Mitiaro cliffs
Mitiaro highlands

4 Hike the Extraordinary Highland-Style Landscape

Around the lakes and swamps, you come across a beautiful, highland-like landscape with bushland. Hike across the country through unspoiled Makatea nature, down to white beaches and the wild coast.

5 Enjoy the Silence Of The Central Plantations

Like most islands, Mitiaro hosts an area where the locals grow fruits and vegetables.

It's nestled amongst lush vegetation and creates a quiet atmosphere, that transports you immediately into a peaceful state.

Mitiaro cove beach

Like what you've learnt about Mitiaro so far?

We have tons more info in our Cook Islands Travel Guide

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

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