Gillian Everett

Gillian Everett

Posted on 08/30/2014

Photo taken on August 29, 2014

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Cook Islands
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Cook Islands

Cook Islands
Photo of section from an illustration in the Pacific Travel Fact File 1994/5.

We have been to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands a long time ago but didn't make it to Aitutaki. It's on the list.

A vast crystal clear lagoon, scattered with tiny motus of the finest white sand...

History plays a vital part in Aitutaki island life. And following the Maori migration, apart from a stopover from the Spanish explorers Alvaro de Mendana sighting Pukapuka in 1595 and Pedro Fernandez de Quiros sighting Rakahanga in 1606, all remained pretty quiet until 160 years later in 1773 when the infamous Captain James Cook sighted Manuae atoll and then Palmerston, Takutea, Mangaia and Atiu (a bird watchers blissful haven) in 1777.

Explorers following, however, left a somewhat less tranquil wake – the highly questionable Captain William Bligh first sighted Aitutaki – probably the most glorious of all the islands – in 1789 and hot on his heels after the bloody Mutiny on the Bounty, that buccaneer Fletcher Christian sailing in Bligh’s very own vessel, sighted Rarotonga.

29/31 Pink/White August 12 Months in Colour