Selection of ‘history’ stories


A Two Islands Discovery Tour with Air Rarotonga

Our hostess is serving refreshments as we sit comfortably cradled in leather seats on board Air Rarotonga’s Saab 340. We are heading to a remote island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean - it’s a beautiful clear day, with just a few fluffy whites floating over an indigo blue ocean. Some of us will travel further and take in two islands over a period of five days, on what Air Rarotonga describe as their Two Island Discovery Tour.

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Taking time for turtles

There’s something… really big in the water,” came an excited call from one of our team members. Running to the back of the boat, I saw her, our symbol of safe passage. Contrasting with the deep blue of the surrounding sea, the whale’s belly appeared to radiate ultraviolet light as she rolled playfully, just off the stern of our overloaded charter vessel.

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Return to Mangaia

Large hands, scarred, move gently over intricate patterns carved into mahogany, the handle of a Mangaia adze.

Papa Tuaiva Moutairi speaks in lilting dialect of a home island, explaining to visiting Mangaia expatriate Tanara Maarametua Buchanan meanings of a traditional motif he’s etched into wood – the maro itiki portrays the back to back fighting stance their forebears take when outnumbered during battle. And fights there were, a plenty, during pre-missionary times, with other islands, particularly Atiu, sending marauding parties to Mangaia.

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