A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke: One Day Itinerary© Daniel Fisher - Cook Islands Tourism
A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke: One Day Itinerary

A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke: One Day Itinerary

© Daniel Fisher – Cook Islands Tourism

A Self-Drive Day Tour of Mauke

Have a day to spend on Mauke and don’t know what to do with it? This one-day itinerary of Mauke will ensure you make the most of it! Rent a car, scooter or bicycle and hit the quiet coastal and inland roads of the coral atoll as you explore secluded beaches, quaint villages, cave pools, shipwrecks and more. You don’t need to hire a guide, as this self-guided day trip around Mauke lays out the top sights and attractions on an easy-to-follow route complete with maps.

How to Get Around Mauke Using This Self-Guided Itinerary

This self-guided one-day itinerary of Mauke has you exploring the island independently. To get around, you will either need to rent a car, scooter or bicycle from your accommodation provider – see The Best Mauke Accommodations. For more transport options, check out our Mauke Transport Guide: 7 Ways to Get to (& Around) Mauke.

Note that our itinerary starts in Kimiangatau, as this is a short distance between the island’s two accommodations.

A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke - One Day Itinerary© Google Maps

Kimiangatau to Oneunga Cove

Distance: 4.2km (2.6 miles), Drive time: 9 minutes, Cycle time: 17 minutes

From Taunganui Landing and the harbour in Kimiangatau (which is a great place to watch the sunrise), take the inland road toward the island’s central villages, Ngatiarua and Areora, which share the iconic CICC Ziona Church (Divided Church). Have a look around at the distinct architecture and even go inside if it’s a Sunday morning for the morning service to see the usual interior design!

From the church, head north to the far northern end of Ngatiarua village where you’ll find the short walking trail to Vai Tango (ask the locals where it is, as it can sometimes be difficult to find). A 500m (1,640ft) path leads to a limestone cave pool and an excellent swimming spot. Learn more about it in the 9 Best Caves on Mauke.

After your swim, continue to the northern coastal road and turn right (east). Continue for about 500m (1,640ft) where you’ll see the trail leading to Oneunga Cove with a beach nestled between two cliffs.

A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke - One Day Itinerary© Google Maps

Oneunga Cove to Anaraura Beach (East Coast)

Distance: 5.2km (3.2 miles), Drive time: 10 minutes, Cycle time: 21 minutes

It’s time to do some beach-hopping as you travel down the east coast of Mauke. Finding the beaches is just a case of stopping by every roadside clearing and coastal trail you see, starting with Ana Takapua and Arapaea in the north and then A’anga mid-way down the coast.

A highlight is Kea’s Grave where a concrete plaque lies on a clifftop at Anaiti Cove. Learn about this place that signifies a tragic story about love and loss in the 10 Best Historical Sites in the Cook Islands. Find Kea’s Grave mid-way between A’anga and Anaraura Beach.

Speaking of which, Anaraura Beach is your next destination and a relatively large beach found toward the bottom of the east coast. Next door is also Anaokae Beach.

A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke - One Day Itinerary© Google Maps

Anaraura Beach to Kimiangatau (West Coast)

Distance: 6.5km (4 miles), Drive time: 14 minutes, Cycle time: 26 minutes

More beach-hopping awaits as you curve the bottom of the island and start heading north up the west coast. Rererua Beach is a tiny sandy cove near the southern end of the island, while Teoneroa Beach sits just a few hundred metres north.

About 1.4km (0.9 miles) north of Teoneroa Beach and opposite the inland turnoff is a forest trail to Tukume Beach with more glorious coastline and the shipwreck of Te Kou Maru.

Next on the agenda should be Kopupooki Beach. Take the turnoff toward the sea just before Tiare Cottages. Once on the beach, walk down the beach/reef to your left when facing the ocean. Go around the outcrop and you’ll find a small cave known as “Stomach Rock“. It has a pool inside, ideal for a swim! You can only reach this cave at low tide. Make sure you’re out of there before the tide comes in!

Then, it’s just a few hundred metres before you’re back at Taunganui Landing and Kimiangatau.

More About Planning a Self-Guided Day Trip Around Mauke

That’s it for our self-guided day trip around Mauke. If the sights visited on this one-day itinerary of Mauke weren’t enough, these other articles should give you more ideas!

Finally, don’t miss a thing on the atoll with The Complete Travel Guide to Mauke.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as the Cook Islands. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Raro’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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