Everything You Need to Know About Transport on Mitiaro
Roughly 265km (165 miles) northeast of Rarotonga, Mitiaro is only half the size yet feels a world away from its more developed Southern Group sister. After you land on the raised coral atoll in an eight-seater plane, you’ll explore Mitiaro’s flattened coral roads via scooter or car. There is no public transport on Mitiaro, so you’ll almost solely rely on your accommodation provider to organise your vehicle rental, airport transfers and/or guided tours to those harder-to-reach places. Learn more about how to get to and around Mitiaro in this complete Mitiaro transport guide.
1. Mitiaro by Domestic Flight – How to Get to Mitiaro
The only “real actionable” way to get to Mitiaro is via plane (we say “real actionable way” because no one recommends you to take the cargo ship – not even the locals. More on that at the end of this list). Domestic flights on an eight-seater plane with the Cook Islands’ sole domestic carrier are available from Rarotonga on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. These flights last approximately 50 minutes and return back to Raro the same day. Occasionally, the Monday and Friday flight stop by Mauke first. These flights last approximately 90 minutes from Rarotonga including the stop at Mauke or 20 minutes if coming directly from Mauke.
The cost of flights to Mitiaro are updated in Domestic Flights in the Cook Islands: Your Guide to Interisland Flights.
2. Scooter Rental – How to Get Around Mitiaro
The most available way to navigate Mitiaro is by a scooter. Most of the roads you’ll be using to get around Mitiaro by scooter are either gravel or dirt roads which are mostly in good condition. Scooter rentals are available through accommodations and cost approximately NZ$25-$30 per day. Note that helmets are not mandatory on Mitiaro (and will not be included in your rental).
A local scooter license is technically required to legally drive a scooter in the Cook Islands. You can arrange a scooter licence at the Police Station behind the Administration Buildings at Omutu Harbour. It’s cheaper and more straightforward than doing it on Rarotonga. Plus, your license here is valid on Rarotonga too! Find out more in our guide, How to Get a Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Scooter License.
3. Car Rental – How to Get Around Mitiaro
Renting a car from your accommodation provider is another way to get around Mitiaro, which has a few extra benefits. Driving a car in the Cook Islands does not require a local driving license and you won’t get soaked when there’s a tropical downpour. On the downside, they are slightly more expensive than hiring a scooter at approximately NZ$70-$80 per day. Get more tips for renting a car in our guide, What You Need to Hire a Car in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
We also recommend that you become familiar with the local road rules, which we outline in How to Drive in the Cook Islands + 10 Road Rules You Need to Know.
4. Accommodation Transfers (Airport Transfers) – How to Get Around Mitiaro
The accommodations on Mitiaro offer complimentary return airport transfers, almost always on the back of a pick-up truck. Your hosts welcome you with a floral “ei” (neck garland) at the airport.
5. Guided Tours – How to Get Around Mitiaro
Less available than in the other outer islands of the Cook Islands, guided tours include transport and allow you to see the sights with some local know-how. Because many of the sights, including caves, are easy enough to access without a guide, and the roads are in pretty good condition, a guide is not as essential. However, if you want to visit lesser-known caves and see historical sites like marae and the Te Pare Fort, then ask your accommodation host if they know anyone who can take you to these sights. Guided tours typically cost NZ$30-$50 per person. See what activities are best done with a guide in the 15 Best Things to Do on Mitiaro.
6. Cargo Boat – How to Get to Mitiaro
We leave the mention of catching a cargo boat to Mitiaro until last because it’s not a recommended way to get to the island but we still like to give you all of your options. Cargo boats in the Cook Islands are notoriously unpredictable, only leaving Rarotonga for the Southern Group and Northern Group islands once or twice a month. If your heart is set on the adventure and you have the time to spare, reach out to Taio Shipping at the Avatiu Wharf on Rarotonga to organise your voyage. More information can be found in our Cook Islands Cargo Ship Guide: How to Use the Ferry for Interisland Travel in the Cook Islands.
More About Mitiaro Transport and Getting Around Mitiaro
That’s it for our guide to Mitiaro transport with the ways to get around Mitiaro, as well as how to get to Mitiaro. If you have more questions about travelling around Mitiaro, check out the following guides:
- Cook Islands Transport Guide: 15 Best Ways to Get Around the Cook Islands
- The Driving Times in the Cook Islands You Need to Know
- A Travellers’ Guide to Hitchhiking in the Cook Islands
Finally, see where your transport can take you with our itineraries: The Best Cook Islands Itineraries for 2 Week, The Best Cook Islands Itineraries for 10 Days and The Best Cook Islands Itineraries for 1 Week.