Air Rarotonga

Other Airports of the Cook Islands


Mangaia - the southern most island in the Cook Islands, lies east-south-east of Rarotonga by some 131 miles (114nm/211km).

Construction of the current airstrip commenced in 1977. It is of compacted fossilised coral and located on the Northern side of the island on the coastal makatea (raised ancient coastal reef).


Mauke – lies 173 miles (150nm/278km) northeast of Rarotonga in a group of three islands collectively named Nga-pu-toru. Like Atiu, Mauke had an original short grass runway built in 1977 positioned in the island interior. In the early 1980's a new airstrip of compacted coral was built on the Northern coast.


Mitiaro in the Ngaputoru group is the northern most island of the three, with Atiu to the southwest and Mauke to the southeast. Originally built in 1977 the airstrip was later realigned to allow for an improved compacted coral surface and length in the early 1980's.


At 139 miles from Rarotonga (121nm/224km) Atiu (in the Ngaputoru group) has had air access since 1977 when a short grass runway was built near Areora in the middle for the island. Once local airlines re-equipped with larger aircraft a new airstrip of compacted coral was constructed on the northern coastline that became operational in 1983.


The Penrhyn runway was built during World War 2 as part of the allied military initiative along with Aitutaki and Tonga to create an alternative Eastern war time supply route from Hawaii through to Australia and New Zealand. The compacted coral runway was originally nearly 3000 metres long but has since been shortened. The airstrip stretches along a narrow motu (islet) next to the village of Omoka.


The Manihiki airstrip was built in the early 1980's but not used commercially until 1991 when it was extended to a length sufficient for commercial flights. Nearby Rakahanga also had an airstrip however destroyed by successive hurricanes. Located on the Northeastern motu (islet) of Tukao, it is 750 miles (652nm/1208km) distant from Rarotonga.


Built in 1993, the compacted coral airstrip is situated on the atoll’s southern motu. 750nm from Rarotonga and 370nm from Pago Pago, Pukapuka is the Cook Islands northwestern most island.