rarotonga cross island walk

Rarotonga Cross Island Walk: probably the best hike in the South Pacific

The Rarotonga Cross Island Walk is one of the best hikes in the South Pacific. Even the most inexperienced hiker can get up there with a bit of care.

We stood outside our hostel, staring up at the morning sky. It had been raining all night long and the ominous clouds still threatened to thwart our plans. Adrienne, the hostel owner, had already warned us against doing the Rarotonga Cross Island Walk.

It would be far too slippery after the night’s deluge, she told us. However, after three days of lazing, we were keen for some activity. Already in our hiking gear, we were loath to change back into beachwear and spend another day doing not a lot.

And, so, against Adrienne’s wishes, we started the three-hour trip up to ‘The Needle’ (413m) and down to the other end of the island.

Luckily, contrary to the Adrienne’s warnings, the rainfall hadn’t reached the ground through the thick foliage so we found the hike to be relatively easy and safe, reaching the top in just an hour.

The views were like something out of Jurassic Park (without the murderous dinosaurs): absolutely stunning.

We spent thirty minutes on the peak, soon joined by a group of other hikers. The variety of people on the peak was striking: there were hikers of different ages, shapes and fitness levels.

In terms of reward versus effort, the Rarotonga Cross Island Walk has got to be one of the best hikes in the South Pacific. While it does require a level of fitness and coordination, even the most inexperienced hiker can get up there with a bit of care.

Here’s a taster of what we saw.

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