New Zealand’s Cook Island and the area surrounding the island is a real heaven for those interested in exploring one of the s richest and most colorful coral reef areas of the South Pacific Ocean and of the world. Composed of fifteen major islands that are spread on an ocean territory as large as 2,200,000 square km, the area offers a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of submerged reefs:
- The Coral Garden near Rarotonga – with water temperatures ranging between 23 and 30 degrees and stable weather, it provides an excellent environment for corals and fish to thrive. The crystal clear waters around Rarotonga give home to more than 70 species of live corals and hundreds of fish species including moray eels, parrotfish, boxfish, butterfly fish, angelfish, even turtles and small sharks;
- Aitutaki – this “almost atoll” and the waters surrounding it are stunningly beautiful, too. Aitutaki is the shape of a triangle and it is surrounded by a barrier reef where the visitor can see yellow fin tuna, several varieties of surgeonfish and unicornfish, wahoo, and mahi mahi; the coral species characteristic of the area are Acropora,
- Tema reef – this coral reef is located at about a 23 km distance from Pukapuka. What makes this special reef so exciting is that it is submerged entirely under the water – you know it is there only when you see how the water of the ocean waves around it, the lagoons offering shelter not only for the colorful fish species and other dwellers of the ocean, but for the beautiful and sensitive corals as well, life forms that thrive in unparalleled richness here.