Te Rua Manga (The Needle), Rarotonga

4.7
#2 of 6 in Nature in Cook Islands
Challenge yourself to a climb up Te Rua Manga (The Needle), a tall rock formation jutting from a large hill. Easily visible from many spots on the island, this needle-like rock offers unbeatable views of the surrounding area. Make this trek on a well-marked walking trail to the base of the spire. Skill adventurers can choose to continue climbing up the spire, but rock-climbing equipment is needed and highly recommended. Take plenty of water, sunscreen, and mosquito repellant, and be mindfull of slippery paths, especially after heavy rainfall. Put Te Rua Manga (The Needle) at the forefront of your travel plans using our Avarua route planner .
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Te Rua Manga (The Needle) Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
223 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This was a great hike. Took us four hours. The view from the needle is exceptional. Track is well marked although we did bump into a woman who had been lost for two hours. Wear your hiking boots- cros...  more »
  • A great walk where you cannot get lost, from sea level up thru streams and bush to get a fantastic view. Just watch out for the roosters.  more »
  • We climbed up the Needle which was quite a good hike. I would recommend good footwear like cross trainers not jandals. There are many roots which stick out and make the climb a little difficult. Great...  more »
Google
  • Wow, very beautiful trekking. Maybe a little hard for children. But we went with our 10 years boy and we made it... Try it!!!! the views of the island are beautiful
  • Excellent track, it is best to start on the north side of the island. Not the site of the waterfall because it is very easily to take the wrong track.and walk for hours. Having to double because taking in the wrong direction. Keep to the track a long the ridgeline as there are big drops and bluffs Hidden by the Bush's only 1 foot from the track.
  • Challenging but the views are WORTH it! Wear good shoes and bring bug spray. Make sure to arrange rides if you're doing the cross-island trek.
  • We walked to the needle from the opposite start point of of the waterfall end and back. (Not starting at waterfall). Very steep and alot of root climbing. Parts of the climb are narrow. Bumped into 10+ tourists maybe ranging from 10 years old to 70+ years old in small groups who found the climb very challenging. It is ok in the heat of 27 degrees, you sure break a sweat but the root climbing is not long so there are many spots you can catch your breath in. The walk down the same way is easier and not too dangerous as it feels going up. Not what we expected but the needle at the top is worth the climb! Magnificent views and a few chickens up there!
  • I did the walk, but not the final traverse of the north face, for which you need to hang on to a horizontal chain. I thought the benefit of getting onto the shoulder of the rock wasn't worth risking a fall. Others, perhaps less affected by fear, managed it without panic, though. The trail itself was good, but not always well marked. A companion refused to proceed at any junction until we found signs to confirm the route. This proved essential. I would have followed a wrong path were it not for her insistence. Against some advice I went south to north and I'm glad I did. In this direction you tackle the steep slopes going up, leaving the shallower northern track for your descent. The steep sections are effectively scrambles - you need to use your hands. There are always easy holds available in the rock and roots, though. There is little 'exposure' - if you fall you don't go far, but you could break a bone or twist an ankle. The trickiest stages are the stream crossings. It hadn't rained for four days when I did the hike and I wouldn't have gone if it had (the mud would be slippery and the streams deeper). I didn't count but there are about ten crossings. With careful balancing on stepping stones and lots of luck (all the stones were stable and grippy) I managed to keep my feet dry. All three of my companions got wet, though. I found it helpful to have a makeshift walking stick to aid my balance. If you are not fit you'll struggle and probably won't enjoy this walk. One companion, an overweight, 65-year-old smoker, got so out of breath he needed a three-minute rest for every three metres of ascent. Instead of taking 90 minutes to reach the top, it took us three hours. The whole excursion, from main road to main road, walking all the way and never rushing, took us seven hours. Others took much less. One athletic friend dashed from the waterfall in the south to the peak and back in two hours, he says. There are some real dangers but these can be mitigated if you're sensible. Tell someone you're going and when you expect to be back. Don't go on your own. Take sunscreen, a hat and at a litre of water. Take something to eat. Set out early in the morning. Don't go anywhere unless you see the route markers (blue plastic tape or orange metal triangles, fixed to trees). Wear shoes with good tread on the sole. Read the weather forecast and don't go unless it's going to be a fine day. The rewards are strolls through lovely glades, pretty waterfalls, big views from the top - from ocean to ocean across the island - and a great sense of achievement.
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