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 Rarotonga route planner .
Create an itinerary including Te Rua Manga (The Needle)
map
Te Rua Manga (The Needle) Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
217 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This is a fun and challenging hike (especially if you do not have a high fitness level). The views are not the best because of other mountains and the trees interfering. So do no go up expecting amazi...  more »
  • We walked in the reverse direction, so began at the waterfall end. We believe our walk was easier had we gone in the recommended direction. However, you would have Wigmores Waterfall at end of walk pr...  more »
  • We parked our rental car on the main road near the turnoff to the falls then caught the bus and rode it around to the other side of the island. The driver let us off at the right spot and pointed us i...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • A stunning view. The track is a bit rough and steep and you need to take a lot of care if wet but we'll worth the climb. Climbing the chain to the very top is not for the faint hearted but there is a breath taking view for those that brave it. Still unsure how the roosters made it up there.
  • Was a challenge getting to the top you need a high level of fitness and I wouldn't go up after it has been raining or is raining it would be too dangerous you could slip and it's pretty high up its 413m at its highest point. Takes about 1hr 40min up and down.
  • Awesome views but a hard trek to the top.

Plan your trip to Rarotonga

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Rarotonga

Since pristine white beaches and turquoise lagoons are never far away in Rarotonga, where you stay depends entirely on how much you want to spend. The hotels and resorts tend to cluster around the most scenic beaches and lagoons. At the higher end, luxury resorts offer pampering comfort, but often share their beaches with much more affordable accommodations. If you want to explore a certain part of the island, look for lodgings nearby: although the buses are extremely convenient, they tend to meander at a very slow pace.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Rarotonga by other users

9 days in Cook Islands BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Cook Islands BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Rarotonga BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 29 days in South Pacific BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Cook Islands BY A USER FROM INDIA April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Cook Islands BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Rarotonga BY A USER FROM GERMANY May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 55 days in South Pacific BY A USER FROM GERMANY October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 14 days in Rarotonga BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Rarotonga BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Cook Islands BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Rarotonga BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans