Motuanga Cave

Cave of the 100 Chambers

Useful Information

Location: Mauke island.
(-20.179253, -157.334867)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: none, bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The largest cave of Mauke island is Motuanga Cave (Cave of the 100 Chambers). The entrance is on land and the passages lead towards the sea and terminate in a large pool under the reef. In the final chamber the waves can be heard crashing above. Today there is nobody alive who has reached the hundredth chamber, this exists only in legends. Altogether 8 chambers are known, including the last 2 which are underwater, and which were found by scuba divers.

Nearby there are 3 large cavities, Vai Moti, Vai Tukume and Vai Mau. The underground lakes at the bottom of these holes are great places to swim. At the entrances palm-size crabs scuttle across the path.

Text from George Szentes (2004): Caves of the Cook Islands, The British Caver Vol. 127 Spring 2005, pp 1-12, 13 color pictures, 1 bw picture, 1 map. With kind permission of the author.

Unfortunately the chambers have collapsed in recent years making the cave largely inaccessible. One online guide to the cave says "you can just look and weep from the outside".