Rua Rere

Te Rua Rere Cave - Teruarere - Flying Cave

Useful Information

Location: Mangaia Island
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:  
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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used as a burial cave.
1930 rediscovered by a native Mangaian in company with the celebrated American writer and Pacific exile, Robert Dean Frisbie.


The makatea of Mangaia is riddled with smaller caves. The largest and the most spectacular is Rua Rere. This burial cave was rediscovered in the 1930s by the locals.

A large collapsed entrance leads into the cave. The branches of a tree emerge at ground level. The narrow entrance passage, has several smaller openings above, where tree roots wind down to floor level. After this low muddy opening the cave becomes much more enclosed. The main cavern has developed along a long, narrow, high fissure. It contains many glistening, white stalactites and stalagmites. Human skeletons lie all around.

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.