Rarotonga , old names Oruruti Iceland , Iceland Roxburgh or Armstrong’s Iceland is the most densely populated island with an area of approximately 67 square kilometers, the largest of the 15 Cook Islands in the South Pacific . The archipelago is now the independent state of the Cook Islands, in free association with New Zealand is.
Rarotonga is a typical Pacific island volcano , towering with a central mountain range whose peaks up to about 600 m. The steep mountains form a watershed and river valleys have dug deep, bounded by steep escarpments. From the air, the oval-shaped island some resemblance to Tahiti-Nui is, however, significant with 11 × 7 km in diameter is smaller. The basaltic rocks have an age from 1.1 to 3.64 million years.
The highest point is Te Manga with 652 meters. The mountain region is densely overgrown with tropical vegetation and is accessed by dirt roads and footpaths in some places only. The coastal plain is narrow, with a width of a few hundred meters to 2 kilometers. The island is surrounded by a nearly closed reef which a turquoise lagoon covers with only six passages, some of which are limited only passable. In the south of the lagoon on a little wider, and includes four small, palm-covered motus one. These are from north to south:
and in the northwest, at the airport, is located within the lagoon, the tiny
All settlements and agricultural land are located in the narrow coastal strip. Typical of the landscape of the coastal region are alternating cropland, fallow land and cultivated tree plantations with mango , breadfruit , citrus fruits and the Tahitian chestnut ( Inocarpus fagifer ). Are also cultivated yams and taro , mainly in the moist and fertile valleys. The very popular coconut palm is the basis for a small copra production.
The climate is tropical hot and humid with only slightly distinct seasons and relatively constant temperatures of 25 ° C. The rainiest months are January to April. The showers are for the most violent, but to never take a long time. Rarotonga has 14 153 inhabitants ( census 2006), or about 70 percent of the total population of the Cook Islands.