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Cross Island Track and The Needle is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length 3.7 mi Elevation gain 118 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Forest Views Waterfall Wild flowers Over grown Rocky Scramble
Description
Waypoints (0)

NOTE: As of January 2020, the trail is closed from the needle south to the waterfall through February 2020.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (31)
Photos (24)
Recordings (18)
Completed (65)
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Sacha Ward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 29, 2020
HikingMuddyOff trailRocky

Great, adventure hike - have to look out for the markings that are small arrows on trees. Did from the Needle end then ended at the Waterfall which was perfect to cool down and then hitched a ride back to hotel with a local family. Slippery walking through river and lots of downhill. First part heading up to the Needle was like climbing a giant beanstalk.

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Simone Dudley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 28, 2020
Closed

We went up to the needle from the North side as it is closed from the South. You cannot go all the way across to do the cross island track so you must come back the way you came. The hike up is fairly steep but not very long, approx 40min with a couple photo stops. When you get to the needle you must use chains/ropes to get to the top. It's a bit precarious but not as bad as it looks.

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Margret Shepard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2020
HikingClosed

Trail was closed from the needle south to the waterfall, no access at least through February 2020

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Greg Williamson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 27, 2019
Hiking

We did the up and back. Fun trail with great views and a couple of Raro roosters at the top. Track not that well marked but easy enough to follow. Took about 3 hours from waterfall to the Needle and back.

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Ethan Tan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 30, 2019
Hiking

brilliant adventure! we started 10am with an overcast. light rain started right after we finished the needle, perfect to cool down. lots of ferns, yellow wild orchids, gorgeous butterflies and a lonely trailing rooster at the peak before the needle! it followed us for at least 15 mins!

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Kari Gilman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2019
HikingBugsOver grownScramble

Definitely lots of tree roots, recommend hiking from the north side to the south. Do not do after a rain, but other than that pretty straight forward hike.

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Jodi Burgess
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2019
Hiking

Awesome must do trail. It is a little tricky to follow at times, as markers a few. Having said that, it is definitely possible to follow it, and found the AllTrails map very useful to ensure we were in the right track. Done streams to cross, and done very slippery areas, so be very careful if doing it during a rain, or just after. The needle is a bit scary if you are not a hiker used to doing any kind of hairy stuff (like us). They have chains and ropes to use, but don’t feel you have to do it to make the walk. We decided the scariness of the ropes and chains was possibly not worth the increase of view....as you can get a pretty good view anyhow. Such a beautiful perspective on the Island. We went north to south. We caught a bus to the town, the driver indicated which road we needed to walk up to start the trail, and off we went. We walked back to our accommodation at the other end. Road and beach walking at either end added an extra 6kms...so be prepared for the extra if you want to do it that way. All in all, loved the walk and the streams and the slippery slopes and the views!!!

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Margie Ramos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScramble
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Graeme Peoples
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 3, 2019
HikingScramble

A mixture of walking and scrambling, but lots of tree roots to pull yourself up on .... Worth doing.

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James Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyOver grown

Highly recommended, a must do in Rarotonga. I would say that this trail is slightly more than moderate, and is hard in parts. It requires you going on all fours and climbing up banks using tree roots as handles and foot rests. My wife and I managed it but I think anyone with any balance or strength issues may struggle. We both had running shoes on, and something with more grip would have been ideal. However we loved it and getting to top and seeing over the trees for the first time is amazing. Then at the needle where you can see both sides of the island is amazing. Very hot and humid even at the cooler part of the year so definitely take water and bug spray.

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Rebecca Bird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2019
Hiking

In parts you have to pull yourself up the track using the mesh of tree roots - it's like climbing along the ridge of a Stegosaurus spine! There are wild roosters along the way! Super views from the needle and easily achieved by children aged 8 & 10yrs.

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Katherine O'Connor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2019
Hiking

Rained quite heavily when we did it & was very slippery going down to the waterfall. We did Pa's guided walk & was pleased to have the guide help me negotiate the very steep bits where you needed to go down backwards like a ladder. Found having walking poles very helpful. The view was still lovely at the top despite the cloud & the swim in the waterfall pool at the end was heavenly!

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Nick Reid
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2019
Hiking

good old scrambling fun. Well worth doing.

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Kimberly Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2019
HikingBugsMuddy

Fun trail with some great views, but it's slippery after rain.

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Andrew Tate
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 28, 2019
HikingOver grownRockyScramble
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Lax Lover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 25, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

I would not recommend this trail for beginner hikers, it after rain, but otherwise moderate trail.

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