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Cook Islands Travel Guide

Nassau Island

Egg-shaped Nassau is the only northern island without an inner lagoon; instead, taro grows in gardens at the center of the island.

The American whaler Nassau called in 1835. Europeans ran a coconut plantation here until l945, when the government bought the island for £2,000 to get it back for the Pukapukans. In 1951, the chiefs of Pukapuka, 89 km to the northwest, bought it from the government for the same amount and they've owned it ever since.

Korean fishermen from Pago Pago stop illegally at Nassau to trade canned foods, fishing gear, and cheap jewelry for love. The children of these encounters add an exotic element to the local population.

There's no safe anchorage and many ships have been lost here.