Polynesians are believed to have lived on Manihiki since at least 900 or 1000 AD. Captain Patrickson, on board the ship “Good Hope” sighted the island in 1822 and named it Humphrey Island. Since then, various other explorers have named it different names, but today the island maintains its traditional Manihiki. One possible translation of the name is literally “canoe carried ashore”. Manihiki sits on top of an underwater mountain, which rises 13,000 feet from the ocean floor. The island itself is flat and only 13 feet above sea level at the highest point. Its stunning 3-mile wide lagoon is ringed by 43 small islets. Within these protected waters is the island’s greatest asset - black pearls. The island is renowned for its black pearls and is the epicentre of the Cook Islands’ pearl industry.