Palmerston Island

An island made unique by William Masters









Palmerston Island

Palmerston Atoll was discovered by Capt James Cook in 1774, however he did not step foot onto Palmerston Atoll till another visit in April 1777. He named this atoll after Lord of Admiralty Henry Temple, who was the 2nd Viscount Palmerston.

The original name was Avarua ( meaning two hundred Harbors). The main wharf area on Rarotonga goes by his name in present time.

Palmerston Atoll lies north of Rarotonga at 18 degrees south of the equator lies in line with hurricanes. The island was severely damaged by such hurricanes in 1920 and 1930’s.

A true atoll, Palmerston Atoll consists of a number of sandy islets on a continuous ring of coral reef enclosing a lagoon. All the islets are wooded with coconut palms. There is some natural ground water on Palmerston but water captured from rainfall is preferred for drinking.

William Marsters and the families associated with the Marsters name are synonymous with this island.

Today, Parrot fish is a major export from Palmerston and supplied mainly ( via Boat ) to the markets of Rarotonga.

Pearl farming is also a small, but growing industry .



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