The nine Southern Group islands are home to nine out of 10 islanders according to the latest census.
They include the capital island, RAROTONGA where nearly three quarters of the population of the Islands live. Avarua is the administrative and commercial centre (locals just call it "town"). Raro's nearest neighbour is the breathtakingly beautiful AITUTAKI whose turquoise blue lagoon includes the mini island or motu, One Foot Island - voted by travel agents worldwide as having the best beach in the Australia-Pacific region.
The rest of the group comprises ATIU, MAUKE and MITIARO which together are called Nga-Pu-Toru or "the three roots", MANGAIA, PALMERSTON and two uninhabited islands, TAKUTEA and MANUAE.