While we were in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands back in August, we did this amazing hike across the island up to the “Needle”. It’s this huge boulder sitting at the top of a mountain which is visible from 15 miles away when you’re approaching Rarotonga from the sea. There is a trail right around the side of this boulder – which requires you to hang onto a steel cable while dangling over a cliff with a drop of several hundred feet.
Along the way, we had to climb a very steep path which had what were essentially steps made of roots of trees. Most of the way up the ridge, there was a huge tree that went out from the ridge trail and the trunk goes out over the edge. I climbed out on the trunk and took a 360 panorama from the tree. You can see some of the mountains in the background. I was doing the photos hand held, so it was hard to get a full spherical show with the photos aligned. But, the stitching software I use (called PTGui Pro) did a good job. Check it out here:
Tree in Rarotonga in Polynesia
I managed to set up a light-weight tripod on the side of the Needle sitting on a narrow rock path. You can see some metal brackets used by mountain climbers for rappelling on the nearby horizontal rock. Look up and you can see the photo is taken right next to the boulder. Half the view is blocked by this huge rock which is visible from miles away from the island. To the south you can see the ocean where the main port of Rarotonga is located. It’s an amazing view! View it in full screen for the full effect: