Easter Island or Rapa Nui, is one of the most isolated places on the planet and one of the most magical places I have ever been to. Whilst tiny, measuring about 25km long and 12km wide, it is home to the iconic 'Moai' - Easter Island head statues. There is one town (Hanga Roa), three volcanoes and some absolutely breathtaking scenery.
I arrived at night and the winding roads to the resort had no street lights. That didn’t stop me from noticing the eucalypts that lined the road, or the two or three horses that were standing in the middle of it. The stunning Explora Rapa Nui Hotel, which is a destination in itself, is set amongst rolling green hills, surrounded by veggie gardens and overlooking the cliffs that plunge into the ocean.
In the coming days, I hiked to the top of Rano Kau, an extinct volcano that has a crater lake that is one of the only three natural bodies of water on the island. I explored Rano Raraku, which is the quarry that supplied 95% of the stone used for the Moai.
The Moai were built to honour their chief and other important people who had passed away. It took ten men, one year to carve a single Moai and to this day, no one is sure how they were moved. There are Moai all over the island, in various states of transportation. Those that made it to their Ahu (stone platforms) stand impressively 10m tall, facing inland to protect the Rapa Nui people. Those that fell remain face down, face up and some are not even completely carved from the rock.
Ahu Tongariki is the islands largest platform with a total of fifteen Moai, all standing proudly on the South Coast of Rapa Nui. The sight is one to behold and it literally took my breath away.
If you would like to discuss Easter Island in more detail, please call me at (08) 8379 2344.