OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANan Hauser, with the assistance of benefactors Joan Daeschler and Helen Jordan, founded and built a Whale Education Centre on the Are Metua of Rarotonga, Cook Islands in 2000.

For the past 13 years, the Centre has served as an educational experience for locals, tourists, students, interns, visiting scientists, volunteers and government officials. It has been a place to view videos, exhibits, specimens, whale-related artifacts and artwork by the children of the Centre. School groups visit the Centre and educational courses have been adopted into the local school curriculum and the internet.

Good friends, Sheryl and Huw John, have joined the efforts of the Whale Education Centre by collaborating with new thoughts and exhibits, a small theatre and a coffee/giftshop.



We are extremely happy and grateful about the support and involvement that Sheryl and Huw have brought to the Whale Centre.

The Centre’s doors will be open for 6 days a week, allowing locals, tourist and students to learn about the Cook Islands and the ocean that surrounds us. The Centre gives everyone a better understanding of the country and its interesting history.


Thousands of people have visited. Many keep in touch and write personal whale stories and send newspaper clippings. The centre has served as a place of education, raising awareness and bringing curious people of all ages, together. It has provided a safe, learning environment for children after school and school groups during school hours. The children over the years have learned to care for the environment and take “ownership” of their whales, dolphins, sharks & turtles.

The Cook Islands Whale & Wildlife Centre is introducing more exhibits on the Ocean and its inhabitants, the shipwrecks, the geology, the land animals, the history, etc. here in the Cook Islands. The John’s have a deep concern for the Oceans, the whales and the environment along with the whale research team.

Elena & Edwin Tavioni, Air New Zealand, T & M Heather, Strickland Motors, Pacific Marine Charters, Akura Charters, Delano Fishing Charters, D-Vent Sheet Metal, all the fishermen and many other Cook Island companies have continued to support us in our efforts over the years to keep the whale research going. (Many thanks everyone!)

Collectively, holding the same vision, enlarges the creation of all great things!

We built this centre as a memorial to them.

In February of 1999, a consortium was formed in Auckland, New Zealand as the humpback whale researchers across Oceania came together for the first time to compare their research findings. This included photo ID and tissue collection to study the occurrence, distribution, behavior, abundance, genetics and habitat use of humpbacks at each study site. The center will be a reflection of our discoveries as a team and the people of the Cook Islands and the yachtsmen passing through Rarotonga and visiting the outreach center add their knowledge to the data base. It is a place to collect stories of the past, to display whale bones islanders have collected over the years, to learn more about the history of whaling in the Cook Islands and to compare findings between the Cook Islands, Colombia, Moorea, New Caledonia, Tonga, New Zealand and Australia.
Rarotonga has become the official address for the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium and the office is located in the Takuvaine Valley.

So you are wanting learn about some of the history of the Cook Isands or looking for things to do in rarotonga cook islands then come visit us at the Whale and Wildlife Centre.