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Aitutaki
Aitutaki Aerial.jpg
NASA picture of Aitutaki.
Geography
Location Central-Southern Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 18°51′S 159°47′W / 18.85°S 159.79°W / -18.85; -159.79
Archipelago Cook Islands
Total islands 15
Area 18.05 km²
Country

Aitutaki, also traditionally known as Araura, Ararau and Utataki, is one of the Cook Islands, north of Rarotonga. It has a population of approximately 2,000. Aitutaki is the second most visited island of the Cook Islands. The capital (main village) is Arutanga (Arutunga) on the west side.

Contents

Geography

Aitutaki is an "almost atoll", located at 18°50′S 159°45′W / 18.833°S 159.75°W / -18.833; -159.75. It has a maximum elevation of approximately 123 metres with the hill known as Maunga Pu close to its northernmost point. The land area of the atoll is 18.05 km², of which the main island occupies 16.8 km².[1] The Ootu Peninsula, protruding east from the main island in a southerly direction along the eastern rim of the reef, takes up 1.75 km² out of these 16.8 km² for the main island.[2] For the lagoon, area figures between 50 and 74 km² are found. Satellite image measurement suggests that the larger figure also includes the reef flat, which is commonly not considered part of a lagoon.

The barrier reef that forms the basis of Aitutaki is roughly the shape of an equilateral triangle with sides 12 kilometres in length. The southern edge of the triangle is almost totally below the surface of the ocean, and the eastern side is composed of a string of small islands (including Mangere, Akaiami, and Tekopua).

The western side of the atoll contains many of Aitutaki's important features including a boat passage through the barrier reef allowing for anchorage close to shore at Arutanga. Towards the south of the side is a small break in the barrier reef, allowing access for small boats to the lagoon which covers most of the southern part of the triangle. Further to the north is the bulk of the main island. Its fertile volcanic soil provide tropical fruits and vegetables. Two of Aitutaki's 15 islets (motus) are also volcanic. The rest are made of coral.

Aitutaki Airport is located close to the triangle's northern point. There is an area suitable for the landing of flying boats in the south eastern part of the lagoon.

Subdivisions

Topographic map of Aitutaki
Districts and tapere of Aitutaki according to the constitution[3]
Electoral circonscriptions of Aitutaki
Tapuaetai (One Foot Island) in the southern part of Aitutaki Atoll
A reef outside of Aitutaki

Aitutaki is subdivided in 4 districts, containing 8 villages.[4]

The four districts are:

  1. Tautu
  2. Vaipae-Avanui
  3. Amuri-Ureia
  4. Arutanga

The map, however, shows 8 districts. The districts are further subdivided into 19 tapere (land holdings by tribe lineages).

The eight villages are:[5]

  1. Amuri (Te Upoko Enua)
  2. Ureia (Uriuri A Punga)
  3. Arutanga (Rutanga O Te Toa)
  4. Reureu (Te Mata O Teerui)
  5. Nikaupara (Te Maru O Toi)
  6. Vaipae (Te Vaipaepae O Pau)
  7. Tautu (Titi Ai Tonga)
  8. Vaipeka (Te Arekarioi)

The eight districts are subdivided into 19 tapere as follows:

  • Amuri District
    • Amuri Tapere
    • Punganui Tapere
  • Anaunga District
    • Anaunga Tapere
    • Punoa Tapere
  • Arutanga District
    • Arutanga Tapere
    • Reureu Tapere
    • Nukunoni Tapere
    • Ureia Tapere
  • Avanui District
    • Avanui Tapere
    • Vaipeka Tapere
  • Taravao District
    • Taravao Tapere
    • Vaiau Tapere
    • Vaiorea Tapere
  • Tautu District
    • Mataotane Tapere
    • Tautu Tapere
  • Vaipae District
    • Oako Tapere
    • Vaipae Tapere
  • Vaitupa District
    • Taakarere Tapere
    • Vaitupa Tapere

History

Polynesians probably first settled Aitutaki around AD 900. The first known European contact was with Captain Bligh and the crew of the "HMS Bounty" when they discovered Aitutaki on April 11, 1789, prior to the infamous mutiny.

Aitutaki was the first of the Cook Islands to accept Christianity, after London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary John Williams visited in 1821. The oldest church in the country, the Cook Islands Christian Church in Arutanga, was built by Papeiha (Borabora) and Vahapata (Raiatea), two LMS teachers Williams had left behind.

In 1942 New Zealand and American forces were stationed on the island, building the two-way airstrip that can be seen today. This airport, and one on the northernmost Penrhyn Island, were to be used as bases by the Allies during World War II. The first aircraft, an American light bomber, landed on November 22, 1942. When the war ended some of the servicemen remained and married the locals.

During the 1950s Aitutaki's lagoon was used as a stopover for TEAL (Tasman Empire Airways Limited) flying boats on the famous Coral Route. The islet of Akaiami was used as a resting stop for passengers, who often lay about until the aircraft was refuelled for two hours. These operations ceased in 1960, and the only reminder are the remains of the purpose-built jetty on Akaiami. The flying boat 'Aranui', which was part of this service, is now on display at the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland, New Zealand.

Two of Aitutaki's motus (small islands), Rapota and Moturakau, were the locations of the first series of the UK reality television program Shipwrecked in 2000.

More recently, in 2001, Steve Fossett passed over just south of Aitutaki in the balloon Solo Spirit during his round-the-world trip.

In 2006, the island was used as the location for the tribal council in Survivor: Cook Islands. Surrounding islands were used for tribal camps and crew locations. One of the tribes was named Aitutaki (or 'Aitu') after the island.

Then, not long afterwards, Shipwrecked returned again, with Shipwrecked: Battle of the Islands. This was filmed on the same islands as before. One year later, Aitutaki was the locale of an episode of Survivorman.

On February 10-11, 2010, Aitutaki was hit by Cyclone Pat. The high winds of the storm ripped the roofs off of most houses and damaged other buildings including a school and a hospital. At least 60% of houses were damaged. There were no reported deaths but a few minor injuries were reported.[6][7][8] An Air Force Hercules cargo plane and an army engineering team were provided by New Zealand along with an initial $200,000.[9][10] although there was criticism that the aid took five days after the storm to arrive.[11]

Places of interest

A beach on Aitutaki

Aitutaki is famous for its turquoise central lagoon, uninhabited islands and palm-fringed beaches. Another advantage is that until now it has been spared by mass tourism. Noteworthy also are an old church (the oldest in the Cook Islands) and some gigantic Banyan trees (Ficus prolixa).

Tapuaetai (One Foot Island), a small islet in the south-east of the lagoon, is often said to be the most important attraction. It is regarded as providing the visitor with the best views of the Aitutaki lagoon and depending on the tide one is able to walk on a sandbank a decent distance away from Tapuaetai (One Foot Island). The trip to this island is the most frequented trip available on Aitutaki and is bookable in most hotels. One Foot Island was awarded "Australasia's Leading Beach" at the World Travel Awards held in Sydney in June 2008.

Air Rarotonga offers daily flights and a day tour from Rarotonga.

Economy

Tourism is the mainstay of Aitutaki though visitor numbers are still relatively low as there are no direct international flights. Tourists are catered for by a range of motels and resorts ranging from budget to luxury.

A number of new resorts and hotels are currently being planned and built.

Sports

The most popular sport on Aitutaki is rugby which is very popular on the island as it is in much of the Pacific. With a population of only 2,000, there are 4 clubs on Aitutaki and 8 teams (each club having a first team and a reserve team). The best players on the island play for the Aitutaki island team against their main rivals Rarotonga.

Postage stamps

Minor islands of Aitutaki

The main island of Aitutaki occupies the northern part of the atoll, which is roughly triangular in shape. The minor islands form part of the perimeter of the lagoon. All islands, including the main island and its peninsula Ootu, are listed starting clockwise from the northernmost point of the atoll:

Island Type Area
(ha)
Location
Aitutaki volcanic main island 16800

18°51′32″S 159°47′01″W / 18.85889°S 159.78361°W / -18.85889; -159.78361 (Aitutaki)

   Ootu motu peninsula 175  
Akitua motu 14.86 18°51′00″S 159°45′25″W / 18.85°S 159.75694°W / -18.85; -159.75694 (Akitua)
Angarei motu 13.07 18°51′25″S 159°45′12″W / 18.85694°S 159.75333°W / -18.85694; -159.75333 (Angarei)
Ee (Niura) motu 29.21  
Mangere motu 8.54  
Papau motu 5.26  
Tavaerua Iti motu 4.12  
Tavaerua motu 12.47  
Akaiami motu 41.91  
Muritapua motu 4.04  
Tekopua motu 71.29  
Tapuaetai (One Foot Island) motu 5.96  
Tapuaeta cay sand cay 0.95  
Motukitiu motu 11.47  
Moturakau volcanic 3.86  
Rapota volcanic 3.1  
Maina sand cay 16.96  
Aitutaki Atoll near-atoll 18050  

Ootu Peninsula is of coral formation, but attached to the main volcanic island, thus a peninsula. If it were an island, it would be the largest of the minor islands. Ootu Peninsula does belong to tapere and district of Vaitupa. The minor islands are not allocated to any districts or tapere, but they do form part of the larger constituencies.

All minor islets, except Akitua and Maina, are part of Vaipae-Tautu Constituency. Akitua is part of Amuri-Ureia Constituency, as is Ootu Peninsula, just north of Akitua. Maina is part of Arutanga-Reureu-Nikaupara Constituency. The main island is equally divided among the three constituencies Arutanga-Reureu-Nikaupara (southwest), Vaipae-Tautu (southeast), and Amuri-Ureia (north).

Akitua is home to the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa.

Education

Araura College is the only secondary school on Aitutaki. The school has the role of teaching approximately 200 students.

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 18°51′S 159°47′W / 18.85°S 159.79°W / -18.85; -159.79

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

One Foot Island beach
One Foot Island beach

Aitutaki [1] is an island in the Southern Cook Islands a 45 minute flight from the capital island of Rarotonga.

Understand

Aitutaki lagoon and its islands are breathtakingly beautiful. The classic picture postcard of small palm tree fringed tropical island, with shallow, warm turquoise waters, corals, tropical fish and blue skies is taken here. The lagoon is large, taking about an hour in a boat to cross it.

The island name is pronounced Aye - too - tah - ki.

Tourism facilities are well developed, but are still low key enough not to intrude on the nature of the island.

Geography

The larger island is split into different villages, Vaipae & Tau'tu are the largest and are located on the south east side of the island, Arutanga is often referred to as town and is on the south west side of the island. Arutanga has a center area for shopping, and the Telecom Office (also the Post Office), the Westpac Bank and the Bank of the Cook Islands are located here. Here you will also find the Blue Nun and Wharf. Amuri is a general term for the north end of the island which contains most of the tourist accommodations and less population. The other villages on the island are Uriea, Rearea, Rama, Vaipeka and Nikaupara.

There are several smaller island in the lagoon Akaiami is a small, elongated islet at the opposite end of the lagoon from Aitutaki's main island around 20 minutes across the lagoon from Aitutaki. Akaiami is remote, quiet, charming, unspoiled and surrounded by pristine turquoise lagoon and coral reef, and there is a small lodge there. One Foot Island is a popular stopping spot for lagoon cruises.

History

During WWII the island was host to American forces who outnumbered the local population of the island at the time. The Americans built the airstrips which are still in use today. The island was built to be the last point of defence in the Pacific, but Japanese advance was reversed and the island never saw action. Some descendants of the American troops stationed there remain on the island.

The lagoon was a stopover point for the TEAL (later to become Air New Zealand) flying boats, which operated to between Tahiti, Fiji and New Zealand until 1960. The remains of the wharf where visitors would disembark for a two hour stopover, often including a swim in lagoon is still in place today on the island of Akaiami in the lagoon. The rocks are slight submerged.

Get in

Aitutaki Airport (IATA: AIT)is served by Air Rarotonga [2] with daily flights from Rarotonga. There are flights three to five times daily (except Sundays where two flights are operated) that take approximately 45 minutes.

There is a small cafe at the airport, selling Atiu coffee and some other local produce. There is no ATM at the airport.

Flights are around $200-$250 each way, and the morning flights there and the afternoon flights back are be reserved for people doing day or overnight trips.

It is possible to do a day trip from Rarotonga, which includes flights, a bus tour of the island, a lagoon cruise, and lunch. Regular price is $499, but lookout for last minute specials down to $400.

There are rumours of a locals flight in the evening that offers cheaper fares than the daytime flights.

Get around

By car/scooter

Car and Scooter (or Moped) hire are the main forms of transport on Aitutaki. This can easily be arrange through any of the rental companies (or better accommodations) on the island. Prices tend to be higher and quality a bit lower than on Rarotonga.

A driver's licence is $2.50 NZD and can be purchased at the police station in Arutanga (also known as town). You will need to present your foreign driver's licence to obtain this. You are not required to have a motorcycle licence on your licence from your home country to obtain a licence for scooters & motorcycles in the Cook Islands; driving down to the police station is typically your practicum, although very rarely they do do short tests. The licence is paper with no photo identification and lasts for a year. An Aitutaki driver's licence is cheaper, easier to get, and faster than getting a licence in Rarotonga and your Aitutaki licence will cover you for the whole Cook Islands. Licences in Rarotonga cost $20 with an additional amount for a practical test. There are sometimes lines in Rarotonga at the licence office so if you can avoid it, and you don't want a laminated photo id, the Aitutaki licence is the way to go.

Prices for cars can vary on which model chosen and which company used but typically $65 to $85 a day is usual with a refundable $40 petrol deposit. Cars typically tend to be automatics and are pretty reliable under the hood but will usually have some superficial damage.

Scooters are much more economical at $25 a day with a $10 petrol deposit. There is some competition with scooters so if you are not happy with yours you have other options. As with the cars, the scooters are typically in good condition and safe to drive, but will not be vespas or straight out of the box. Typically rentals are automatic, but ask and manuals should be available. Manual scooters can be in better condition because they are not rented as often.

By taxi

Taxis are expensive on Aitutaki. Rates are based on how far you are going, anywhere from $10 per person for short trips to $20 NZD per person, booking ahead is highly recommended and you can confirm your price then. There two taxi companies on the island (some restaurants & bars will have their own vehicles for pickups) :

  • Pacifica Taxi - excellent service and reliable.
  • Tropicool Tours - as the name suggests, does day tours around the island, transfers for Lagoon Cruises, and transfers for Cafe Tupuna. It is operated by Nane Herman who is a wonderful resource on island life and usually arrives with flowers for her guests, the only problem is that she can have limited availability for taxi services.
The Lagune of Aitutaki, seen from Samade Beach
The Lagune of Aitutaki, seen from Samade Beach
  • One-Foot Island is a must see with blue lagoons and white sandy beach. There is a post office (box). One of the most remote in the world. There are beaches for swimming, you can walk around the island. Best snorkelling seems to be around the island past the rock ledge, towards the reef.
  • Take an island, safari, & walk about tours
  • Ministry of Marine Resources. Open weekdays only. Learn about the sea life in the lagoon. See baby sea turtles and giant clams.  edit
  • Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, Motu Akitua, Aitutaki Lagoon, (+682) 31203, [3]. Visit the Cook Islands' only private island resort, just a two-minute ride by small private ferry from the main island of Aitutaki. This boutique bungalow resort welcomes visitors and offers Day Passes, which include access to its beautiful beaches and use of such equipment as snorkelling gear, kayaks, outrigger canoes, windsurfers and bicycles. The resort also offers two restaurants where you can dine right on the water - Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill and Bounty Restaurant, Oneroa Beach Pavilion, an air-conditioned Conference Room, Gift Shop, Akitua Rentals car hire, Best of the Cook Islands tour desk and SpaPolynesia Aitutaki.  edit

Lagoon Tours

If the weather is nice, or even if its not too bad, a lagoon cruise is near idyllic. Aitutaki's lagoon is supposed to rival Bora Bora in French Polynesia for beauty, and all of the lagoon operators are reputable and offer excellent trips. There is not a best operator on Aitutaki for Lagoon Cruises so look around and decide what kind of a cruise you are looking for - smaller more intimate cruises which stay away from One Foot Island during peak periods, or larger slower boats with entertainment and toilets on board. Unless it's a terrible day you can't go wrong.

For cruises on smaller boat try:

  • Aitutaki Adventures, (682) 31171 (fax: (682) 31528).  edit
The view from the top of Maunga Pu
The view from the top of Maunga Pu
  • Aitutaki Golf Club. The island's 9-hole golf course. Bookable via hotels. Clubs for rental around NZ$10 and green fees around NZ$10.  edit
  • Fishing (either game fishing or fly fishing inside the lagoon). There is a game fishing area by the Wharf in Arutanga where the public can compete in Fishing Contests.
  • Explore the island - rent a bicycle, scooter, or car and drive around the island. Don't be in a rush though as it won't take you long to get around the island. Take your time are enjoy the beaches, and taro on banana plantations. Of course the beach is also beckoning and the water is beautiful. The highest peak, Maunga Pu, offers good birds eye views of the whole island.
  • Experience an Island night
  • SpaPolynesia Aitutaki, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, Motu Akitua, Aitutaki Lagoon, (+682) 31203, [4]. SpaPolynesia Aitutaki offers profesionally-qualified spa therapists and an extensive spa menu including aromatherapy massage, coconut body scrubs and thalassotherapy wraps, hydrating facials, spa manicures and pedicures, and a hydrotherapy session with a private couple's jacuzzi and sauna. Guests can enjoy a deeply-relaxing massage within the spa's serene, island-style ambience, or in the cool shade of the coconut palms on the white sand beach against the backdrop of magnificent Aitutaki Lagoon.  edit
  • Windsurfing Aitutaki, Motu Akitua, Aitutaki Lagoon, (+682) 31203, [5]. Aitutaki Lagoon is a windsurfers (and kiteboarders) paradise. For guests of Aitutaki's private island resort, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, windsurfing is included as a complimentary activity throughout their stay. Non-house guests are able to purchase Day Passes which include windsurfing as well as such other resort activities as snorkelling, outrigger canoes, kayaks and bicycles. The whole area in front of the resort island, Motu Akitua, is a windsurfers playground, especially along the front of Sunset Beach and around Kuriri Point at the mouth of Full Moon Channel.  edit

Buy

There is a small store for supplies in town, and two ATMs. The selection is very much what is available at the time, and is quite limited. Sea cargo can arrive in Aitutaki every 3 months, and supplies can be limited before resupply.

On Sundays there is only one store open, the Neibaa Store in Vaipae, and there is no gasoline or petrol for sale.

  • Try the island's Poke (raw tuna) with coconut milk. It is delicious! Cook Island's Poke bears little resemblance to Hawaii's Poke. Try not to eat snappers, they may give you ciguatera.

Reservations for dinner are a good idea on Aiutaki, as periodically the more popular restaurants will book up during tourist peak periods.

  • Te Vaka Bar & Grill, Aitutaki. An excellent option for meals with possibly the largest menu on the island. Good quality and price, but sometimes the service is on "island time". Something travellers will likely experience, positively hopefully, anywhere in the outer islands. Te Vaka does have limited kitchen hours for meals, but the bar is also your best bet for any live sports, as they have a plasma TV hooked up to satellite. Friday nights are popular rugby nights for locals to cheer on the All Blacks. If you are Australian you can expect some good natured ribbing when any Wallaby match is on.
  • Cafe Tupuna (31678 - not open on Sundays) Reservations are required. The food and service on the island is as good as you will find on the island and is on par with other a-la-carte dining experiences travellers will be used to.
  • Rapae Bay Restaurant, The Pacific Resort (31720 - open 7 days a week) Reservations are required. The best food and service on the island and on a par with other a la carte dining experiences travellers will be used to.

The following all serve decent quality food but it definitely leans more to a take away style menu, with hamburgers being a big staple.

  • Samade's Bar
  • The Blue Nun
  • The Spider Cafe
  • Ranginui's Boathouse The Boathouse will hopefully be more on par with the Te Vaka Bar & Grill once it is fully up and running, with more seafood on the menu.
  • Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, Motu Akitua, Aitutaki Lagoon, (+682)31203, [6]. Visitors are welcome at the resort's two restaurants. The Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill is named in honour of the Solent Flying Boats which used to land directly on Aituaki Lagoon during the glamorous 1950s era of the South Pacific 'Coral Route', which included such luminous adventurers as screen legends Cary Grant and John Wayne. Set directly on the water's edge with unparalleled lagoon views, the Flying Boat's menu showcases the island's finest cuisine from the seas and gardens of Aitutaki. The resort's spacious Bounty Restaurant overlooks Bligh's Beach and Full Moon Chanel, and is named in honour of the HMS Bounty which carried the first Europeans to sight Aitutaki, just 17 days before the infamous mutiny. The resort offers a variety of dining experiences including Seafood Platters for Two, 5-course Degustation Menu, private candlelit dining in a variety of exclusive island locations, Honeymoon Moet & Chandon Breakfast, Gourmet Picnic Hampers, Wedding Receptions in the Oneroa Beach Pavilion, Private Group Dinners, plus daily Casual Dining (pizzas, club sandwiches, pasta salads and more). Two iconic restaurants in the heart of the South Pacific, where you can dine with your toes in the sand on the shores of the world's most beautiful lagoon, under a canopy of five trillion stars.  edit

Drink

Pacific or Islands Nights are also a good option to experience while you are in the Cook Islands. Islands nights usually involve either a buffet or a la carte menu and an island dancing show for a set price. Most island nights will also include a string band before the show as well. While Cook Island dancing is distinct in its own ways and definitely worth watching, it will be of a same vein as Tahitian shows for those more familiar with French Polynesia.

There is also nightlife, particularly on Friday's & Saturdays. The popular venues change every once in a while but are not typically hard to find and will usually be wherever the Island night takes place.

  • Samade's Bar tends to attract more tourists than locals. You will find locals genuinely friendly and open and it is an excellent experience. The only words of caution are that periodically fights can occur after closing among those who've had too much to drink. It can be village rivalry or personal but almost never involves tourists. Closing time is always 12AM.
  • Coconut Crusher Bar. A great feed, a great drink, and wonderful people
  • Aitutaki Seaside Lodges, P.O. Box 38, Aitutaki, (682) 31056 (, fax: (682) 31056), [7]. Three newly built comfortable sized bungalows right on the beach in the northern part of the main island. NZ$250 per room night; NZ$230 per room night for five nights or more. Children under the age of 5 are free of charge, from 5-12 NZ$20 per night..  edit
  • Etu Moana, [9]. One bedroom villas.  edit
  • Gina's Beach Lodge, Akaiami island, (682) 31058 (, fax: (682) 31058), [10]. Large property on beach with three studio type rooms. Rate NZ$ 300 Double ; NZ$180 Single ; Extra Adult: $NZ75 / night; Children: 12-15 Years: $NZ60 / night, 8-11 Years: $NZ20 / night, Under 8 years: Free.  edit
  • Gina's Garden Lodges, 10 mins out of Tautu Village on the main island, (682) 31058 (, fax: (682) 31058), [11]. Four large self-contained lodges. With communal swimming pool. Single $75 per night, double/twin $120 per night, extra adult $30 per night, children (0-15 yrs) $20 per child per night.  edit
  • Josies Lodge, Popoara, 31659. Cheap backpackers lodge.  edit
  • Maina Sunset Motel, Nikaupara, Main island, 682 25432. Several self contained units. Onsite restaurant. Budget.  edit
  • Matriki Beach Huts, (+682) 31564 (, fax: (+682) 31564), [12]. checkin: 1PM; checkout: 10AM. A cluster of beachside huts. The separate hut is NZ$50.- per person per night single and NZ$32.50 per person double occupancy. The two huts in the two storey set-up are NZ$ 50.- per person per night single, NZ$35.-per person double and downstairs NZ$ 32.50.- per person triple occupancy. The garden unit is NZ$55.- per person single, NZ$37.50 per person double and NZ$32.50 per person triple occupancy..  edit
  • Pacific Resort Aitutaki, +682 31720 (fax: +682 31719), [13].  edit
  • Rino's Beach Bungalows, Ureia Village, (682) 22166 (, fax: (682) 22169), [14]. Beachfront and garden 1 and 2 bedroom apartments. $160 per doube villa.  edit
  • Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, Motu Akitua, [15]. Aituaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is the only resort located directly on Aitutaki Lagoon, considered by many to be the world's most beautiful lagoon and featured in "100 Places to See Before You Die". This boutique bungalow resort rests on its own private island, Motu Akitua(the Cook Islands' only private island resort), just a two-minute ride by small private ferry from the main island. Encircled by fine, white sand beaches and enjoying magnificent panoramic lagoon views ("The Best Views on Earth of the World's Most Beautiful Lagoon"), the resort also offers the Cook Islands' only Overwater Bungalows, Aitutaki's only private pool villa, the Royal Honeymoon Pool Villa 'Te Arau' and Aitutaki's dedicated wedding venue, Oneroa Beach Chapel. Visitors are welcome at the resort's two restaurants, Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill (named in honour of the Solent Flying Boats which used to land on the lagoon during the glamorous era of the Coral Route, set on the water's edge with unparalleled lagoon views and a menu showcasing the island's finest cuisine from the seas and gardens of the Cook Islands) and the Bounty Restaurant (named in honour of the HMS Bounty, the first Europeans to sight Aitutaki Lagoon), and at the resort's SpaPolynesia Aitutaki which offers an extensive spa menu, plus couple's jacuzzi and sauna. The resort offers guests a wide range of complimentary activities (including snorkelling,fish feeding, outrigger canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, bicyles and cultural activiites such as learn to dance the 'ura (hula) or make an 'ei (lei)), tour desk, car hire, internet, gift shop and weekly events include a Fire Dance Show and Polynesian Drum Dance Show.  edit

Stay safe

It will be a challenge to get into trouble in Aitutaki.

Water is not treated, so drink bottled water whilst on the island. There are mosquitoes but there is no malaria. There are stone fish in the lagoon, so wear reef shoes when exploring the reef.

  • Spider Co. Internet Lounge - internet cafe

Get out

The flying boats used on the coral route via Aitutaki are on display in Auckland.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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