ABOUT AITUTAKI ISLAND
One of the most beautiful islands in the pacific
Saturday, April 11th, 1789 marked the first day that visitors from the outside world feasted their eyes on the shores of Aitutaki. It turned out to be only 18 days before the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty when Captain William Bligh came across the volcanic atoll. He had no expectation of discovering a new island when he set sail from Tahiti only four days prior but sought shelter from a bad storm upon seeing it in the distance. Despite heavy wind and rain, Captain Bligh’s first impression seems to have lasted the ages as he referred to his new discovery as “So charming a little Spot”. He also noted the friendly nature of the island people which has become a trademark of the Aitutakian culture for so many other visitors since that first encounter.
Aitutaki is most famous for its surreal turquoise lagoon that is contained by a triangular shaped reef with each side of the triangle measuring approximately 12kms. 15 islets (motus) are scattered throughout the lagoon with the most famous being One Foot Island.
Legend has it that a man and his son were being chased by a rival tribe and the father carried his son ashore to hide him before paddling all the way to Rarotonga to seek help. The pursuing tribe only saw one set of footprints in the powdery white sand and left the motu. Today, it is one of the most beautiful locations to visit in the mesmerizing lagoon.
Aitutaki is part of the Southern Cook Islands and is located approximately 250kms to the North of the main island, Rarotonga. It has a population of approximately 2000 people spread through 8 villages across the island. Life is simple here and truly is a place to escape the rest of the world. There is no doubt why it is listed in several books as a “must see place before you die” and that Lonely Planet has dubbed Aitutaki as “the world’s most beautiful island.”
If you seek an exotic destination, romance, seclusion, and beauty that can only be described as a feast for the senses, look no further than the shores of Aitutaki.
FAQ's about Aitutaki
Visitors travelling to the Cook Islands may find access via four long-haul international airlines, Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue, JetStar, and Air Tahiti, with more than 23 flights weekly arriving at the capital Rarotonga’s International airport . Rarotonga, is approximately 4 hours non-stop flight from Auckland, New Zealand, a mere 9 hours non-stop from Los Angeles, 6 hours non-stop from Australia, and 1.5 hours from Papaete, Tahiti. This makes the Cook Islands a very accessible destination for international travelers.
For those travelling onward to the island of Aitutaki , services are provided by Air Rarotonga the domestic carrier, with 4 flights daily during the week and 2 flights on Sundays. They operate the SAAB 340 Turbo Prop airliner with seating for 32 personals. Flight time to Aitutaki from Rarotonga is 40 minutes with light refreshments served on the flight. Air Rarotonga also has a connectinng service to Atiu via Aitutaki twice a week. This is most convenient for those wishing a 2 and 3 island combo stay in the Cook Islands. Air Ratotongas website is: www.airrarotonga.com .
The Cook Islands year-round warmth makes it an ideal destination at any time with only a slight variance in temperatures of between 22ºC and 29ºC throughout most of the year. The winter months of April to November are typically the drier period, with the wet, more humid, season coinciding with the summer months of December to March.
Dress for most times of the year is light, comfortable, informal clothing, with a light sweater for the cooler evenings. Brief attire is not acceptable when worn around in towns or villages, and topless or nude bathing is prohibited and will cause offence.
The tropical environment while stunning and beautiful must share it’s existence with mosquitoes so , please make sure you pack that repellent in your suitcase along with plenty of sun block to protect your skin from the warmth of the sun.[/toggle]
Visitors from any country hold a valid passport and proof of onward passage or a return airline ticket, an entry permit for stays of up to 31 days in the is not required.
Extensions are usually granted on a monthly basis for any longer stays – up to five additional months only. A fee is payable to the Immigration Department for each application within 14 days of the expiration of the entry permit.
The New Zealand Dollar is the unit of currency throughout the Cook Islands, supplemented by notes and coinage minted for local use. Local coins and notes are not negotiable outside the Cook Islands, but are sought after by collectors and make memorable and lasting souvenirs.
Bank of the South Pacific formerly Westpac Bank is located in the central town area of Aitutaki and is open Mon-Fri from 9am to 3pm. BSP has an ATM machine at it’s location There are also banking facilities to exchange currencies upon arrival at the Rarotonga International airport before proceeding inward to Aitutaki.
International phone and fax services, phone cards, mobile telephones, and wireless internet hotspots are provided by Telecom Cook Islands and internet cafes are commonplace in Aitutaki. Postal services are available at the Post Office.open Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, and Telepost located in the CITC Shopping Centre in Avarua.
Rising 9,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean’s floor, the triangle shape of Aitutaki with her small islets (motu’s) surround a spectacular lagoon touted by many as the most beautiful lagoon in the world. It is therefore no wonder that Aitutaki’s lagoon plays centre stage with the majority of the activities on Aitutaki.
Explore the underwater world in the lagoon or diving beyond the reef’s edge in the warm waters … Catch the “big one” on a lagoon or deep-sea fishing excursion … Visit One Foot Island and Akaiami – 2 islets with the most stunning white sand beaches that you will ever experience… Enjoy a round of golf on Aitutaki’s 9 hole Golf Course with a range of hazzards including low flying aircraft! For those interested in our culture, geology, and history – the local Safari Tour is a must and includes lunch cooked in an underground oven. Our famous Aitutaki Dancers and Cultural Shows are presented weekly at an Island Night at any one of the major resorts on Aitutaki. Make sure you try the local cuisine at these gatherings… it’s an experience not to be missed!
There are also a host of restaurants and eateries to choose from… or you may just choose to stretch out in the privacy of your Villa Compound and watch the world go by at a pace that will surely reduce your stress levels.
Go fishing with the many Aitutaki Fishing Charters that can take you snorkling, game fishing and spear fishing.