We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
168 posts
56 reviews
Save Topic
First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

I have been to Raro six times and Aitutaki twice, however the last time I went to Aitutaki I was about 8 years old so I don't remember a lot.

My partner and I have 8 nights on Aitutaki and 3 nights on Rarotonga at the end of October.

I know that 7 days is a long time to spend on Aitutaki, we did this because flights back to Raro any earlier were a lot more expensive and really... what's wrong with a longer holiday in paradise anyway?! My partner hasn't been to the Cooks (or anywhere in the Pacific) so want him to have a relaxing holiday and a really good first impression.

Does anyone have any off the beaten track ideas for Aitutaki? I don't want us to get bored. We are quite outdoorsy, keen photographers and will be bringing our own snorkelling gear. We plan to do one or two lagoon cruises but obviously can't do one every day! We are staying at Paradise Cove.

Not so worried about Raro as we've only got two full days and I know there is a lot to do and I've got a bit of a list in my head. Last time I was there we did the cross island trek (with no guide, was just fine), cycled around the island and a few other interesting things. I would consider doing these again. Lying on the beach is great too, of course. In Raro we are staying at Sanctuary on the Beach.

Can't wait and it is coming around so fast!

Aitutaki, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Aitutaki
Level Contributor
1,913 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

HI kared, One suggestion is the Punarei Culture Tour. You can check out the reviews and web link at:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g309706-d4…

If you and your partner are interested in culture and history it's a must.

There are of course lots of water related activities: scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, SUP, kite boarding, wind surfing, deep sea fishing, fly fishing for bone fish and Giant Trevaly.

Then there is beach combing and a visit to the Marine Research Center where they are raising clams to restock the lagoon. There is excellent snorkeling off the Marine Research beach.

There is also a new sailing charter that will take you out on the lagoon. The reviews and web site are at:

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g309706-d6…

Aitutaki is still a pretty laid back place where you can make your own fun or just relax and chill out.

Happy planning.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
15,621 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Kia Orana Kared,

Here is some information for an off-the-beaten-path experience - tripadvisor.com/Travel-g309706-s403/Aitutaki…

The track into the interior leads from the Paradise Cove owners home immediately across the road from your accommodation.

Also keep a look out on the small blue-grey parrot, called The Nun Bird or Kuramoo as you walk up the steep incline towards the crater rim.

Enjoy your stay on Aitutaki.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
Level Contributor
15,621 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Another suggestion for the outdoors, your photographic interests, and for great views! - tripadvisor.com/Travel-g309706-c207826/Aitut…

Kia manuia.

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
168 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Great! Thank you Puapii and Frangipani for your awesome suggestions :)

I love the idea of sailing and will make a booking shortly.

I also love the idea of hiking the crater rim of Maunga Pa, that sounds just like us. Sounds like it's handy to our accommodation and we love birds too, so it will be perfect.

Also - how far in advance need we book lagoon cruises? Is chartering worthwhile?

Thanks again for your excellent suggestions.

We are looking forward to relaxing - it has been a stressful year with work and postgraduate studies and it will be a lovely reward. But we are also looking forward to exploring the island and all it has to offer.

Can't wait!

Hobart, Australia
Destination Expert
for Vanuatu
Level Contributor
3,634 posts
132 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

No need to book lagoon cruises before you arrive. It is actually better to wait until you arrive so you can pick a day with great weather

Regards

Suzi

Aitutaki, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Aitutaki
Level Contributor
1,913 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

In regards to charters, they are more expensive but you will be the only people on the boat and they will customize the day for you. They will take you to as many snorkeling spots as you want, feed you a great lunch and if the conditions are good, take you outside the reef to see the turtles and eagle rays. If you are lucky you may even see some whales before they head back south.

The Black/White Pearl charter is ranked as the number one activity on Aitutaki. The other charter is Slice of Heaven. As to whether they are worth it or not only you can decide. If you click on Lagoon tours under Top Questions to the right, you will find links to reviews of all of the lagoon tours including the charters.

The charters are very popular so if you decide to do one it would be best to book in advance. They will work around the weather if need be. For the others, as suggested, you can wait until you arrive.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
109 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Agree with Puapii about the Black Pearl Charter for a lagoon cruise! 4 of us had the boat to ourselves for the day, itinerary was totally up to us and it was an amazing day with perfect hosts. It may cost a little more than the other crowded cruises but in our opinion was worth every cent.

No chance of being bored on Aitutaki. There is ALWAYS something to do! Hire scooters for the duration and you can go wherever you like, whenever you like! We spent 9 nights there and it wasn't enough! You WILL have to make your own entertainment and choices, but isn't that what holidays are about?

ENJOY!

Edited: 19 September 2014, 16:27
Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
8,085 posts
443 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

We did a charter cruise and also one of the big group cruises. The charter was with kia orana and would rate as one of the best tours we have ever done. We had motus to ourselves and it was tailored to our interests. The big boat cruise we did had a lot of waiting around, crowds of people, noise. But we did appreciate the stunning scenery. One lagoon cruise is never enough. And next time i would also add a fishing trip and outside the reef .

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
168 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Thank you all for your input. We are so excited!

Fkp
Level Contributor
86 posts
126 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First time to Aitutaki as an adult... creative ideas?

Frangipani08 and Puapii-Teacher offer some great advice. Only I believe not that 7 days is long on Aitutaki, I would spend 18 days on Aitutaki and 2 on Rarotonga. :-)

If you do get up on the mountain top of Maunga Pa make sure to check out the crude but historical memories of soldiers once stationed there during WWII. Some of the texts are hidden but tells a story of life on this atoll.