Aitutaki

Cook Islands

 

Aitutaki's European discoverer was Captain William Bligh, who arrived on the Bounty on 11 April 1789 (17 days before the famous mutiny which happen in the Ha'apai Group of Tonga.

 HOTELS

 

  • Self-contained bungalows (NEW)
    • King size beds
    • split air-conditioning units w/remote control
    • kitchen
      • microwave
      • 2 burner gas range
      • refrigerator
      • quality cutlery & crockery
    • hot & cold water
    • telephone with IDD
      • no charge for local calls
    • balcony with table & chairs
  • Swimming pool
  • Beach front bar
  • beach chairs with cushions
  • beach hammocks
  • island breakfast included (fruit, cereal, juice)
  • Bicycles available (no charge)
  • Sunday night BBQ
  • NZ$ 315 per night
  • Phone 31-810
  • aretamanu@aitutaki.net.ck 
    • I had no luck getting a response via email

NOTE:  The beach here, as most places on Aitutaki, isn't great for swimming.

Beach Bar

RANGINUI'S RETREAT
  • Self-contained beachfront units
    • two burner electric hot plate
    • refrigerator
    • stand fan
    • queen size bed
    • cool showers
  • Located directly across from the Pearl Beach Resort
  • Short walk to Samade bar
  • NZ$ 100 per night
    • Special while I was there was stay 4 and pay for 3.
  • In the process of putting in two single units that will have hot water and flush toilets.
  • Phone 31-658

 

NOTES:  

  1. The beach here is actually a little better for swimming than the one at Aitutaki Pearl Beach Resort.   Not great, but one of the best on the main island.
  2. He gives a 50% discount on rental scooters, scoot-car, and boats to people staying here.
  3. The compost toilets here were OK, but might not meet some peoples standards
Rino's    31-197

rino@aitutaki.net.ck 

**My next choice**

Sunny Beach     31-446

rino@aitutaki.net.ck 

Gina's     31-058

queen@aitutaki.net.ck 

Paradise Cove    31-218

mtl@aitutaki.net.ck 

Tom's Beach  31-051

papatom@aitutaki.net.ck 

Aitutaki Beach Villas 23-387

tiny@oyster.net.ck 

Josie's Lodge   31-111

 

Maina Sunset   31-511

soloman@oyster.net.ck 

Aitutaki Lodges   31-334

aitlodge@aitutaki.net.ck 

DINING:
Samade Bar & Restaurant
  • Located on Aitutaki across from Aitutaki Pearl Beach Resort
  • One of the few restaurants open on Sunday
  • Tuesday is Island Night
    • Local food
    • Cultural dance show
  • CLOSED ON SATURDAY
Blue Nun Restaurant
  • Located in downtown Arutanga on the Warf
  • Open Mon--Sat  8am--late
  • Monday BBQ with salad bar
  • Wednesday night is Island Night
  • Saturday night BBQ with floorshow & live band

 

Crusher Bar
  • Located on the north end of the island before the airport
  • Open every night
  • Tuesday night is Pig-on-a-spit
  • Thursday is Island Night
Fletcher's Bar & Grill
  • Located on the west side of the island 
  • Friday night is Island Night
  • 31-418 for free pick-up
  • 10am -- late
  • Also home to one of the banks on the island
GROCERIES:  There are two main groceries on the island.  There are 3-4 small stores inside the gas stations, the hardware, etc.
Like a old American General Store.  Good selection of frozen goods, sauces, and sodas.  Also sells liquor, wine, clothing and general items. 

1.5L Bottled Water  NZ$ 3.30 

Best selection of fresh veggies.  Also some frozen items not available in the "Superstore" like fish filets and pizza.

1.5L Bottled Water  NZ$ 2.70 

GETTING AROUND:
Bicycle:  Available from Rino's, Swiss Rental, Tom's Rental and Aitutaki Safari Tours.  Generally NZ$ 7 per day.  Discounted to NZ$5 for long stays.  Aitutaki Safari Tours delivered for free, most others charged $5.  Island pretty flat with a few hills on back roads.
Motorcycles:  Available from Rino's, Swiss Rental, Tom's Rental and Ranginui's Retreat.  Most about NZ$ 20 per day.
Scootcar:  Only at Ranginui's Retreat.  Cost  NZ $80 per day plus gas.  He only has one and it was rented most day during the several weeks I stayed there.
Rental Cars:  Rinos has cars for rent.
Rental Boats:  Ranginui's (see below under Things to Do)
INTERNET CAFES:
There are no internet cafe's on Aitutaki.  The local hotels that are connected pay NZ$54 per hour for access!
LAUNDRY:   Check with your hotel.  The owner at Ranginui's did a bag for me for free because I was a long term hotel guest.
WHAT'S GOOD:
  • The scenery
  • The lagoon cruises are good value at NZ$50 for 6 hours with lunch.
  • The book exchange at Samade Bar.  Trade in a book and pay NZ$ .50 for a new selection.
WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD:
  • Mosquitoes and other flying insects, especially near sunrise & sunset
WHAT TO DO:
  • Lagoon tour.  All the cruises go Monday to Saturday (rain or shine).  All include mask, fins, snorkel, towels, and BBQ lunch.  Some hotels like Pearl Beach add $15 for their commission. Book direct to get the $50 rate.
    Paradise Islands Lagoon Cruises
    • NZ $ 50
    • Departs 10:30 am and returns 4:00 pm
    • 70 foot Polynesian style catamaran
    • Even though this one had more people I enjoyed it more because they had a better snorkel spot, a better swimming spot, and a much better feed!
    • [PHOTOS]
    Kit Cat Cruises
    • NZ $50
    • Beer, wine, champagne & soft drinks for sale
    • Departs 10:00 am and returns 4:00 pm
      • Tends to leave on island time
    • 34 foot catamaran
    • [PHOTOS]
    Bishop Cruises
    • NZ$ 
    • Uses smaller/faster boats
      • spends more time at beaches/snorkeling spots and less time getting there.
    • Leaves at almost exactly 10 am every day and returns very close to 4 pm.  

  • Island Night
    • Rotates around the restaurants on the island.  The one I saw at Samade featured a umo (food put over hot rocks and then covered with blankets and sand until everything is cooked) a group of local dancers and later a live band until late.  Cost was NZ$ 25 for dinner & entertainment.  Drinks were not included.
    • [PHOTOS]
  • Snorkeling
    • Reported best near the airport
      • I gave this area a try and quit after 30-40 minutes.  Visibility 6-10 feet even close to the barrier reef.  Very little live coral, small fish and water depth 3-6 feet.
    • visibility in most of the lagoon isn't good, especially on windy days when it drops to 5-6 feet.  Best I saw was about 30 feet in the pass near one foot island where there was a 2-3 mph current.
  • Diving
    • Aitutaki Scuba  31-103    fax 31-310
  • Rent a motor boat (Ranginui's)
    • NZ$ 80 for full day
  • Kayaking (Samade Bar)
    • NZ$ 10 -- one hour
    • NZ$ 15 -- half day (4 hours)
    • NZ$ 20 -- whole day
  • Para-surfing (Pearl Beach?)