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Aitutaki Cook Islands Cruise Port

Location:

As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore to the wharf in Arutanga. When you get off the tender you may notice a large flat rock in the grassy area off to your right. Known as the Visitor’s Rock, it is an old island tradition that when you step on it as you arrive, you are welcomed into the village, and when you step on it as you are leaving, you leave everything behind.

Aitutaki is recently in the top ten beaches in the world. The only problem is the ship cannot enter the lagoon so one has to tender with huge waves and crashing surf so often the ship misses the port.

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Monthly Climate Averages for Aitutaki Cook Islands

 

Sightseeing:

Aitutaki The Cook Islands is one of the most exquisite lagoons in the world. The lagoon itself is large - the largest island in the Cook Islands, Rarotonga can fit inside it. The lagoon is 12 km across its base and 15km from top to bottom. The main island is called Aitutaki - it is a flat island on the north section of the lagoon. There are another 20 small uninhabited Islands (motu) along the edge of the lagoon, most on the east fringe.

The main island of Aitutaki has a population of about 2000. The island has a pretty coastal road and several cross island roads making exploring easy. There are also lots of bush tracks meandering through inland plantations. There is no regular bus service so the best way to get around is by moped or bicycle which can be hired from most hotels. You could even walk to most places on the island given a good sun hat and plenty of drinking water.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

The main island of Aitutaki has a population of about 2000. The island has a pretty coastal road and several cross island roads making exploring easy. There are also lots of bush tracks meandering through inland plantations. There is no regular bus service so the best way to get around is by moped or bicycle which can be hired from most hotels. You could even walk to most places on the island given a good sun hat and plenty of drinking water.

With only a day to explore this southern paradise, this is one port in which you will most likely want to take an organized lagoon tour. You can take one of the cruise tours, book one of the five island tours offered online by private tour companies in advance or hire a boat taxi at the tender pier.

Cruises generally leave from the jetty near O’otu Beach at around 10am and are back by 3.30pm or 4pm, and operate from Monday to Saturday. Make sure you wear a hat or the boat is covered and take some snorkeling gear with you. Prices are about NZ$75

There are several boats on the island that can take you out big-game fishing for marlin, tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi outside the reef, or for smaller reef fish inside the lagoon.

Several places on the island rent scooters, cars, and bicycles, as do some hotels.

Nearby Places:

Arutanga Village on the west coast is the main settlement with a lovely white church, wharf, post office, bank, supermarket, restaurant and petrol station. There is no beach at Arutanga, which has a deep water harbor, but the beach begins less than a mile to the north at the village of Ureia with its colorful houses along the main road and large playing field. Outrigger canoes can usually be seen fishing in the lagoon and swimming is OK here although snorkeling not so good.

The southern tip of the finger known as Ootu Point has a gorgeous swimming beach and great views of the island - it is also the departure point for most of the island day cruises.

Shopping and Food:

Currency:

An ATM is available within walking distance of the tender pier. The New Zealand Dollar is the local currency supplemented with attractive and multi shaped local coins and the unique Cook Island Three Dollar Note.

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Communication:

Internet facilities are available on the Island although at NZ$1 per minute to use.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

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