TikiTouring
The Cook Islands

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Activities in
the Cook Islands

Vaka Lagoon Cruises, Aitutaki

Aitutaki Vaka Lagoon Cruises

Check out Aitutaki's Vaka Lagoon Cruise Pictures

They say that the lagoon at Aitutaki is one of the six most beautiful places in the world and, having spent a day on its waters, I would not dispute that claim.

For I'm sure Heaven would look like Aitutaki.

Blue skies, crystal clear turquoise waters, sunshine and tranquility.

What more could you ask for?

To get to Aitutaki is a 50-minute flight north of Rarotonga via Air Rarotonga. You barely have time to finish your served coffee than you are there, excited to the maximum.

Aitutaki Vaka Lagoon CruisesAs we flew in it was a grey morning and a bit of rain around. At the airport one of the guides said not to worry as he could smell the sunshine on the way - and he proved right.

We did a quick tour by road through the port and the main town of Arutanga, then on to a high ridge overlooking the lagoon and via backroads to where the Vaka Lagoon Cruise vessel Titi ai Tonga was dragged up on the white-sand beach.

Along the way I got the chance to spot a land crab and he was a big beastie too, big enough to be seen heading for a hole from a moving vehicle 40m away.

The Titi ai Tonga is a 21-metre catamaran that has plenty of space on board for about 40 people and is your floating base for the lagoon cruise.

Aitutaki Vaka Lagoon CruisesA conch shells sounds that the vessel is about to leave and all of a sudden you are sedately motoring on to waters that are just stunning.

Fair go, it is like being in paradise. For photographers it is a dream come true and you only wish you could spend a week there. Well, you could, but we only had a day so it was eyes glued to the viewfinder time.

As the morning wore on and the slight cloud burnt off then the day became even more perfect.

We stopped at a small white-sand beach for a bit and then motored off to find the snorkelling spot.

We anchored and got our snorkelling gear, which is provided by the tour, and over the side we went. Actually, it was more like off the ladder at the back of the vaka but who cares?

The water was warm, transparent and the small fish welcomed us into their territory by swimming around us.

Aitutaki Vaka Lagoon CruisesNot far away was a large coral outcrop and so we finned our way over there, passing over a giant clam as we went.

I've seen them in 60s and 70s TV series, but never up close and I have to say giant clams are amazing.

So were the little fish zipping in and out around the coral. Yellow, blue, striped ... just fabulous.

After our swim were clambered back on board for a terrific BBQ lunch cooked by the crew.

Then we weighed anchor again and went to One-Foot Island, where we walked around the place - named after a father's ploy to try to save his son from enemy warriors - swam a bit, and then it was all aboard for the trip home.

Aitutaki Vaka Lagoon CruisesThe five hours on board the Titi ai Tonga were way too short, but the trip will live in my mind forever.

If you go to Rarotonga hang the expense and make the trip to Aitutaki. You won't regret it.

And TikiTouring wishes to thank Air Rarotonga for their assistance in helping us fly to Aitutaki. We had great flights and the service was very good. Thanks also to Cook Islands Tourism Board for organising the Vaka Lagoon Cruise for us.

- Richard Moore

 

Copyright 2011 RICHARD MOORE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED