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Aitutaki information page, times, locations, things to do!

 

Aitutaki activities are mainly water based, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, diving, fishing, whale and turtle watching, and just getting out and seeing all the Motu's ( little islands ) the lagoon is famous for. Of course there are land based activities, visiting the villages, dining, shops, and getting out and meeting the locals.

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Visiting Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands for your vacation is one of the best vacation destination decisions you may ever make. The Aitutaki lagoon is as idyllic a place as you will ever find; many poets and writers have spun thousands of lines describing its wonders and beauty. Matriki Beach Huts was built on the foundation that all people should be able to enjoy this splendor without the high costs associated with such remote travel. Aitutaki lagoon offers snorkeling, divingfishing, whale watching, picnicking on beautiful beaches, sailing, kayaking, and much more. While snorkeling, you can view a myriad of colorful fish and see first-hand the giant clams of Aitutaki and the South Pacific; these clams are now protected in four separate reserves in the Aitutaki lagoon. Bone fishing is a thrill all its own - although we don't eat the fish they are truly a rush to stalk and catch. Fishing for pelagic species outside of the Aitutaki lagoon offers up Yellow Fin Tuna (Ahi), Dorado (dolphin fish), Wahoo, and array of jacks and snapper. Bring some of your catch back for the BBQ. At Matriki Beach Huts we practice fishing conservation - never kill what you can't eat in a few days, and never kill billfish.
The local Aitutaki scuba diving operators will safely show you some of the Cook Islands best diving; they are safe, reliable, and very knowledgeable. Matriki Beach Huts has hobies for hire, sail the Aitutaki lagoon and discover what all the fuss is about for yourself. Your hosts are always there to answer questions, take you on tours, sailing adventures, fishing trips, and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreaming of a Cook Islands vacation?

Aitutaki will fill your days with sun, sand, and beaches. Aitutaki is Known as the Cook Islands vacation island and offers up spectacular beaches, and crystal clear turquoise waters. Matriki lets you enjoy this environment normally reserved for the more affluent travel by providing Aitutaki accommodations at budget prices.

We are located on the same stretch of Aitutaki beach as the other more costly accommodations.

See what our guests have to say about a Matriki Cook Islands vacation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home
Accommodation
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Contact
Meet your hosts

 Map and aerial view

        of Aitutaki.

Snorkeling Aitutaki
Scuba Diving Aitutaki
Sport fishing Aitutaki

aitutaki lagoon snorkellingdiving in the open oceanfishing oceankayak sand

Matriki Beach Huts: Information page!  
(Some things change so best to check when you get here)

Dining                          Island activities

Island nights                Groceries

Lagoon Tours                Souvenirs and Gifts

Fishing                         Church

Scuba Diving                 Rentals            

Misc

 

 

Dining

Here are some of Aitutaki’s restaurants.

Café Tupuna – Famed for the best meals on the island. It’s located inland, in a garden setting, high up behind Arutanga. Open for dinner only and reservations are a must. Prices range from $10 for home made pies and up to $100 for speciality seafood dishes. Phone 31678 

The Boat Shed – With a focus on seafood, this place is another popular spot. A great place for the afternoon beer or even a little whale watching during the season. Sailing and fishing paraphernalia cover the walls, fun to look at and a little piece of history. They have an extensive menu and prices range from around $17 upward for dinner Phone 31739 

Samade - now called Aitutaki Village Bring your bathing suit if you come for lunch! One of the best swimming beaches on the island. They also have kayaks for rent. The food is not exotic but reasonable priced. Tuesday nights they have Island Night (*See the “Island Night” page), and Sunday is their BBQ lunch from noon to 8pm ($25 - $35 per person). Phone 31526 

 

Koru Cafe, Great place for breakfast ($ 10 - $25) and tasty lunch($15 upwards). Good coffee too. That's one place we go often. Open from 7am to 3pm everyday. 

Puffy’s Bar, Restaurant and Takeaway – Guests report Puffy’s has excellent fish & chips. Meals are basic but good ($10 - $20) Open for lunch 11am – 2pm, and dinner 6pm -10pm. Phone 31317 

The Coconut Shack - on the beach at Paradise Cove a short walk north along the beach from Matriki Beach Huts. Great place to dine on the beach. Island night usually on Friday nights.

Tamanu Beach – If you’re walking, this spot is just 100m south of Matriki Beach Huts, (turn left along the beach). A good selection of food, with lots of seafood dishes, pasta, steak, chicken, and desserts, in a lagoon and ocean view setting. Reservations are required in the evening. Tuesday is island night ( see the "Island Night" page). Sunday buffet bbq ($45 pp) Open 7 days a week. Breakfast (tropical buffet) 7:30am-10:30am, Lunch Noon – 2:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 9:30pm (aprox). Phone 31810 

Rapae Bay Restaurant – Located in the Pacific Resort, this upscale restaurant serves Pacific fusion cuisine. The setting is lovely, though the meals are pricey. Reservations are required. They have island night on Friday from 7pm with island show (*See the “Island Nights” page). Breakfast 7:30 am – 11am, Lunch noon – 3:30pm, Dinner 6:30pm – 9pm (aprox). phone 31720

 

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort, has two restaurants whereby the Bounty Bar is a great setting with views over the lagoon. A place to go for that special lunch or dinner. And that at reasonable price for a resort. You take the ferry across the channel and walk down to the Bounty Beach Bar. 




Island Nights

Attending an Island Night is part of the island experience. Here you have the opportunity to try some traditional Cook Island dishes – such as pork cooked in an underground oven, taro, and local fish. Then you’ll be treated to singing, dancing, and drumming performed by local groups whose enthusiasm, you will find, is contagious. Reservations are required. There are several Island Nights held throughout the week at different restaurants. Here’s a schedule:

Tuesday- Samade Bar - now called Aitutaki Village (#31526)
Three course meal and show $60 pp, extra $10 pp for pick up and return.  

Thursday - Are Tamanu next door.  (#31810) 

Buffet meal and show with fire dancing al la 'warriors of Aitutaki'.  $65pp

Friday - Pacific Resort (#31720)  Buffet 7pm, show 8:30pm ($95 pp)




Lagoon tours


There’s no shortage of things to do here on Aitutaki…though you may choose to do nothing at all! Here are some of the most popular activities and tours.

Lagoon Tours: This is a must do when visiting Aitutaki. The lagoon is what Aitutaki is all about. There’s a wide variety of tour companies, so whether you want to mingle with a crowd or enjoy a more personal experience, you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Matriki Sea Adventures  We will show you the lagoon in style in our  7m longboat. There are 2 tours to choose from. Our “Lagoon & Snorkel Tour” will take you outside the reef to Eagle Ray Alley where you can snorkel with graceful Eagle Rays, over to the Giant Clam reserve, and on to a special snorkeling spot for a spectacular close up view of local clams, colourful coral, and fish life. From there, you’ll head to Maina/Honeymoon Islands for lunch. These islands are less touristy and have no mosquitoes, (Hooray!). Here you’ll also see the rare red-tailed tropic bird and be able to relax in the shallow water of the sandbank. After lunch some more snorkeling before heading back to Matriki Beach Huts. Max 7 people, $110 per person includes tour, lunch, and snorkel gear. We go to places no one else does and emphasize snorkeling.

If you have a group that would like to do an extended tour to same as above but then go over to One Foot Island as well, it would cost extra to cover the extra  fuel, minimum 4 people. Our tours are small and personalized. 


For those who just want to fish, the “Deep Sea Fishing Tour” is fishing only. *  Max 4 people. 1 - 2 people = $300, 3-4 people = $125 pp

Sign up in the office for any of our tours or to arrange a Private Adventure!


Bishop Cruises – Offers a 45’ catamaran with upstairs sundeck, bar, and toilet facilities. They also have a smaller motor boat which does taxi runs and snorkeling tours. Cost is $95 per person and includes snorkeling gear, beach towels, buffet lunch, and hotel transfer. 



Coral Escapes – Private luxury is what Mike and Mere offer. They do lagoon charters, take you to see the clams, also to see turtles, and have a BBQ lunch with fruit and light refreshments. Their boat 'Black Pearl' with which they also offer fishing charters is comfy and they specialize in very small groups – a relaxing honeymoon tour. Prices from $350 to $550 (ph 31125)

Kia Orana Cruises – They offer two boats, one takes up to ten people and one is smaller but with no sun cover. You will have a four island cruise with some snorkeling, swimming, and a buffet lunch. They also offer a drop off service. The cost is $125 per person and includes snorkeling gear, lunch, and hotel transfer.(ph 31442)


Paradise Island Lagoon Tours – Cruise aboard the Titi ai Tonga to Moturakau, snorkeling, and then One Foot Island together with the day tourists from Rarotonga. A BBQ lunch is served onboard and entertainment is provided. Towels and snorkeling gear are provided. Cost is - upwards of $125 per person.(ph 31248)

Aitutaki Adventure Tours – They go to Honeymoon Island snorkeling then over to One Foot Island for a great lunch at their hut, more snorkeling and then another island. $110 pp, These guys and Kia Orana Cruises do not operate on Saturdays but Sundays instead.(ph 31171)

 

Te King Cruises - They offer a good cruise, several snorkeling spots including the clam reserve, lunch on Maina and then off to see one Foot island and 2 others as well. $119 pp. (ph31582)


Fishing

 

 Why not try your hand at a little sportfishing? You can fish right out front of the reef or go out after the big boys!

Matriki Sea Adventures – If you are a confirmed fish-aholic, or even if you’ve never held a rod in your life, we will take you out to try for the big one. Enjoy a day outside the reef trawling for barracuda or dogtooth tuna, casting for GT's or go a little further out for game fish such as Tuna and Wahoo, or do a little of both! We take a maximum of 4 people on these fishing trips; your comfort and safety are a priority. The giant trevally are always ready to pull your arms out of your sockets, these fish are serious heavy weights and there is plenty of action: (Casting for Giant Trevally is not for beginners).

“Deep Sea Fishing” – 1- 2 people $300, 3 - 4 people $125pp. Includes 4-6hrs fishing, and fishing gear. You can bring your own gear (casting gear) and favorite lures as well.

More on Fishing.

 

Matriki Sea Adventures-ph 31564 matriki@aitutaki.net.ck

 

Black Pearl Charters - ph 31125 - Mike and Mere are out there most days.

Aitutaki blue lagoon flyfish-  Butch is a master click here.

 

Vaikiore Fishing Charter-  click here.




Scuba Diving

The warm, clear water of Aitutaki is a diver’s dream. There’s nothing like seeing tropical fish and coral up close and personal!

 

Aitutaki Scuba has been operating for 30years on Aitutaki. Although Neil doesn't do a lot of the diving anymore, his more than competent assistant Dawn is loved by everyone and knows the spots. They operate on a reducing system depending on how many divers go -$180 for single diver, $170 for two, $160 for three and so on for 2 tank dives. Ph 31703 or mob56103. scuba@aitutaki.net.ck

Bubbles Below – Onu Hewett, the owner/operator of Bubbles Below, is an NZQA accredited SSI Diving Instructor. You can go on a 1 or 2 tank dive outside the reef with a good chance of seeing Eagle Rays, turtles, and possibly even a reef shark! With a 2 tank dive they offer free hotel transfer, (1 tank dives pay $10 for transfer), all equipment, and light refreshments once you return. (You should be aware that if you opt for a 2 tank dive they may both be in the same location). Dives are usually in the morning – hotel pick up is between 8-8:15am – and return around 1:30 pm leaving you lots of time to enjoy the rest of the day. Cost for a 1 tank dive is $105, 2 tank dive $170 + free hotel transfer.

They also offer snorkeling for $40 per person, but only if there are divers going out as well and if there is some space to include snorkelers, (call to enquire).

If you’ve always wanted to learn to dive, Bubbles Below offers PADI courses.
PADI Open Water Course (aprox. 4 days needed) = $450
PADI Advanced Open Water Course (a few days needed) = $475
Discover Scuba* (for those wishing to “sample” diving but not wanting to take the full course) = $160  *does not give you certification for diving

They operate Mon thru Sat. #31537 or Mobile# 50919 bubblesbelow@aitutaki.net.ck


Island activities


You can easily explore the island on your own, or if you’d like some local insight, there are a few tours to choose from.

 

Have a layover on Rarotonga and want to trek up some of the beautiful mountains, click here. Note: this is a Rarotonga Island activity.

 

Aitutaki Island activities:


Aitutaki Discovery Safari Tours – They offer a guided inland tour of Aitutaki with an experienced local guide. Highlights include: the sacred site of the ancient Marae, Mt. Maungapu, historical landmarks, a plantation, and World War II tracks & bunkers. Tours operate Sun –Friday and include transfers and refreshments. #31757

Aitutaki Walkabout Tours – They offer scooter or walking tours, as well as a Marae & feast tour. Tours run Mon thru Sat and reservations are required. #31757

Island Circle – For the free-spirited, you can very easily circle the island on your own. At a comfortable pace, you can scooter around the island in about 30 min, and on a bicycle in about 1 hour. Walking is also an option if you want to meet people – but remember to bring lots of water! On site bicycle and scooter hire1

Mt. Maungapu – To climb Aitutaki’s highest peak, follow these directions: Follow the main road heading toward the airport. At the sign for “Paradise Cove Resort” turn right. Go up the small paved road - it will turn to dirt. You’ll come to a T in the road – turn left and that road will take you right to the top. This is a good activity for those cooler days when the sun won’t cooperate. Remember to bring water, (and a camera), and watch your step if it’s been raining as the ground can get quite slippery. This is an easy hike so relax and enjoy the walk!People have tried drive up on scooters and have come a cropper - so best not to do this if you want to avoid injury!


Shopping
It’s best to shop early if you’re looking for fish, fruits & veggies, or fresh bread. You’ll find a selection of small shops along the road about 1km past Matriki, so you can walk, but if you plan on buying a lot of groceries we suggest hiring a scooter or a bike. There are a couple of shops which sell souvenirs and local handicrafts. Most stores apart from Neibaa's on the other side of the island are closed Sundays and there is no alcohol sold on Sundays.

Groceries

Maina Traders Superstore – Located in the center of town. They have a small section in the back with touristy goodies and opperate a takeaway food place. They’re open Mon-Sat 7am to 7pm

The Aitutaki Market – The market opens at 6am and we suggest you be there right at opening if you want to buy fish or fruits and vegetables. Here you can also find local dishes such as Rukau (boiled taro leaf) and Puke (a kind of banana arrowroot dessert type thing – very filling).

The “Heineken Store” - Look for the green Heineken logo out front. This shop has more specialty items but they are pricey, otherwise a good selection by island standards. Prices aren’t listed so make sure to ask before you buy. Good range of NZ wines etc available. There’s also an ice cream counter with really tasty ice cream!

 

Neibaa's Store and Takeaway - Probably the best stocked on the island - cheapest beer on the island - this shop is open on Sundays and closed on Saturdays till 6pm, and situated on the East side of the island. The convenience of a takeaway next to it makes a shopping trip 'over there' worthwhile.

Vonnia’s – The closest thing to K-mart on Aitutaki! There are a handful of souvenir items and clothing plus assorted other goodies and hardware.




Souvenirs & Gifts

Moana Creations – They have the largest selection of souvenirs on the island. Tons of pareus and tropic shirts. If you’re looking for a coconut bra, this is the place! Located on the road to town to the left just beyond the ANZ bank. Open Mon thru Fri from 8:30am – 2pm, and Sat 8:30 – 12:30. Closed Sun.

Mango Traders – 
They have the largest selection of souvenirs on the island. Tons of pareus and tropic shirts, and beautiful tropical-patterned fabric. Located next to the ANZ bank.


Church


There are seven different churches of different denominations on
the island – any local will be happy to tell you when and where the services are. If you’d just like to go for the singing, we recommend the Arutanga church (the large white church) near the main 4-way junction. Please be respectful of local culture – dress conservatively, men should have nice shirts, no singlets, shorts, or beach attire.

Services at the Aruntanga Church:

Sunday 6am, 10am, 4pm
Wednesday 6am
Friday 6am


Misc.

Hospital: Phone# 31-002 Emergency # 31-698

Bank: ANZ Bank - this is the bank closest to us. They have an ATM on site. Open: Mon thru Thurs 9am – 12noon & 1pm – 3pm. ATM's always accessible.

Westpac Bank – Located at the main 4 way junction in town. They have an ATM on site.

Open: Mon, Wed, and Fri 9:30am – 3pm

Post Office: Located next to Westpac Bank at the main 4 way junction in town. They have postal service, phone cards, fax, internet on site and Western Union.

Open: Mon thru Fri 8am – 4pm

Internet

Are Tamanu has WIFI and you can buy a code to access that. Works from Matriki beach if you have your own laptop.

 

The Boatshed and Koru Cafe both have internet service. Go there for a cool beer or a good capucino and do your interneting at the same time. Both WIFI and on site computers available at Boatshed.

Telephone: You are welcome to make local calls through us for .50 per call. You can also make international calls but the cost will depend on the location called and length of the call.

Rentals

Matriki Rentals
Scooters : We have two scooters for rent. They are $25 per day and $125 per week. For any scooter rental you will need a Cook Islands driver’s license. They’re easy to get; drive down to the Police Station located near the PO, so that they can see that you know how to drive, and just pay NZ$2.50


Make sure you are comfortable driving a scooter; we don’t want you to go home with the “Aitutaki Tattoo”! 

Bikes : We have push bikes for rent for $10 per day and $50 week. 

Snorkeling gear: Mask, fins, snorkel, $10NZ per day.

 

Kayak rentals: available at the Boatshed and Samade.

Rino’s Rentals, Popoara Rentals and Ranganui Retreat – all rent cars, jeeps, scooters, and push bikes. We can organise that for you.
 

 

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Matriki Beachfront

 

Matriki Beach Huts

P.O. Box 32, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Phone/Fax (+682) 31564
Website: www.matrikibeachhuts.com
Email: matriki@aitutaki.net.ck

 

 

 

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