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,
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
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
Dreaming of a Cook Islands
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.
what our guests have to say about a Matriki Cook Islands vacation!
Beach Huts: Information page!
(Some things change so best to check when you get here)
Souvenirs and Gifts
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 - $35 per person). Phone 31526
Great place for breakfast ($ 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.
basic but good ($10 - $20) Open for lunch 11am – 2pm, and dinner 6pm
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.
– If you’re walking, this spot
is just 100m south of Matriki Beach Huts, (turn left along the
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
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
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.
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.
- 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)
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.
We will show you the lagoon in style in our 7m
longboat. There are several tours to choose from depending on wheather
and captain. One will take you outside the reef to Eagle Ray Alley
where you can
snorkel with graceful Eagle Rays and look for turtles, one will take
over to the Giant Clam reserve, and
on to several special snorkeling spots for a spectacular close up view
local clams, colourful coral, GT's and fish life. From there, you’ll
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
Max 7 people, $120 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
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
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)
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)
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.
Matriki Sea Adventures-ph 31564
Black Pearl Charters - ph 31125
- Mike and Mere are out there most days.
Aitutaki blue lagoon
flyfish- Butch is a master click here.
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 mob 56103. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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!
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
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
tropical-patterned fabric. Located next to the ANZ bank.
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, cover shoulders,
men should have nice shirts, no singlets, shorts, or beach attire.
Services at the Aruntanga Church:
Sunday 6am, 10am, 4pm
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.
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.
thru Fri 8am – 4pm
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
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.
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
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.
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
Exchange click here.
Box 32, Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Phone/Fax (+682) 31564
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