Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Friday, September 14, 2007


If you are staying in Rarotonga you really have to do the day trip to Aitutaki it is wonderful and incredibly beautiful.

The picture above was taken in Raro airport and it might not seem particularly relevant at first glance but apart from the fact that there are chickens running around the airport the lady at the check in desk might help to explain some of Aitutaki's beauty. I presumed the lady was a model going out to the island for a photo shoot but in fact she was the latest member of the TV series Survivor! Both Shipwreck and Survivor are filmed on some of the islands in Aitutaki's extensive lagoon! Here's a map of the island to give you an idea of the extent of the lagoon.

And here's a pic of the lagoon taken from the airplane on a very dull day by Aitutaki's high standards!

The day trip from Raro includes the flights, a short bus tour of the island and a boat cruise of the lagoon which stops off at a few of the islands and also in the lagoon for some snorkeling. You spend about six hours in the lagoon and it is amazing. Apparently it never rains in Aitutaki but it did the day we were there but it was still the highlight of the trip.

The second island we stopped off at was called Tapuaetai or One Foot Island and there is a lovely story about a father and son who went to the island to avoid being killed by an angry tribe. The father made sure to walk in the sons foot steps and gave himself up when the mob finally arrived. The mob presumed he was alone due to the fact that there was only one set of footprints. The boy eventually found his way back to the mainland by walking along the reef edge that encircles the lagoon and was taken in by an elderly lady. The boy later became a powerful chief and gave the island it's current name.

There's even a post office on the island and you can get your passport stamped there. The stamp is actually a foot with a date in the middle and although it was all a bit touristy we couldn't resist and got a stamp each.

If you thought Raro's airport was small here's a pic of Aitutaki's.

Some pics taken around the lagoon including the boat we were on.

The pic below is of a baby palm tree sprouting from a coconut. According to our guide it is a good idea to avoid sitting under palm trees with brown coconuts otherwise you might end up with a sore head!

You get fed on the boat. There was barbecued game fish, baked black banana marinated in coconut milk and paw paw among other things. They cut down some of the local palm leaves and made baskets for the food as per the pic below. The crew also got out their guitars and gave us a few songs along the way. Here a pic of the food.

Even though it rained it was still a really great experience and a must do in my opinion. If you can split your holiday up and stay on both islands for a few days or weeks all the better!

If you decide to go on the trip we would recommend the barbecued banana, it was delicious!


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