10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© Zhang Da Qiang - Cook Islands Tourism
10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids

11 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids

© Zhang Da Qiang – Cook Islands Tourism

The Best Family Activities on Aitutaki

Tired of the same family holiday on Rarotonga? Or perhaps you are the sort of family who prefers to get off the beaten track? Either way, you’ll find a serene escape on Aitutaki and its stellar lagoon. Mum and dad will easily get some R&R here while having a splash and building sandcastles on the beach will entertain the kids for hours. Cruises across Aitutaki’s picture-perfect lagoon are a highlight, however, and a must-do for families making the pilgrimage to this piece of South Pacific paradise. We’ll go over that and all the activities in between in this list of the best things to do on Aitutaki with kids.

While you’re here, be sure to open up (in a new tab) The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki for Families and 10 Best Family Resorts & Accommodations on Aitutaki.

1. Jump on a Lagoon Cruise and Get the Kids’ Passports Stamped at One Foot Island

You can’t travel to Aitutaki and not explore the lagoon! The lagoon cruises here provide an exciting day for families including snorkelling with tropical fish, stopping off at sandbank, indulging in a barbecue buffet, and getting your passports stamped at the world’s most unique post office at One Foot Island. Although you might be the only family on the boat (Aitutaki is a popular honeymoon destination), the cruises here are still very welcoming to families. The Vaka Cruise and Bishop’s Cruises have the largest boats, offering easy access on and off the boat for younger seafarers.

Some of the snorkelling spots that are included in the cruise are 3-4m (10-13ft) deep, better suited to confident swimmers, but the sandbank and beaches offer excellent swimming for littlies. Teking Lagoon Cruises, for example, are more than happy to look after younger children and infants on board while parents swim.

Private charters for families are also an option, available with Kutekute Tours and Transfers, Teking, Wet & Wild, Platinum Cruising and more. These tours will hit the highlights and are catered to match your own pace and interests.

Location: Cruises depart from Ootu Beach, but transfers are typically included. Check out the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises in Aitutaki for a full comparison.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© Zhang Da Qiang - Cook Islands Tourism

2. Snorkel with Tropical Fish

Needless to say, this is all part of the parcel when choosing a holiday on a tropical island but it’s still well worth inserting time into your itinerary for this experience. There are many safe snorkelling spots within the sheltered lagoon of Aitutaki, more often than not just in front of your beachfront accommodation. For snorkelling destinations, we recommend Base One and from the beach between Tamanu Beach Resort and the Pacific Resort. Find out more in The Best Snorkelling in Aitutaki: Top 10 Places to Snorkel.

Location: Base One – Western end of the old runway. Tamanu and Pacific Resort – Northwestern coast of the main island.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© Sean Scott - Cook Islands Tourism

3. Be Entertained at an Island Night

Energetic drumming and captivating dancing with traditional attire swishing from side to side, the entertainment on island nights can’t help but leave your kids in awe. Tamanu Beach Resort‘s island night is infamous across Aitutaki, taking place every Thursday from 6.30pm starting with live music from a local string band. The buffet with island-style food (and plenty of options even for the fussiest in the family) begins at 7pm, then kids get first pick of dessert. The island show doesn’t start until 8.30pm, however, but kids shouldn’t get too tired with the energetic Pacifika drumming and dancing from the island’s fierce warriors and graceful ladies making for plenty of excitement.

Location: Tamanu Beach Resort, northwestern coast of the main island.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

4. Head Out on a Family Kayaking Trip

Kayaks are a staple of beachfront accommodations on Aitutaki with stays like Kuru Club, Ranginui’s Retreat and Tamanu Beach Resort offering complimentary use of kayaks for guests. Ask your host for the best places to go from your chosen accommodation and don’t forget to take some snorkelling gear to enjoy the tropical marine life below.

Location: All over Aitutaki – See a comprehensive list of accommodations in the Where to Stay on Aitutaki: The Best Aitutaki Accommodations.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© Cook Islands Tourism

5. Build Sandcastles on the Beach

Oh yeah, there’s a whole lot of beach on Aitutaki. If a bucket and spade are part of your children’s holiday must-haves then make sure they bring them to Aitutaki where hours can be spent creating the most fabulous sand kingdom!

Location: All over Aitutaki! Check out the 10 Best Beaches in Aitutaki.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© Pixabay

6. Go for a Swim at Ootu Beach

Speaking of beaches, if you’re looking for a good swimming beach to spend the day then head to Ootu Beach at the far end of the Ootu Peninsula. Not only is it the hub for lagoon cruise departures and dining but the sheltered beach with the lagoon on all sides is a good spot for swimming with kids. The water can be a little murky for snorkelling, but it’s always worth taking some gear anyway if you want to see stingrays and fish.

Location: Ootu Beach, southern end of the Ootu Peninsula and the main airport runway.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

7. Treat the Tastebuds at One of Aitutaki’s Family-Friendly Cafes

No family holiday is complete without food. Although self-catering is a fantastic option to stick to your budget (the best accommodations for this we list in the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations on Aitutaki), you can be forgiven for treating yourself and loved ones to a meal out. It’s your holiday too, after all! Family-friendly options include the Koru Cafe, Mouarii Cafe, Avatea Cafe and The Boat Shed – the latter also has a playground and a trampoline. See them all and more in The Food Guide to Aitutaki.

Location: Koru Cafe – Ootu Beach, Mouarii Cafe – Arutanga, Avatea Cafe – Tautu, and The Boat Shed – Ootu Beach.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

8. Head Out Sailing on the Lagoon

An alternative way to explore the lagoon is on a Hobie sailing catamaran with Sailing Aitutaki. Families of up to four can enjoy a full morning on the lagoon all to themselves with the guidance of Captain Ted, who can teach the kids (and you) how to sail, as well as stop off at family-friendly snorkelling spots. Ask to do a ceremonial planting of a coconut tree, which is an interesting aspect for all ages.

Location: Tours depart from Ootu Beach.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

9. Speed Around the Lagoon in an Inflatable Tube

That’s right, Wet & Wild Aitutaki has all the watersport gear to have a whale of a time riding around the lagoon of Aitutaki. Part of the set-up is inflatable tube rides that are ideal for the whole family as there’s no experience needed. Just hold on! Charter one of their boats and guides for a day or half-day and combine the experience with some snorkelling; just let the crew know what you want to do.

Location: Transfers included from any accommodation in Aitutaki.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© Creators Hype - Cook Islands Tourism

10. Burn Off Some Energy at the Playground in Arutanga

There are plenty of historical sites, picnic spots and lookouts that will entice you to do a tiki tour around the main island of Aitutaki – more on that in A Self-Guided Day Trip Around Aitutaki. No matter how much you try to educate and culture the little ones, however, we can guarantee that their favourite place will be the park in Arutanga. Be sure to stop by on your way around the island so the kids can burn off some steam on the playground or exercise equipment.

Location: Sir Albert Henry Drive, Arutanga.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

11. Get in Some Pool Time

Finally, what is a family holiday without a splash in the pool? Family-friendly accommodations with a swimming pool include Kuru Club Aitutaki, Moana Villa Aitutaki, Tamanu Beach Resort and Tamanu Beach Resort.

Location: Take a look at the links above to see the location of each accommodation.

10 Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

More Things to Do on Aitutaki with Kids

That’s it for our list of things to do on Aitutaki with kids. If you need more inspiration, perhaps if your kids are a bit older and can do more experiences, check out more activities below:

Finally, plan more of your Cook Islands getaway using The Complete Travel Guide to the Cook Islands for Families and 30 Tips for Your Family Cook Islands Vacation with Kids.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Cook Islands Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as the Cook Islands. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Raro’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

Was this article useful?