5 Best Walks on Aitutaki© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com
5 Best Walks on Aitutaki

5 Best Walks on Aitutaki

© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

Walks and Hikes on Aitutaki and its Lagoon Islands

Let’s make one thing clear; you won’t find the hiking variety that is on Rarotonga. A much smaller island with just one real peak, Aitutaki has limited options when it comes to walking trails. Nevertheless, if you want to immerse in nature on your own two feet, we’ve put together a desperate listing of walks on Aitutaki. Some are out on the lagoon’s motu (islands), so water transport is required, which you can out more about in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki and our Aitutaki Transport Guide.

1. Maunga Pu

The only “official” hike on Aitutaki, Maunga Pu is the peak of the island at a height of 124m (407ft) and can be walked up in 20-30 minutes from the sign at the base. After walking (or driving) up the narrow tar-sealed road, head up to the left to reach Maunga Pu’s summit with a cellphone tower and a whole lot of gorgeous island and lagoon vistas. There is no shelter on this walk, so it’s recommended to do it either in the morning or evening to avoid the beating sun.

Location: West coast of Aitutaki between Paradise Cove and Tai Marino. Park on the abandoned lot opposite the Maunga Pu sign or at the crossroads up the trail where the tar-sealed road meets the grassy road.

5 Best Walks on Aitutaki© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

2. Moturakau

A small uninhabited island on the lagoon and the first in this series of walks in Aitutaki that you’ll need boat transport for, Moturakau has a short forest trail. Starting from a clearing with an old building used for the filming of “Shipwrecked”, a trail meanders through the dense tropical forest out onto the other side of the island with volcanic rock formations and rock pools. You can return to where you started via the beach.

Location: Moturakau. The walk can be reached with Kutekute Tours & Transfers, The Vaka Cruise and Kia Orana Cruises.

5 Best Walks on Aitutaki© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

3. One Foot Island (Tapuaetai)

One of the easiest islands to get to in terms of transport, One Foot Island (Tapuaetai) is visited by most lagoon cruises and there are water taxi services to get there should you want to spend the day. Those that do will find plenty to explore with short trails through the bush across the narrowest part of the island. Most of your walking can be done through beachcombing here. Oh, and bring your passport to get it stamped at the post office.

Location: Tapuaetai. The island is included on tours with Teking Lagoon Cruises, The Vaka Cruise, Bishop’s Cruises, Kia Orana Cruise and Platinum Cruising. Water taxi services are available with Bishop’s Cruises.

5 Best Walks on Aitutaki© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

4. Honeymoon Island

A hotspot for kitesurfing in the season, as well as a couple of lagoon cruises, Honeymoon Island is a pleasant island for a walk, especially at low tide when you can paddle over to the nearby island of Maina. Those visiting with Teking Lagoon Cruises are pointed to a pleasant walking route, which is sometimes guided if you’re with a larger group.

Location: Honeymoon Island. The island is included on tours with Kia Orana Cruise and Teking Lagoon Cruises. Water taxis are available with Wet & Wild and Aitutaki Kitesurfing.

5 Best Walks on Aitutaki© David Kirkland - Cook Islands Tourism

5. Te Koutu Point

For those who would rather stretch their legs than drive this lesser-visited dirt road on Aitutaki, the southern end of the island offers a pleasant bushwalk where your hike is accompanied by crabs. Starting just down the road from the Reef Motel and Petero’s Place in Nikaupara, follow the dirt road south through coastal forest. The first left turn you approach (then left again) will bring you back to the start in about 35 minutes (3km/1.9 miles). Instead, continuing until the second left turn on this dirt road will bring you past the Te Koutu Point at the southern tip of the island and a historical site of the original village of Tautu. This longer loop is 5km/3.1 miles) in total taking approximately 1h10mins to walk.

Location: South of Aitutaki. You can start from where the dirt road begins at the southern end of Nikaupara.

5 Best Walks on Aitutaki© CookIslandsPocketGuide.com

More About Walks on Aitutaki

That’s it for our list of walks on Aitutaki. For more hiking ideas across the Cook Islands, check out the following guides:

Finally, plan more of your Cook Islands activities using the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List.


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.

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