Discover Aitutaki’s Best Beaches
It’s kind of essential for a toes-in-the-sand holiday, so where are the best beaches in Aitutaki? From the mainland shores to the uninhabited motu (islands) of the lagoon, there are many stunning beaches to seek out. Jot down some to visit by using this list of the best beaches on Aitutaki.
Before we get started, open up the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki for more ways to enjoy Aitutaki.
1. Honeymoon Island
A hotspot for kiteboarding in the season and one of the better-known lagoon motu, Honeymoon Island offers an incredible sandy beach and shallow surrounding waters. Keep an eye out for turtles and enjoy amazing snorkelling spots among coral just beyond the bank, as outlined in The Best Snorkelling in Aitutaki: Top 10 Places to Snorkel.
Location: Western side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Teking Lagoon Cruises and Kia Orana Cruise. Water taxis and charters are also available with Black Pearl Charters and Wet & Wild. Find out more in the 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Aitutaki.
2. Ootu Beach
One of the best beaches on the mainland, Ootu Beach is an extremely accessible beach with lots to visit for. Relax on the loungers lining the coconut palm-fringed beach and swim in the shallow lagoon waters where you can reach a sandbank jutting from Akitua (the island of the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort). There’s good snorkelling around the wharf here, while there are also plenty of spots to grab a cocktail or a bite to eat. See the 5 Best Bars in Aitutaki and 9 Best Cafes & Takeaways on Aitutaki for recommendations.
Location: Ootu Peninsula. The southern end of the peninsula, past the end of the new airport runway.
3. Sunset Beach (Western Beach)
A seemingly endless stretch of sand running from the northwestern tip of the main island all the way down to the Pacific Island Resort, this beach doesn’t have an official name but some call it Sunset Beach or the West Beach. Backed with an array of resorts and boutique accommodations, the beach has plenty of places to call in for lunch or stay as a guest to get the added benefits of watersports equipment to explore the lagoon.
Location: Northwestern beach of the main island.
4. One Foot Island (Tapuaetai)
Easily the most famous island on the Aitutaki Lagoon, One Foot Island – its Moari name Tapuaetai – is not only a popular stop for lagoon cruises, but is home to a stunning beach surrounding the island. Many cruises stop here for a barbecue lunch, leaving you plenty of time to beachcomb. See more sights like this in The 10 Most Famous Places in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
Location: Southeast side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Bishop’s Cruises, Teking Lagoon Cruises, Kia Orana Cruise, The Vaka Cruise and Platinum Cruising. Find out more in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
5. Base One
If you’re looking for the best beaches to snorkel from the main island of Aitutaki, head to Base One. This is the snorkelling beach located at the western end of the old runway – easy to spot with picnic tables and an eco-toilet cabin under the shade of the trees. This sheltered and shallow snorkelling spot has pockets of coral formations with interesting tropical fish species, as well as munching sea cucumbers.
Location: Northwest side of Aitutaki – western tip of the old runway.
Not only offering a stunning beach on a private island, but Akaiami is also a piece of history on the Aitutaki Lagoon. The island was once the stop of the glamourous Coral Route where the remains of the old wharf where passengers would depart from the boat planes onto the island still remain. Whether you’re here for the beach or history, you can stay here for longer at the secluded accommodation, Akaiami Paradise. Learn more about the history of the site here in the 10 Best Historical Sites on Aitutaki.
Location: Eastern side of the lagoon. Accessible with The Vaka Cruise and Kutekute Tours & Transfers. Water taxis can also be arranged with Akaiami Paradise or find out more in our Aitutaki Transport Guide.
One of the smaller motu to visit, Moturakau is also a lesser-visited motu on the lagoon creating a blissful beachfront ambience. The island is one of the very few volcanic islands in the lagoon, distinct with black rock formations and rock pools to explore between gorgeous tracts of sand. The birdlife here is vibrant, while a short walking trail through the bush is another way to soak up the natural beauty of this island. Moturakau has also been used in the filming of TV shows.
Location: Southeastern side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Kia Orana Cruise and Kutekute Tours & Transfers.
The island of Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort, Akitua offers its own stunning beach facing the lagoon, as well as a sandspit extending inches below the water. Watch the black noddies flying and landing from Kuriri Point and enjoy cocktails and a meal at the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill on the beach. While guests staying at the resort will make the most of the beach on Akitua, casual visitors can also check out the island by taking the ferry from Ootu Beach.
Location: Take the ferry from Ootu Beach. Take the turn off just before the Koru Cafe when heading south. There is a phone at the small waterfront car park to call the resort ferry. Otherwise, book a table at the bar and they’ll know to pick you up.
9. Maina Island
Sitting next to Honeymoon Island, Maina Island is possible to visit with Teking Lagoon Cruises, Kia Orana Cruise or any private charter where you can request to visit this island. Clear shallow knee-deep waters surround the island and its breathtaking beach.
Location: Western side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Teking Lagoon Cruises and Kia Orana Cruise. Find out more in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
10. The Sandbank
Ok, so this is technically a sandbank, not a beach. Nevertheless, this sandy piece of paradise in front of One Foot Island is another hotspot for lagoon cruises. The Sandbank offers pure white sand surrounded by azure waters. It’s an excellent place for a paddle and getting some stunning lagoon shots. We also list it in our 10 Best Photography Spots.
Location: Southeast side of the Aitutaki Lagoon. Accessible with Bishop’s Cruises, Teking Lagoon Cruises, Kia Orana Cruise, Kutekute Tours & Transfers and Sailing Aitutaki. Find out more in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
More About Beaches on Aitutaki
Can’t get enough of the sandy stuff? We talk about more beaches on Aitutaki, as well as islands to visit in the following guides:
- 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in the Cook Islands
- 10 Best Beaches in the Cook Islands
- Sightseeing on Aitutaki: Top 10 Sights on Aitutaki
Finally, plan more places to visit on your itinerary with the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List.