The Top Dive Sites in Aitutaki
Get your weight belt on because there are a whole lot of dive sites to explore around Aitutaki! From relaxing coral bommies to epic wreck dives to dramatic drop-offs at the edge of the lagoon, there is plenty of variety to be had. Needless to say, one dive is never enough, so take a look at the sort of underwater expeditions you could be venturing on this list of the best places to dive in Aitutaki!
Who to Dive With in Aitutaki
Aitutaki currently has only one dive operator, Bubbles Below, that offers multiple dive packages to hit most of the spots we mention on this list of dive sites in Aitutaki. Learn more about the dive shop and compare it to the dive operators on Rarotonga using the 5 Best Dive Shops & Operators in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
1. Black Rock
Not to be confused with the famous Black Rock of Rarotonga, Aitutaki’s Black Rock dive site is actually a wreck dive! This sunk barge on the west side of the lagoon, an easy boat ride from Arutanga, harbours all sorts of colourful pink and purple coral. In between is an array of butterflyfish, emporers and even large Napolean wrasse and barracuda as you reach the 20m (66ft) mark. Like most of the Aitutaki dive sites, there’s always likely to be a turtle to bubble “Kia Orana” at.
2. Arutanga Passage
Despite being the passage with the most boat traffic on the lagoon, the Arutanga Passage is lined with amazing hard and plated corals. Home to parrotfish, angelfish and emporers within easy sight, a closer look will bring you across moray eels nestled in the crevasses of the canyon walls. In the currents, expect to see eagle rays and turtles swimming by, as well as the odd reef shark toward the end of the passage.
3. Marine Passage
The northernmost passage of Aitutaki, Marine Passage is an awesome dive site and an amped-up version of the nearby snorkelling site, Base One. Find all sorts of craggy coral formations along the passage and enjoy an easy-going drift dive.
4. Amuri Drop
Behind a marine reserve established by the Pacific Resort Aitutaki, the Amuri Drop is where the regenerating coral of this western side of the lagoon really blooms to life. Follow the reef’s edge which delves into the depths of the deep blue.
5. Atuatane – The Chimney
As the name suggests, The Chimney also known as “Atuatane” is a stunning towering coral formation found off the lagoon shores of Arutanga. It makes for an awesome second dive along the west coast of Aitutaki.
6. Wreck of Alexander
Another top snorkelling site in Aitutaki, the Wreck of Alexander is an awesome lagoon wreck dive with all sorts of life clinging onto its remains that have been here since 1951. Scuba dive with giant trevally, giant clams and oh-so-much more on this dive site that’s suitable for beginners.
7. Honeymoon Wall
While the snorkelling around Honeymoon Island is incredible, wait until you reach the outer edges of the lagoon with its coral walls. All the usual suspects are here, from colourful reef fish to giant GTs, turtles and more.
8. Motukitu Coral Garden
At the far southeastern tip of the Aitutaki Lagoon, the coral gardens just off the shores of Motukitu are well worth the journey (well, it feels like a journey compared to the 15 minutes it usually takes to get to the rest of the dive sites in Aitutaki). There are colourful corals and teeming reef life to see at all depths here, making the site suitable for any diver.
9. Akaima Point
Akaima Point and the nearby Akaima Fingers can be found on the eastern edge of the lagoon off the shores of motu (island) Akaima. This interesting drop-off features an array of creatures, from the elusive giant moray eels to the curious turtle and much much more.
10. Papau Passage
Another excellent passage dive with dramatic canyons on either side, the Papau Passage makes for a fun drift dive nearby the tiny motu Papau.
10 More Dive Sites and Places to Dive in Aitutaki
Now that we have gone through our top picks for epic dive sites in Aitutaki. The best of the rest include:
- Paradise Cove – West Side
- The Buoy – West Side
- Rautaro Passage – West Side
- Rautaro Point – West Side
- Johnny Moa – West Side
- Maina Point – South Side
- Te Akauroa Drop – South Side
- Rapota Wall – South Side
- Motukito Point – South Side
- Tapuaetai Drop – West Side
More About Scuba Diving in Aitutaki
Sounds like a sweet scuba diving trip, right? Now plan the rest of your scuba journey using the following guides:
- The Best Time to Dive in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- Learn to Dive in the Cook Islands: A Guide to Scuba Diving Certifications
- The Best Scuba Diving in Rarotonga: Top 25 Places to Scuba Dive