The Aitutaki Nightlife Guide
Your South Pacific getaway doesn’t stop when the sun goes down on Aitutaki. Sure, it’s not the party scene that you’ll find on Rarotonga nor is it anywhere close to the nightclub vibes you’ll find in Europe or the Americas. Nightlife on Aitutaki is much more of an authentic affair with entertaining “island nights” being a highlight, while the island’s bars will supply you with cocktails for sundown drinks. What’s more, lagoon tours are still a thing even when the stars are out! However you choose to experience the Aitutaki nightlife, just know that you’ll probably be tucked up in bed by 10pm at the latest! Nothing goes on for too late on Aitutaki.
5 Things to Do on Aitutaki at Night
Before we jump into the complete guide to Aitutaki nightlife, here are just a few of the experiences you can enjoy on Aitutaki at night!
- Delight in some sundowners at one of Aitutaki’s bars
- Do a lagoon tour with twilight snorkelling and a beach picnic at sunset with Kutekute Tours & Transfers
- Enjoy a Champagne sunset tour with Teking Lagoon Tours
- Treat the tastebuds at one of Aitutaki’s delectable restaurants
- Be entertained with ukulele music, Polynesian drumming and island-style dancing at the Tamanu Island Night.
For more things to do both at night (and in the daytime), check out the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki and 10 Things to Do in the Cook Islands at Night.
Drinking and Nightlife on Aitutaki
Rarotongans might turn their noses up at Aitutaki for its lack of nightclubs and places to party, but there are still a delightful selection of bars to enjoy sundown cocktails and drink under the stars on Aitutaki.
Nightlife at Ootu Beach
Ootu Beach sits at the southern end of the Ootu Peninula – the same peninsula as the runway. It has a couple of good watering holes, as well as access to an adults-only resort with its own cocktail bar.
The Boat Shed Bar & Grill
At the end of the Ootu Peninsula, The Boat Shed Bar & Grill is not only a popular local hangout but perfect for visitors too. There’s a choice of indoor and outdoor seating, with the interiors adorning sporting and maritime memorabilia from all over the world. As for drinks, choose from a wide selection of cocktails, as well as beers, wines and spirits. Pop in on a Saturday for karaoke night after the sun goes down. They are also open on a Sunday.
Blue Lagoon Bar & Restaurant
Sitting on the edge of the Aitutaki Lagoon, right on the shores of Ootu Beach, Blue Lagoon Bar & Restaurant is another worthy destination for your cocktail fix. The casual restaurant also serves up a range of beer and wine.
Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill
Set on the private island of Akitua, all it takes is a two-minute ferry to get to the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill. Named after the famous boat planes of the Coral Route that once used to land in Aitutaki, the bar of the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort sits in the prime viewing position of the lagoon where you can even feed the fish from the bar’s deck. While a highlight is their menu of cocktails, mocktails and smoothies, there is still plenty of liquors, beers and wines to satisfy any craving. This is an adults-only resort (16 years+) so just bring your adult friends. Plan more of an adults-only getaway using The Adults-Only Travel Guide to Aitutaki.
Nightlife on the Sunset Coast
The “Sunset Coast”, otherwise known as the west coast of Aitutaki, has some of Aitutaki’s most revered resorts lining the beach. The resorts also make a good place for a tipple, especially as it’s likely that you’ll be staying within walking distance.
Black Rock Bar
For a flare of sophistication, choose the Black Rock Bar at the Pacific Resort Aitutaki. Set between the pool and a sunset beach, Black Rock Bar is an idyllic place to unwind with a drink and watch the sunset. All of the drinks menus are rather extensive, from the cocktails to the cognac to even sake. Whatever you’re hankering for, this five-star resort is likely to have it. The bar also has the added benefit of only being open to guests of a more mature age range (no under 12s), truly setting the tone.
The Cove Bar
Offering some of the most competitive cocktail prices on the island, The Cove Bar is the place to be between 6pm and 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (hint: that’s their happy hour). Relax under the fairy light-dappled verandah of this open-air bar that pours a selection of cocktails, miscellaneous beverages and light food. They put on occasional events and live music so ask around for the latest events once you arrive on the island.
You’ll also find all of these bars listed in the 5 Best Bars in Aitutaki.
Nightlife in Arutanga
So, what about Aitutaki’s main town when it comes to nightlife? Well, it’s not exactly brimming with options apart from the Mouarii Cafe‘s Saturday barbecue nights. The main local watering hole is the Aitutaki Game Fishing Club down at the wharf. They pour cold beers on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 5pm and, of course, attract the local fishing crowd. You never know, it could be a good place to wrangle your way onto a local’s fishing excursion?
Aitutaki Island Nights
The main form of nightlife on Aitutaki is the island nights. Itused to be “island nights” with an “s” but this has been reduced down to one since much of the younger workforce have moved overseas after COVID. Nevertheless, the Tamanu Island Night at the Tamanu Beach Resort still stands with its Thursday night show.
Tamanu Island Night
Taking place every Thursday from 6.30pm, the Tamanu Island Night starts with live music from a local string band. The buffet with both local and international food begins at 7pm. Once the buffet is over, usually around 8.30-9pm, the cultural show begins with energetic Pacifika drumming and dancing from the island’s fierce warriors and graceful ladies. The show usually ends at 9-9.30pm.
See how the Tamanu Island Night compares in the 10 Best Island Nights in the Cook Islands.
Aitutaki Sunset Lagoon Tours
Aside from the obvious dining at the island’s restaurants, there’s an alternative evening experience and thing to do on Aitutaki at night: cruising the Aitutaki Lagoon.
Kutekute Tours & Transfers
Yes, the famous Aitutaki lagoon even has evening tours, which allow you to soak up the lagoon scenery in a whole different light. A popular one is the four-hour “Sunset Tour” with Kutekute Tours & Transfers. This private charter is all about you, so choose from a range of experiences, from twilight snorkelling to a water-hammock float as the sun goes down. Tours typically include an indulgent picnic platter on the beach. It is also the only tour on the lagoon to return after dark, making for some incredible stargazing on your way back to Ootu Beach. Learn more about the tour in the 10 Best Lagoon Cruises on Aitutaki.
Teking Lagoon Cruises
An alternative lagoon cruise at dusk is with Teking Lagoon Tours. Their two-hour cruise to Honeymoon Island includes a bottle of Champagne, which you can sip on during your cruise to the island. Once on the island, enjoy a short walk and watch the sunset. Snorkelling is also an opportunity if you choose to grab it.
More About Nightlife on Aitutaki
That’s it for our complete guide to Aitutaki nightlife, but if you’re looking for more things to do on Aitutaki at night, take a look at some of our dining recommendations and other related articles:
- The Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki: 10 Best Restaurants on Aitutaki
- 10 Drinks in the Cook Islands You Have to Try
- The Ultimate Guide to the Cook Islands Nightlife
Finally, plan more of your trip to Aitutaki using The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki.