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Lagoon Fish in Aitutaki

Diving is a very popular activity in the Cook Islands, and the diving around Rarotonga is simply spectacular.

If you have never been diving before, there are many professional operators and qualified instructors who can give you expert tuition. You can even sit your certified dive course in Rarotonga. The outer reef area offers a diverse range of diving locations depending on wind and weather.

Divers and snorkellers will enjoy warm inviting temperatures between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius. The amazingly clear waters here give an underwater visibility up to 200 feet, with magnificent canyons, caves and wrecks.

The most popular places to explore are the Ngatatangiia Swim-through, Matavera Drop off, Mataora Wreck, Papu Canyon, Sand River and Koromiri Coral Garden.

The abundant reef life among 73 types of live coral features hundreds of fish species, a bonanza for underwater photographers. Experts rate the reef drop-off as the highlight for divers off Rarotonga. This begins at about 100 feet and plunges down to 12,000 feet -- Rarotonga is an extinct volcano.

All diving is shore based with trips usually departing in both the morning and afternoon.

Catch of the Day...

Fishing in the Cook Islands has definitely been one of the Pacific's best-kept secrets. There are exceptional opportunities here for game fishing, as well as saltwater fly and light tackle sports fishing.

Still virtually undiscovered by the world's sea angling fraternity, both Rarotonga and Aitutaki offer a world class style of fishing, with locals who know the waters inside out.

Deep-sea game fishing is a speciality in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. There is no long journey to the fishing grounds - game fishing starts right outside the Avatiu harbour, which is where most of the charter boats are based.

There is a wide variety of tours available, ranging from night fishing with the locals to serious game fishing. Charters will take both novices and experienced fisher people out for deep sea fishing, saltwater fly fishing and light tackle game fishing.

Big fish of many species are abundant. The currents, reefs and submarine topography supply ideal conditions for wahoo, barracuda, dolphin fish, yellowfin and skipjack tuna, sailfish and marlin. The Cook Island record for marlin is a whopping 616 lb (280 kg).

Aitutaki's magnificent 12,500 acre lagoon is particularly suitable for fly, lures or bait for world class bonefish, trevally, cod, snapper and other reef fish.  It holds the world all-tackle record for Hump Head Maori Wrasse, set in October 1989.


For a list or Scuba Diving and Fishing Suppliers, click here