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Rarotonga and Aitutaki

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Created by zohar 3 months ago, 13 Aug 2018
zohar
9 posts
13 Aug 2018 7:52AM
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I'm going to Rarotonga in the end of the month for 10 days, and I thought the spend most of the time in Aitutaki. I read what I can, but I would be happy for tips on things that I missed or not fully sure of. Specific questions that I have at the moment:

1. How do you commute on a bike or a scooter with the kite gear?
2. Is there a preferable spot for accommodation?
3. Are wetsuit and booties needed?
4. I understand that the wind comes and goes in a cycle of a few days. Can you surf on days of 10-12knots? Which wind directions are relevant?
5. Aitutaki seems really basic. If there's no wind, then there isn't much to do there. Is Raro better?
6. Any tips about the 3 spots:
se.kiteforum.com/kitesurf/spot/Aitutaki

deanrobi
VIC, 640 posts
13 Aug 2018 2:21PM
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Select to expand quote
zohar said..
I'm going to Rarotonga in the end of the month for 10 days, and I thought the spend most of the time in Aitutaki. I read what I can, but I would be happy for tips on things that I missed or not fully sure of. Specific questions that I have at the moment:

1. How do you commute on a bike or a scooter with the kite gear?
2. Is there a preferable spot for accommodation?
3. Are wetsuit and booties needed?
4. I understand that the wind comes and goes in a cycle of a few days. Can you surf on days of 10-12knots? Which wind directions are relevant?
5. Aitutaki seems really basic. If there's no wind, then there isn't much to do there. Is Raro better?
6. Any tips about the 3 spots:
se.kiteforum.com/kitesurf/spot/Aitutaki


Kite on your back. Board across the seat and sit on it. Harness around your waist.
The island is not big, accommodation any where is fine. There is really only two kite spots on the main island.
A 1 0r 2 mm vest comes in handy when the storms come thru. Boots are handy if you spend a lot of time off the board, the sand is full of dead coral.
No know surf spots
More bars a cafes on Raro for the non wind days. Aitutaki you can swim with whales, reef fish, deep water fish, snorkel, wake board, SUP.

smook
VIC, 60 posts
13 Aug 2018 5:32PM
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Kited both Rarotonga and Aitutaki
Scooters , both flat water and no waves to kite But it's great to get away from winter and ride in boardies Aitutaki is amazing atoll and should be on bucket list I went with wife so stayed up market which was so good My only problem with Aitutaki is cost to fly there Aprox $500 return ( I can fly to Bali for this ) and you haft to get boat out to kite spot and they leave at 9am and out there all day There should be taxi boat going all day in and out ?? Rarotonga kited Muri Beach and Turoa beach ( go high tide if using surfboard ) As above with dean he has been there a lot There is surf spots at Rarotonga Guys out at Airport when there but very sketchy 1st pic Rarotonga 2nd Aitutaki Have Fun








zohar
9 posts
15 Aug 2018 5:28AM
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The boat arrangement in Aitutaki doesn't sound too appealing. The school (www.southpacifickiteboarding.com/services.php) says:
"The boats depart between 8.30-10.00am. The boats return between 4.00-5.30pm."
So you need to be at the spot early in the morning and wait until the boat leaves, and then you are stuck on an even smaller (honeymoon) island for the day?
I assume surfing only in Aitutaki lagoon resort isn't enough?
So is Aitutaki really worth it, or is Raro enough (in terms of surfing conditions)?

Is there another boat service? There are these guys who offer a boat and kite services:
www.wetnwild-aitutaki.com/price-list/
Are these the same guys as the school link above?

smook
VIC, 60 posts
15 Aug 2018 10:44AM
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Yes I used wetwild they were great and so is the other kite co. And there are other taxi/ charter boats but they all seem to have day packages You may be lucky to get half day etc if they are not busy and book days before Aitutaki is amazing place to see so if you have money to go there Rarotonga scooter to kite spots If there is wind

cansyd
NSW, 34 posts
15 Aug 2018 1:46PM
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I have been to Aitutaki this year and last year. Island time is a factor but it is not as bad as some other places. We just roll with it and don't plan any tight schedules.

Aitutaki is a beautiful place, the lagoon is beautiful and has some amazing fish life. The coral on the lagoon isn't spectacular which i think is due to the shallow water.

The winds are trade winds and therefore not as strong as sea breezes can be. Last year over the 10 days we had 1 no sailing day and two days were I used my Zephyr (90kgs), most days on my surfboard (getting used to it and practicing turns). The wind built over the last 5 days with the last 2 days on 9m/ 7m. This year when I was there it was different, much lighter, I only got out on my 12 and 17M, my wife had a great time on her 12m and foil.

Maina Island is where most go (the boat trip). Mike (Aitutaki Kite School) generally goes out around 9am and returns around 5. If the wind is light he usually organises with the people planning to go out to go out later or come back earlier (group decision). There is a covered area and Mike does a great lunch (part of boat trip). Mike has rental equipment and can provide IKO lessons. It isn't generally know for surfing at Aitutaki so I wouldn't be planning on that. It is fairly flat water, some of the area around the island can be cm's deep at low tide, a very large area is only waist deep so good for learning. Ditto on booties.

Our daily schedule was get to island, pump up kite, kite till lunch, eat, kite till Mike was ready to leave. We left our gear on the small island saving carting it back and forth.

I wore boardies and a thick sunshirt, last year I had a crash on the sand and a piece of coral ripped a hole in my shirt. The weather was 27 every day we were there.

We stayed at Rino's which is probably 3 star here. The rooms are self contained and there is now where to eat. 150 m in either direction are take out places and nothing is far away. Rino's is about 1k from the pier.

I would recommend a scooter as the best coffee is at Karu Cafe which is about 5 km from the pier. There are cafe's and restaurants so all levels of food an pricing, some of the hotels won't let you in unless you are a guest. Aitutaki you can pretty much see everything on the island in a day. It isn't cheap, you can keep your costs down and need to be a bit fussy. Last year a 2L bottle of L&P was $8. There is a shop on the island that puts prices on groceries, this is the best place to shop as some of the others can adjust their prices. One the whole everyone is really friendly and when I walked from the pier to Rinos people would stop and offer a lift.

Luggage can be a problem with Aitutaki flights, it is one bag only and whilst they will take extra it may not be on your flight and they are likely to charge a fee on the return leg (happened to us on the first trip).

2nd trip we spent some time in Raro but didn't Kite. Muri didn't look like fun as it was busy (boats, snorkellers, coral, smallish area, shallow and a strong current), Turoa looked better but lots of coral heads and the wind there wasn't as good (get some funneling around the island). Near the airport you can get waves however you have to kite over the reef and there are lots of rocks and coral heads. Take your own repair kit. One of the Raro kite schools told us they take their instructors for a trip to Aitutaki as a reward at the end of the season.

Raro has a LOT more to do and see (although it is still small). The walk across the island is worth the effort. The mooring fish cafe gets a big tick, great fish sandwiches. Also if you are on a budget look out for local food in the local grocery stores. The bus system is a good way to get around, scooters are great, cars aren't much more expensive there. The bus takes about 35-50 minutes to circle the island. We rented electric bikes which got us around no problem although they weren't the most cost effective.

A lot more tourists / backpackers at Raro so more commercial and party buses, bars etc.

Sundays, generally everything can be closed and getting food can be a problem. Plan for Sunday. Raro is a bit more flexible.

At this time of year you are looking at SE however we had strong northerlies, NW, NW, it tended to drop as it shifted. We also got some storm squalls, these were usually great, just sheet out and wait for it to pass. I did sit in the water once with the 12m on the water at the front of the window trying not to get blown away for about 20min one time.

hope this helps


zohar
9 posts
17 Aug 2018 7:41AM
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@cansyd, you gave a detailed account of your experience, which draws an image of these two places. I found it helpful, as probably others will as well. It indeed gives motivation to pay a visit to Aitutaki.

I asked around for some opinions, and I'll try to post some here or on the world forum

www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2400399

KiteAddicted
23 posts
13 Sep 2018 11:45PM
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Great summary cansyd. Zohar did you get to Aitutaki? Was there with mates from 29th to 6th Sept.



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"Rarotonga and Aitutaki" started by zohar