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Aitutaki / Arutanga
(votes: 1)
Type Anchorage
Country Cook Islands
City Arutanga
Available places 10
Max depth 10 m
  • WiFi
  • Fuel station
  • Shops
  • Port of entry
Views: 2015

For boats

Aitutaki lies 140 Nm north of Rarotonga. It is second large and popular island.
There is a small harbour inside reef, but the pass is narrow (about 30m wide) and SHALLOW (about 1,6m on HW) and insufficiently marked. Caution is urged before heading in. Outflowing tidal currents can reach three to four knots, therefore the best time to enter is just before high tide (least current). Good sunlight is your friend.
There is few white stick marks you should leave to port side. At the end the channel split in two,  the left (north) is deeper, the last two white stick marks leave to starboard. Drop  the anchor inside the harbour and tie stern lines to the wharfs or trees. Keep clear of local boats.   
If you boat is too deep to enter inside the harbour you can drop the anchor outside the reef, near the entrance. Bottom is coral, about 15m deep. Port authority says that better place to anchor is located north from the entrance, but sailors says, it is a cementary of anchors.
We droped the anchor south of entrance on position:
18 51.28’ N and 159 49.49’W (15m, coral)
This anchorage is safe when NE-E-SE is blowing, other directions are denger (more waves and to close to the reef barrier ).
Anchor hold good, but it’s depend on your luck.
Once anchored outside or inside the harbour the captain should come ashore to clear in.
The Customs & Immigration officer may come out to the boat or you may check with him at his office, in the post office building (cross the main road opposite to the harbour).
If you checked in before Aitutaki, just inform the Port Authorities (small building in the harbour close to the main wharf).
You need to check out before leaving Aitutaki, also if you not leave the country. Visit Customs, Imigrations (the same officer do the papers) and Port Authority.
The General rules are:
Ports of Entry: Rarotonga: Avatiu Harbour – 21.12S, 159.47W, Aitutaki: Arutanga – 18.51S, 159.49W, Penrhyn: Omoka – 08.51S, 15803W, Pukapuka – 1050S, 16550W, Manihiki: Tauhunu – 10.25S, 161.03W, Manihiki: Tukao – 10.22S, 161.02W, Atiu: Taunganui – 19.59S, 158.08W
All vessels sailing to the Cook Islands are required to fill in an Advance Notice Advice (ANA) with Cook Islands Customs, at least 48 hours prior to the expected arrival time in the Cook Islands. ANA forms can be downloaded at CICS Form 29 (http://www.mfem.gov.ck/images/documents/RMD_Docs/Customs/Forms/Craft/Forms/Sea_Craft/Form_29_-_Advance_Notice_Of_Arrival_Small_Craft.pdf).
Advance Notices of Arrival must be provided to Customs by fax (+682 29465) or by email (customs.craft@cookislands.gov.ck) using the file name format [ANA, name of craft, voyage or sail number if available, estimated time of arrival into the Cook Islands], e.g. ANA, Ocean Spirit, 30/11/2014
Failure to provide an ANA is a criminal offence.
You must also advise the Biosecurity Cook Islands of your arrival port and date, either by emailing the staff(s) of your planned destination. Email: biosecurity@agriculture.gov.ck
Yachts must hoist the "Q" flag up until cleared by Port Health, who will visit the yacht and provide pratique.
Official will be informed by Port Authority and visit the yacht. NOBODY goes ashore before clearance is complete (or only captain directly to customs).
A permit for up to 31 days will be given on arrival. This can be extended, on a monthly basis, up to three months maximum. Fourteen days before the permit expires one should apply for any extension. Proof of adequate funds may be requested for extensions.
A list of firearms must be produced on arrival and these will be impounded until departure.
Animals have to be confined on board until eventual clearance to land by the Quarantine Officer.
Agriculture and Quarantine
Animals, plants and fruit will be inspected. Some fruit and meat may be confiscated, so it is advisable not to arrive with a lot of fresh supplies. All vessels entering the Cook Islands require a Bio Security Clearance which will be issued by the Quarantine Inspector when he boards your vessel.
Health inspector will visit the yacht and provide pratique.
In our case there was no immigration officer on boat, all the papers was done by custom officer.
There is some fees to pay: Customs NZ$57.20, Health clearance NZ$25.00. Payment is Cash only in NZD. If you have no NZ dollars you can pay later.
The day before your intended departure, visit the Ports Authority office to fill your departure form and pay your Port Dues and Departure Tax (if not paid in customs office) then you will proceed to the Custom for Clearance to depart the Cook Islands. Payment is Cash only.
The above procedures also apply if you are planning to call at another island in the Cook Islands prior to leaving for overseas.
If you want to leave the harbour on weekend, do check out on Friday.
Palmerston is not a port of entry, but you can sail there from Aitutaki or Rarotonga and then leave the country (to Niue, Tonga or other directions). Inform about your plans the customs during check in, they will prepare a special permission allowing to visit Palmerston. Do checkout procedure before leaving Aitutaki.
There is few small wharfs in the harbour. Tie your dinghy to one of them. If you anchor out side be prepare for strong outgoing current and standing waves in the entrance of the channel.
No data
Petrol station is located near the harbour (turn left from the wharf, pass the Port Authority building and turn aagain left in to the small dirty road.
Blue Sky Hotspot is available on anchorage (outside) and in the harbour. Tickets with login and password you can buy at Post Office. 1.5GB (valid 2 weeks) cost 25NZD. Other plans available.
Few groceries in the village. Selected products available. Minimum of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Bank and ATM is located in post office building opposite to the harbour
In the center of village – opposite to the harbour
There is a hospital and dental service near the village.

For crews

Rent a car, scooter or bicycle an ride arount the island. Do not miss O’otu Beach (at the end of N peninsula) with beauty views, beach and bars.  
Hike to the top of the highest mouintain Maungapu (124m). you can see all the island and lagoon.
There is two dive operators. Diving is good, water is very clear, you can see big turtles and reef wall. 2 tank dives about 180 NZD
You can book a all day trip around lagoon. Snorkeling, visiting motu and a barbecue is included.
Visit a tourist office (near te harbour, left from exit) to get know with the actual offer.


Anchorage - free

2 tank dive – 180 NZD
Car – 50 NZD
Scooter – 20 NZD
Drink in O’otu Beach Bar – 10 to 13 NZD
Fisch ‘n’ Chips – 5 to 8 NZD
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