Dive Site: Arutanga Passage Aitutaki

Chilled turtle at arutanga passage aitutaki diving cook islands banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Scenic hard coral reef
Depth: Top: 8MMedian: 12MBottom: 31M
Location: Outside the fringing reef at the end and south of Arutanga Passage, Aitutaki

Description

Hitting the water diving Arutanga Passage you’ll be mobbed by inquisitive and colourful emperors, wrasse and surgeons. The white tipped reef sharks wait in a cave for your visit later in the dive and Napoleon Wrasse watch you from a polite distance.

Teardrop butterflies on the reef at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

We play a while with the friendly and inquisitive Angels and Sunset wrasse whilst the other dive pair kit up and descend. Then the dive starts from the reef top at about 8m. There are wide gullies between large stacks of hard corals.

Emperor Angel get a look at these stripes at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

There are hard and plate coral stacks tens of metres high with gullies between. Above us a squadron of eagle rays pass just at the edge of visibility.

Eagle rays above at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

Our dive takes us on a circular route down to sandy patches at 30m where we find a white tipped reef shark resting.

White tipped reef sharks disturbed from their cave at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

Napoleon Wrasse hover at the same depth and close enough to observe us, without appearing so rude as to intrude on our dive.

Napolean wrasse at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

We pass resting turtles, who invariably move off after a while in search of a more solitary spot.

Dive above turtle at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit

Once more at the shot line, we have time to play with the photo-bombing Emperor.

Emperor Angel arrives for a feed at Arutanga Passage diving Aitutaki in the Cook Islands by Diveplanit