Whale Watching and Swimming in the Cook Islands: A Unique Experience


The Cook Islands, a tropical paradise in the heart of the South Pacific, offers a unique and unforgettable experience for whale enthusiasts. Each year, from July to November, majestic humpback whales migrate from the icy waters of Antarctica to the warm, sheltered lagoons of Rarotonga and Aitutaki and move on to water waters before making the journey back again.

This annual journey presents a perfect opportunity to witness these gentle giants up close. While whale watching in Rarotonga is a thrilling adventure, a more intimate and immersive experience awaits in Aitutaki, where you can swim alongside these magnificent creatures with the expert guidance of Wet and Wild Aitutaki.

Whale Watching in Rarotonga

Rarotonga, the vibrant hub of the Cook Islands, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich marine life. During the whale migration season, the waters surrounding Rarotonga become a stage for one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles. Visitors can embark on whale watching tours, where they may witness humpback whales breaching, tail slapping, and nurturing their young.

The whale-watching tours in Rarotonga typically involve small boats that provide an up-close and personal view of these magnificent creatures. Knowledgeable guides share insights about whale behaviour, biology, and the importance of conservation efforts to protect these endangered animals.

swim with the humpback whales

Why Swim with Whales in Aitutaki?

While observing whales from a boat is an incredible experience, Aitutaki offers an extraordinary opportunity to take it a step further. Just a short flight from Rarotonga, Aitutaki is famous for its crystal-clear lagoon, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. It is here that Wet and Wild Aitutaki provides a unique whale swimming experience that you won’t want to miss.

Wet and Wild Aitutaki: Your Gateway to an Unforgettable Adventure

Wet and Wild Aitutaki specializes in eco-friendly and sustainable marine tours, ensuring that your interaction with the whales is both respectful and safe for the animals and the environment. Here’s why you should consider swimming with whales in Aitutaki:

  1. Close Encounter: Swimming with humpback whales offers an unparalleled opportunity to see these gentle giants up close in their natural habitat. Imagine the thrill of sharing the water with a creature that can weigh up to 40 tons and grow as long as 50 feet.
  2. Educational Experience: The guides at Wet and Wild Aitutaki are passionate about marine life and dedicated to educating visitors about whale behavior, their migratory patterns, and the challenges they face. You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of these magnificent creatures.
  3. Eco-Friendly Practices: Wet and Wild Aitutaki adheres to strict guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of the whales. They practice responsible tourism, minimizing the impact on the whales and their environment.
  4. Stunning Scenery: Aitutaki’s lagoon is a paradise on earth. The turquoise waters, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine life create a breathtaking backdrop for your whale swimming adventure.

Tips for a Memorable Experience

  • Book in Advance: Whale swimming tours are highly sought after, so it’s advisable to book your tour with Wet and Wild Aitutaki well in advance.
  • Follow Guidelines: Listen carefully to the guides’ instructions to ensure a safe and respectful encounter with the whales.
  • Bring the Essentials: Pack a waterproof camera, sunscreen, a hat, and a sense of adventure. Remember, you’ll be in the water, so bring appropriate swimwear.
  • Respect the Whales: Maintain a respectful distance from the whales and avoid making sudden movements or loud noises that could disturb them.


Whale watching in Rarotonga and swimming with whales in Aitutaki are experiences that will leave you with lasting memories and a profound appreciation for these incredible marine mammals. With the expertise of Wet and Wild Aitutaki, you can embark on an eco-friendly adventure that combines education, conservation, and the sheer thrill of swimming alongside humpback whales. So, if you’re planning a trip to the Cook Islands between July and November, make sure to include this once-in-a-lifetime experience on your itinerary.