Aitutaki's motus also caught the eye of American television.   The CBS network followed in the footsteps of the UK when it used them for season 13 of its version of 'Shipwrecked' called 'Survivor'.  For a behind the scenes story of that programme, click here

 Discover more of Aitutaki          Home page of 'Shipwrecked' 
More about the Cook Islands

Note: Video content on the 'Shipwrecked' home page may not be playable for visitors outside the UK
Millions more people watched 'Shipwrecked' than have visited Aitutaki in its entire history.  And the Cook Islands tourism department hope the show will encourage some of them to get shipwrecked there for themselves!   But you're in for a long trip. The location is 3,005 kms (1,868 miles) North East of New Zealand.
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"Shark Island" from the air
Where the 'Shipwrecked' castaways are
This is where the "castaways" in themost recent series lived. Moturakau is not actually an island at all but a motu or islet in the vast crystal clear waters of the Aitutaki lagoon.  The arrow in the picture on the right marks the exact location in the south east corner of the lagoon where the camp was located last time round.  Click on the picture for a larger image. Although  called Shark Island in the series, there are no sharks within the lagoon
Photos: left,; right, Earth sciences and image analysis laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center
The UK's Channel 4 television has used Aitutaki in the Southern Cook Islands as the location for five of the eight series of its reality show, 'Shipwrecked', including the latest which ran for 3 weeks on UK Channel E4  in January and February, 2019. Moturakau islet has featured in all of them, and was called Shark Island in the most recent series. Its near neighbour, Ripota was called Tiger Island.  
A wide shot of the motu
The island closer up...this and the pictures below were taken by Marcus Gleinig of Rarotonga.  He's an extremely talented amateur photographer and you can see more of his picture in his website gallery
From the air
Set in turquoise blue waters of Aitutaki's lagoon
Aitutaki is the second most visited of the Cook Islands, but tourists are still in the low thousands each year.   Its lagoon is triangular with each leg of the triangle stretching more than 11 kms (7 miles).   Around 30 little islets dot the turquoise blue waters.   And day trips from Rarotonga include an unforgettable cruise which calls in at some of motus and also allows plenty of time for exploring above and below the water.
Unspoiled beauty
Another of the motus in Aitutaki lagoon
Cruising Aitutaki's lagoon
Paradise found in Aitutaki
Survivor logo
Captain William Bligh
  •    Aitutaki was first settled in 900AD
  •    The name means God (aitu) led (taki)
  •    The European discoverer was Cpt. Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame (left)
  •    Naturalist, Charles Darwin visited in the "Beagle" on 3 December, 1835 
  •    The total land area is 18.5 square kms   (7.1 square miles)
  •    Three quarters of the lagoon is 4.5 metres (14.76 feet) deep 
  •    The maximum depth is 10.5 metres (34.45 feet)
Star of UK television's "Shipwrecked"
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