Pacific Resort Aitutaki – Eco Trail

With our full day at the Pacific Resort, we decided to explore the coral reef just beyond our beach front bungalow, and outwards to the deep blue Pacific Ocean. Pacific Resort have set out a self guided eco-trail for snorkelers to explore the rich waters.

At the first coral we sighted only 20 metres from the shore, we started to document the diverse species of fish. Not long after, Katrina saw some coral with leopard skin markings on it, however that suddenly turned to a wreathing mass of Giant Moray Eel that protruded it’s face from within the coral. The girth was larger than our thighs, and its’ length was around six foot – although never fully seen, it was coiled in half, and was still three foot in each direction!

After numerous attempts at a clear photo and some video footage, we ventured off into the deeper waters. We witnessed a bed of sea slugs, which help filter out the sand, and keep the lagoon clean – whilst swimming through schools of colourful fish. It wasn’t long before we came across two amazingly large Crown-of-Thorns starfish. Each starfish had 5cm spikes all over their bodies, which can release a neurotoxin. We weren’t exactly aware we were up close to some venomous, but beautiful creatures. Soon after gazing at them, suddenly a dark shape came from a cave beneath the coral. It was another six foot long Giant Moray Eel! After the initial fright, we were able to capture some great photographs and video up close and personal.

Later in the afternoon after some lunch and coconut husking demonstrations, Warren headed out again into the lagoon to capture some more fish. Within a matter of minutes a storm blew in, stirring up some rough water and rain lashing down sideways. That was enough excitement for one day!

Giant Moray Eel
Giant Moray Eel
Scary Giant Moray Eel
Very pretty Giant Moray Eel
Katrina snorkelling
Katrina snorkelling over pretty coral
Coral fish
Lots of little fish, that hide in the coral

Blue Starfish / Etu Moana

Blue star fish / Etu Moana in Cook Islands Maori
Crown-of-Thorn Starfish Cook Islands
Crown-of-thorn starfish! Check out those spikes.. They moved pretty quick for a starfish too - And in the bottom left shadows, you'll notice a Giant Moral Eel poking it's head out!
Giant Moray Eel Aitutaki Lagoon
Giant Moray Eel in Aitutaki Lagoon
Sea Cucumbers Pacific Resort Aitutaki
View back to Pacific Resort Aitutaki with some sea cucumbers
Aitutaki Storm
Storm fast approaching
The heavy rain and wind only lasted an hour, just in time for our platter of seafood on the restaurant balcony at twilight