Leave the US on a flight that leaves LAX at 11:30pm.
This day is "lost" to the International Dateline
After landing in Auckland in the early morning (6am) you will clear customs and gather your bags at the International baggage claim. As it will be early in the morning in New Zealand, but 3 hours later to your body from the West Coast of the US, use this time to travel as far as possible on the first day in the country and then leisurely make your way back to Auckland prior to leaving.
Via a short 10 minute walk to the domestic terminal (by following the marked lines out of the doors of the International terminal) or by taking the intra-terminal bus, you will make your way to the domestic terminal and recheck your bags on a domestic flight (1 hour) to Nelson.
Upon landing in Nelson it will be mid-morning. Take this opportunity to explore the area. Nelson is renown for having the best weather in New Zealand and the town itself has a nice charm. Food and wine in this area is excellent, with our team able to make recommendations on where to eat on the water prior to continuing on to your accommodations.
New Zealand boasts big-game striped marlin fishing and swordfish in addition to snapper. However, over the last few years salt water fly fishing for kingfish has gotten popular because of the challenge to sight-cast and the ensuing fight. The start of the year brings warmer waters and thus the “kingies” inshore as they chase baitfish on flatter sands.
Enjoy the day with your guide.
At the end of day Tuesday you have the option to transfer from Nelson back to Auckland in order to prepare for the early Wednesday flight to the Cook Islands.
The flight from Auckland to Rarotonga will land in the early afternoon (1:30p) on Tuesday. You have made up the day you “lost” crossing the International Dateline.
After collecting your bags you will then wait for the 3:30p flight on Air Rarotonga to the island of Aitutatki. Rather than waiting at the airport you may want to get lunch at one of the local places near the airport. We can recommend a few places, included bars on the water and excellent cafes.
Tip: Sit on the left side of the place for this quick 50-minute flight will allow you to spot the island on approach- a view that looks like it is straight out of Swiss Family Robinson. Upon landing you will be greeted with leis by staff and transported to your accommodations.
There are no massive hotels or crowded beaches on the island of Aitutaki. This is truly the heart of Polynesia and one of the most beautiful and best kept secret vacation spots in the world. Enjoy the afternoon by the pool or rent a scooter and tour the island. Prior to dinner you owe yourself a walk on the empty pristine beaches at sunset. After dinner don’t forget to look up into the sky and marvel at the milkyway. There will be no ground light to prevent you from viewing satellites, shooting stars, the Southern Cross and thousands of stars.
Enjoy the breakfast included with your accommodations. Your guide will meet you after and take you to the boat from which you will chase the “ghosts of the flats.” An 8-weight rod is recommended for the bones while, should you be fortunate to spot any, a 12-weight is recommended for the Giant Trevaly. These salt water piranhas can get up to 100 lbs. and dominate the flats as very aggressive hunters and are decent substittes for the lack of sharks on the flats of Aitutaki.
A second day of fishing and enjoying paradise.
This will be your last day in Aitutaki and the Cook Islands. The flights align so that you may get in most of a full day of fishing prior to taking the Air Raro flight back to Rarotonga. Upon landing in the evening our staff recommends taking a taxi to dinner prior to the flight back to the US.
Landing back on the West Coast of the US at around 11am you will clear customs and then take your domestic flight home. The Cook Islands are a 3 hour difference from the West Coast, so your body will not need to adjust too much prior to the work week beginning again.