One Foot Island, Cook Islands
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What is your favorite non-touristy island destination? Comment below!
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One Foot Island or, Tapuaetai , is a small 15 acre islet in the south-east of the Aitutaki lagoon. This neat little island is often said to be the most famous attraction of Aitutaki lagoon. It is a post card, picture perfect place. One Foot Island was awarded “Australasia’s Leading Beach” at the World Travel Awards held in Sydney in June 2008.
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There is an interesting story on why the islet is called One Foot:

Legend has it that in ancient times, a Maori Chief decided that the marine life of Aitutaki Lagoon has to be preserved for future generations. And so, he banned fishing in the calm waters of the lagoon.

 

Desperate to feed his family, a poor fisherman set out to fish just enough to tame their hungry stomachs with his son.

 

The Maori warriors spotted the fisherman’s canoe in the water. They rushed to the lagoon to catch the perpetrator.

 

When the fisherman saw the Maori boats approaching, he ushered his son to an island and asked him to run into the jungle and hide up a tree. After his son left he followed in his footsteps and made sure only to leave one set of footsteps.

 

When the Maori Warriors arrived they followed the marks on the beach and found the fisherman dead on the island. Because there was only one set of footprints they thought there was only one person on the canoe and so they left.

 

Once the warriors left the island, the fisherman’s son came down from the tree and found his father dead.

 

There are various versions as to what happened next. Some say he took the father back to land, others that his body got lost in the lagoon.”

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Back to One Foot Island, it provides travelers with the best views of the Aitutaki lagoon and, depending on the tide, one is able to walk on a sand bridge a decent distance off the shore from Tapuaetai.

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As for Aitutaki Island, it is part of the Cook Islands archipelago and one of the 15 islands located in Central-Southern Pacific Ocean. It is famous for its turquoise central lagoon, uninhabited islands, palm-fringed beaches and the pictured One Foot Island!
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It’s an obvious choice for travelers looking for unspoiled nature as it has been spared by mass tourism. Noteworthy also are an old church (the oldest in the Cook Islands) and giant Banyan trees.
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For reference, Aitutaki is located north of Rarotonga – the most populous and well known island that travelers fly into from US and Canada. Approximately 2,000 people call this place home.
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How to get to One Foot Island:
Travelers from the US and Canada fly into the main island of the Cook Islands archipelago known as Rarotonga. Air Rarotonga offers daily flights to Aitutaki Islands from there you can go on a boat tour or you can charter one for yourself.
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