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Aitutaki’s One Foot Island beach among world’s best

Friday 19 May 2023 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Go Local, National, Travel


Aitutaki’s One Foot Island beach among world’s best
Aitutaki’s One Foot Island beach has been ranked world’s fifth best in a poll of more than 750 travel influencers, journalists and experts. Picture: David Kirkland Photography/Cook Islands Tourism/23051830

One of Cook Islands’ renowned beaches has been named among the world’s best in a recent poll.

Aitutaki’s One Foot Island beach has been ranked world’s fifth best in a poll of more than 750 travel influencers, journalists and experts.

“The World’s 50 Best Beaches presented by Banana Boat” ranked the “perfect tropical paradise” behind Lucky Bay, Australia; Source D’Argent, the Seychelles; Hidden Beach, the Philippines and Whitehaven Beach, Australia.

Tapuaetai or “One Foot Island”, is one of 22 islands in the Aitutaki atoll, and about a 15-minute speedboat ride from the main island.

In describing One Foot Island beach, said: “If you can imagine all the postcards you have ever seen of the perfect tropical paradise, trust us, One Foot Island is precisely that! With its blindingly white sand, swaying palm trees, and inviting water, this location is breathtaking. The colours here are indescribable! Pure relaxation awaits you on this island, but there is also plenty to do, such as swimming and snorkelling alongside vibrant fish, and perhaps even encountering a turtle in the clearest turquoise water you have ever dreamt of. The island itself is a fantastic place to explore, but we are confident that once you see the beach, you'll never want to leave.”

Cook Islands Tourism Corporation chief executive officer Karla Eggelton says it is wonderful to see that One Foot Island in Aitutaki has been named the fifth best beach in the world.

Eggelton said this recognition is tremendous for Aitutaki and the Cook Islands, “showcasing our unrivalled natural beauty to a global audience”.

“It solidifies our position as a must-visit destination and invites travellers to experience the magic of our little paradise,” she said.

“There is multiple marketing opportunity to utilise these results and ranking to strengthen our message.”

Annie Bishop of Bishop’s Cruise which specialises in a variety of lagoon cruises and weddings on One Foot Island, said the island was a beautiful spot “completely unspoiled”.

“It’s a hidden gem,” Bishop said.

“We don’t have huge number of tourists coming here and those who visit the island using our tours they are in a complete awe.

“We get guests from Europe because they like to go to far-fetched places and One Foot Island is very private and secluded. There have been lot of comparison between our destination and Tahiti but we’re just completely unspoiled, we don’t have commercialism like they have and none of our buildings are higher than our coconut trees.”

Bishop said they hosted a wedding for an English couple on the island on May 13 and have another one scheduled for next week for visiting Austrian couple.

She said pre-Covid, Bishop’s Cruise was organising about 30 weddings on One Foot Island.

The ranking, titled World’s 50 Best Beaches, drew insights from some highly respected influencers in the travel industry, the website said.

It is the only list in the world compiled after collecting votes from over 750 of the world’s most recognised and experienced travel influencers, journalists and experts, as well as their Beach Ambassadors, it added.

“To come up with the list, the team analyzed a long list of beaches across the globe and gathered the votes of hundreds of travel influencers and professionals, including Jyo Shankar, Pilot Madeleine, and Dame Traveler, as well as other respected journalists, editors, and agents. Then, it ranked the beaches according to five different criteria, such as sheer untouched nature, remoteness, how swimmable it is, annual days of sunshine, and average annual temperature.

“It is without any doubt the most accurate and well researched list of beaches ever compiled and is ready to go straight onto your bucket list!”

The top 10 best beaches in the world, according to the ranking:

1. Lucky Bay, Australia; 2. Anse Source D'Argent, Seychelles; 3. Hidden Beach, Philippines; 4. Whitehaven Beach, Australia; 5. One Foot Island, Cook Islands; 6. Trunk Bay, US Virgin Islands; 7. Honopu Beach, Hawaii; 8. Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland; 9. Navagio Beach, Greece; 10. Balandra Beach, Mexico.