New Turtle Tour signs installed

Cook Islands Tourism
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Cook Islands Tourism
What to consider when going to swim with the turtles.

Cook Islands Tourism has recently installed new signs at the Avaavaroa and Rutaki passages. The signs are designed to educate visitors and the public about the best safety practices for swimming with turtles, as well as the importance of protecting these marine animals and their habitat.

The signs include information on the following:

  • Respect the danger - The passage is highly unpredictable and strong currents can be present even in calm conditions.
  • Respect the environment - It is PROHIBITED to touch the turtles. Approach them with caution and maintain a safe distance.
  • Please also AVOID touching and walking on coral to reduce impact on the turtle’s natural habitat.
  • Go with a tour guide - Visitors are strongly advised not to enter the passage without a certificate guide.
  • In addition to the information on the signs, Cook Islands Tourism has also published a number of safety resources on its website, including a dedicated page on turtle tour safety. Click here for more information.

    The signs come at a critical time, as many visitors to the Cook Islands are still unaware of the potential hazards of venturing into the passages on their own. Cook Islands Tourism has received reports of several visitors having to be rescued after ignoring verbal advice. It is hoped that the new signs will help further clarify the safety messages. And that the incident serves as a reminder that saving a few dollars by going without a guide is simply not worth the risk.

    Cook Islands Tourism encourages everyone to pay attention to these best practices to ensure everyone's safety. As custodians of our islands, we have a responsibility to help protect the marine ecosystem, these beautiful wild animals and, to take responsibility of our own safety.

    The tourism industry are also encouraged to ensure that their guests are aware of these best practices. Safety is everyone's business, and we all have a role to play in ensuring that this information reaches everyone.

    Please help us to spread the word and keep everyone safe. CLICK HERE to download a copy that you can print and display in a public area for your guests.