May 14, 2015

1493, 1579 COOK ISLANDS (Aitutaki) - The jewel of the Cook Islands

1493 Cook Island - Aerial view of Aitatuki

Posted on 22.03.2015, 14.05.2015
Aitutaki is one of the Cook Islands, an island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. Located north of the island of Rarotonga, the archipelago's main population centre, Aitutaki is an "almost atoll" with a maximum elevation of 123m (the hill Maunga Pu), and has a population of approximately 2,000. The barrier reef that forms its basis is roughly the shape of an equilateral triangle with sides of 12km. The southern edge is almost totally below the surface of the ocean, and the eastern side is composed of a string of small islands. The western side contains many of Aitutaki's important features, including a boat passage through the barrier reef allowing for anchorage close to shore at Arutanga. To the north is the bulk of the main island, with a fertile volcanic soil.

1579 Cook Island - One Foor Island (Tapuaetai) Aitatuki

Polynesians probably first settled Aitutaki around AD 900. The first known European contact was with Captain Bligh and the crew of the HMS Bounty when they discovered it on April 11, 1789, prior to the infamous mutiny. In 1942 New Zealand and American forces were stationed on the island, building the two-way airstrip that can be seen today. Aitutaki is famous for its turquoise central lagoon, uninhabited islands and palm-fringed beaches. Another advantage is that until now it has been spared by mass tourism. In 1972, Aitutaki established a separate postal service, and has issued its own stamps (mostly printed by Heraclio Fournier in Spain) since then. Tapuaetai (One Foot Island), a small islet in the south-east of the lagoon, is often said to be the most important attraction, and it is regarded as providing the visitor with the best views of the Aitutaki lagoon.

About the stamp
On the postcard 1439

The stamp is part of the series Worldwide Fund for Nature - Spotless Crake, designed by Alison Dittko.and issued in 2014. This issue was created in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund program in an effort to help raise awareness about the Spotless Crake (Porzana tabuensis), an endangered species in the Cook Islands.
• 1.00 NZD - It's on the postcard
• 1.30 NZD
• 1.50 NZD
• 1.70 NZD

On the postcard 1579

The stamp is part of the series Tourism, issued on 2014:
• Relaxing (0,3 NZD)
• Dancing (0,3 NZD)
• Shopping (0,3 NZD)
• Dining (0,3 NZD)
• Church service (0,5 NZD)
• Scootering (0,5 NZD) - It's on the postcard
• Hiking (0,5 NZD)
• Snorkeling (0,5 NZD) - It's on the postcard
• Kayaking (1 NZD)
• Swimming (1 NZD)
• Scuba diving (1 NZD)
• Fishing (1 NZD)

This is a post for Sunday Stamps II-14, run by Violet Sky from See It On A Postcard. The theme of this week is: Islands. Click here to visit Violet’s blog and all the other participants.

Aitutaki - Wikipedia

Sender 1493: Tina
Sent from Avarua (Rarotonga / Cook Islands), on 27.01.2015
Photo: Ewan Smith
Sender 1579: Tina
Sent from Avarua (Rarotonga / Cook Islands), on 12.03.2015
Photo: Noel Bartley


  1. Both stamp and postcard are gorgeous.

  2. The stamps nicely shows the iridescence of this bird, something that might be hard on a stamp.

  3. What a beautiful island. I wonder if it has any tourism. I'd love to visit. Of course tourism would slowly destroy this place.

  4. The Cook Islands issue lovely stamps of the natural world and this is one of them.

  5. Sorry to be so late in commenting. Glad I came back to see both the card and especially the Spotless Crake - lovely stamp.