The original settlers of this island, which is now known as Aitutaki, were Polynesian people ( ).  Though the history of their settlement of the area is only partially known, it is believed that they reached the area in approximately the ninth century., During a time of inter-island migration known as the Great Polynesian Migration, ocean going voyagers explored the wider Pacific seeking out unpopulated islands and access to valuable resources.  The central Pacific area began to become more widely developed by  Polynesian people and was a thriving trading area by the eleventh century.  During that time, the first roads (which are made of coral and are famous tourist attractions today) were begun to be built on the eastern side of Aitutaki island.

In the thirteen century, leaders from nearby islands came to conquer the people who had settled in Aitutaki.  More specifically, the Tahitians and Samoans attempted to settle Aitutaki (formerly known as Utaki and Ara-ura Enua).  Their reign was short lived, however, because it was only a few centuries later that the Spanish conquistadores sought to explore the western areas of South America seeking out minerals and similar resources. Being disappointed by the lack of gold and merchantable pickings, the Spanish explorers did not remain in the area for long.  World famous explorer, Captain Cook, discovered much of the South Pacific and accurately charted many islands as a means to establish boundaries for rule by the British Empire.  Thus the Cook Islands was named in honour of Captain James Cook's extraordinary endeavors.  However, the landing ashore by European discovers is given over to Captain Bligh just prior to the infamous mutiny of HM's good ship, the "Bounty"   

It was not until the later part of the 19th century that Aitutaki began to be seriously developed by the Western world. Aitutaki was annexed firstly to Great Britain, and then by formal arrangement to the NZ colonial government forming a part of that country's island territories.  In association with NZ as its formal ally, Aitutaki was used as a military base by the United States military during World War II.  Akaiami island was used as the base for the TEAL 'flying boat' era, a time of luxury air travel predominantly enjoyed by the rich and famous, and those civil servants fortunate enough to be posted to the Southern Cook Islands by the NZ government agencies.  Many  travellers remained unaware of this south seas paradise until the famous shows “Shipwrecked” and “Survivor” brought the area in to the consciousness of popular global culture. Aituaki has enjoyed a regular air service since Cook Islands Airways commenced their inter-island service some 30 years ago now.  Air Rarotonga now provides the only regular air link between the capital island Rarotonga, and this jewel of an island along with its magnificent lagoon located some 100+ miles northwards of Rarotonga.